Plainclothes police: composure and minimal response

Rain soaked front yard (from 2012)

Rain soaked front yard (from 2012)

In the uproar against excessive force by cops, their measured and controlled actions often go unnoticed. Here are two situations, one from a few weeks ago, and the other just a few days ago, involving plainclothes (undercover?) cops…

Some weeks ago, on a quiet southwest fall evening, browsing the web in my bedroom upstairs, I heard – “OH MY GOD!” A man’s voice, loud enough to penetrate walls and closed double-pane windows…it couldn’t be my widowed neighbor in the house nearby, for she’d bought herself a $100K Jaguar and had stopped entertaining men at her place.

A few seconds later, “OH MY GOD!” The cry did not diminish in its intensity. And again, “OH MY GOD!” And again…and again…

Concerned, I moved out onto the first floor balcony, listening carefully. A tragedy in the home beyond my neighbor’s, a child gravely hurt, perhaps? A father lived with his young daughter in that place. Straining to hear what was going on, a child’s voice could be discerned, one that did not seem disturbed. The man’s cries appeared to diminish, and then stopped altogether. I moved back inside. Not knowing that neighbor well enough, any further investigation was postponed.

Some minutes later, there was a loud pounding at my door downstairs. Irritated by the rude knock, I knew it must be cops, and my widowed neighbor who probably called them. But why were they at my door? Despite having only my night clothes on, as in the misfortune that befell me in Humbling and Humility, I did open the door, and found an officer who informed me that a neighbor had reported loud cries.

Confirming that I’d heard the cries as well, I walked out to the driveway, and sidewalk, to guide him to the house it seemed to have come from. Pointing it out to him, I turned back…to see two more cops in the yard lurking in my front yard shrubbery. One was uniformed, and the other in plainclothes and some distance behind. They followed the officer who obtained directions; I walked back into my place.

Three cops to attend to a call about loud cries from a home? And one in plain clothes? Seemed overboard to me, but this is the city of Dilbut in the state of Wariduna. Some minutes later, I walked out and saw two more cops loitering in the yard. They stopped to address me, and mistaking them for more bored cops joining in the excitement, I redirected them. But they clarified that the cries were from a man who consumed one too many beers, and watched his favorite football team lose their game. I thanked them; they moved to their vehicles parked in the street some distance away.

Upon meeting my widowed neighbor some days later, talking to another, I made sure to update them about the excitement she’d caused, and the rather undesirable encounter forced upon me. She said she’d apologized to the man who’d been visited by cops…and that he thanked her for caring enough to do it. Another perspective to the event.

In recent days, we see large crowds protesting, and vandals taking undue advantage of transient disorder in the streets. Here, cops are compelled to adopt what may seem to be a most unpleasant tactic: plainclothes officers mingling with such crowds undercover. Here’s one such incident in the link below – you may draw your own conclusions – but I cannot fault them for their controlled exercise of cunning and force.

Undercover cops attacked by a mob in Oakland

About Rian Nejar

Rian Nejar is an Indian-American author. He trained and worked as an engineer in India, lived briefly in the Middle East, and arrived in America in the early 90's. After a Master’s degree in electrical engineering in America, he worked as an academic instructor, engineer, entrepreneur, and technical writer over the two decades since. Humbling and Humility ( is his first mainstream nonfiction. He lives and writes in the Southwest United States.
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