UW Whitewater Observation of A Public Area Sociology Essay


Down below are the instructions. “From Jottings to field notes” and “Observing and jotting in the field”. The other document is an example of field notes that you can use to understand the assignment.Please write the jottings notes on a separate page (maximum 2 full pages and at least One full page) and write the field notes after (2 pages). The assignment should be between 3 to 4 pages long.WRITE IN THE PRESENT TENSE AND DO FORGET TO MENTION ETHNICITIES AND RACE OF THE PEOPLE YOU ARE OBSERVING. Give details as well. Assignment1) Conduct a 30-minute observation of a public area on campus where there are people
doing something.
2) While making jottings, capture enough detail that will allow you to describe the
physical and social setting, i.e., where and whom you are observing.
3) Use your jottings to write expanded field notes on the full 20-minute observation.
4) At the end of your expanded field notes, please include the following:
a. An analytical memo that discusses what you think was happening in what you
observed (you are welcome to write an integrative analytical memo that makes
connections with your previous observations).
b. A methodological memo that assesses how you think you are doing collecting
observational data. (Things you might consider include: any difficulties you are
having, your confidence in the data you are collecting, things you think you are
doing well, places you think would be good to observe, etc.)

Beat 13
Late Shift
Officer: O9
I arrive at roll-call. It’s Friday, and the second shift Public Assistance Officer (PAO) who works
the front desk is on duty until 11pm. She buzzes me in. I was in just yesterday to fill out a ridealong request form when I was in town volunteering for IMPD North District Community Day.
The Public Assistance Officer is a white female in her late 20s. She has a slightly overweight
medium build, is about 5’8” tall, has fair, freckled skin, straight sandy-blonde hair and oval wire
rimmed glasses. Her uniform is a dark blue IMPD short sleeve polo tucked into khaki pants.
PAO: You’re back!
Me: I am. I didn’t hear back from Sergeant [name] regarding my request, but I thought I should
show up in the event I get to ride.
PAO: Hold on one second. [she answers the phone using the headset she is wearing that has an
earpiece on her left ear and thin black microphone sitting in front of her mouth] Indianapolis
Metropolitan Police Department North District, this is public assistance officer [name] may I
help you?
I stand on the other side of the bullet proof glass from the PAO as she talks on the phone. O3
enters the reception area where the PAO is sitting from a door that leads to a hallway and rollcall room. He sees me, smiles and waves. I wave, “Officer [name]! How are you?”
O3: Good. Hold on.
He does something in a room located just behind the reception area and then enters the waiting
room where I’m standing, extending his hand to shake mine and asking me how I am.
I tell him that I’m waiting to see if I’m scheduled for a ride-along since I didn’t hear back from
O3: Sergeant is in the roll-call room. Come on down.
I follow O3 to the roll-call room where the large, bald Sergeant who has been extremely
welcoming and helpful toward me is standing behind the podium at the open end of the horse
shoe configuration of tables.
Sergeant: Mr. Jeffers! How are you?
Me: I’m good thanks. I was hoping to ride tonight…
Sergeant: I’ve got you with O9 tonight.
Me: Oh, great! Thank you very much.
Sergeant: He doesn’t know if yet. But you’ve ridden with him, and he doesn’t care.
Me: Yeah, I’m sure he’ll be fine with it. Great. Thank you very much.
Sergeant: Oh, you’re welcome.
Me: Should I hang here or go to the waiting area?
Sergeant: You’re fine if you want to stay here.
Me: Great. Thank you.
I locate myself over near the file cabinets in the back of the room. I’m hesitant to sit because I
don’t want to take the seat of a veteran officer, something to be avoided by rookies, and I’m
assuming something that would be perhaps doubly frowned upon if done by a rider.
Officers begin to filter into the room. I recognize many of the officers as individuals with whom
I’ve ridden or have encountered at scenes. The Sergeant stands at the podium at the head of the
room and open area of the u-shaped table configuration. Two women, one black and one white,
in their 40s are seated on the north wall of the room in chairs just to the left of the door. OD, the
always pleasant, short officer built like a fire hydrant enters and stands next to me.
OD: How are things in academia?
Me: They’re going well. Thank you.
OD: So are you learning a lot about community policing?
Me: I honestly am at the point that I don’t know exactly what community policing is.
OD: You know. When I first started, the Indianapolis Start sent some reporters to ride with us
for an article on policing. They rode for like two months, observed a lot of things, talked to
citizens, gathered information about human interest stuff, and took pictures during their rides.
Me: All right..
OD: Well the article comes out, and [he slows his speech to emphasize the next few words] it
was just a hack job! I mean, it was all about how the police are coming down hard on and
harassing the black man. [he is smiling really big and laughing now; I smile and laugh as well.]
And the best part: the front page of the paper, there is a huge picture of an officer with his hand
around the neck of a black guy, and it looks like he is choking him, and there’s another officer
helping him. But if you look closely and know what you are looking for, you will see that the
second officer has the guy by the testicles and is squeezing. [he says this with a light in his eye
and a huge smile on his face while laughing]
Me: Jesus!
OD: That’s what you get for letting those damn liberal do-gooders ride around in police cars.
Me: I guess. I certainly don’t want to produce a hack job. Is the offer still open to ride with you
some time?
OD: Oh sure.
Me: Great. Thanks. I’ll go ahead and set it up.
The Sergeant begins to talk. I look around the room and notice that Commander B has entered
and taken a seat on the south side of the horse-shoe table configuration next to OJ. I had just
seen Commander and OJ at a town hall forum that was put on by FILE (Fairness in Law
Enforcement), a group of 45 black officers who advocate for unbiased policing.
Sergeant: Okay let’s get started. [the Sergeant reads off the officers’ names. After each name is
called, the officer indicates his presence by saying some variation of “Yes, sir,” “here sir,”
“present sir,” or by replacing the sir with “Sergeant” in each of these phrases.] We might as well
start with our guests over here. These two ladies are from Victim’s Assistance. They wanted to
come and say a few words.
The white woman says that they just wanted to stop by and remind the officers that they can call
victims’ assistance if they feel it is necessary. They want the officers to be able to put a name
with a face. The Sergeant asks what their radio numbers are, and each of the woman respond
with their numbers, A###.
The black woman says roughly the same thing as the white woman and adds that she only
recognizes one officer who has used her, OJ. She asked that officers do not call them if the
victim is 1099. The Sergeant adds, smiling when he says it, “Well if you get a 1099, you can call
Mr. Jeffers. I’m sure he’d be happy to come and help out.” The black woman looks at me, “Oh,
is he good with 1099’s?” to which I respond. “No, I’m just a researcher.” The black woman
says, “Oh, okay” and wraps up by urging the officers to call Victims’ Assistance and use them if
they feel it is needed.
Sergeant: Okay, thank you for coming.
Commander: I would like to thank you for coming because it is important that we utilize the
services that are available if people need those services.
Sergeant: Oh, Commander! I didn’t see you sneak in. Welcome.
Commander: I just thought I would stop by. I was over at a town hall meeting that was
organized by FILE. You were there [referring to OJ]. Since I was in the neighborhood, I
thought I would come sit in on roll-call, not to check up on anyone, more just to say “hi.”
Sergeant: Well, welcome sir. Since you’re here, is there anything you would like to say?
Commander: Well, I just went over this earlier at the task force meeting, but crime is down
[looking at me], what did I say, 1.8 or .88 percent?
Me: [nodding my head up and down] That sounds right.
Commander: I can ask our visitor since he’s at all of the meetings. So crime is down overall,
but larcenies are up. The good news is that murders are down considerably since we’ve started
the surge. So we’re going to continue with the surge which has been helping. Other than that,
nothing is new. Let’s see. … Oh, some uniform stuff is still getting worked out with the new
chief. The collar buttons right now are optional, and the Chief may be phasing those out entirely.
That’s about it. Just keep up the good work. If you get a chance, I know it’s hard, but try to
strike up a conversation with a citizen at least once during your shift. Wave to some people, and
say hello. It’s hard to do when you’re busy, but it would be nice if each of you could do this a
least once at some point during your shift. I was just out the other day, and I saw some juveniles,
well, I shouldn’t say juveniles—teenagers. My window was down, so I said hello. The stopped
and looked at me nervously. They’re like, “What do you want? What did we do?” I said
nothing. I just wanted to say hi. It’s that kind of stuff that if we can do it, it will help us. But
what about you guys? Does anyone have anything to tell me or questions about anything? Now
is your chance.
A white officer sitting at the bottom right corner of the u-shaped tables: I’m wondering if we can
get some supplies. I stopped in, and there aren’t any notebooks or pens or anything.
Commander: I know. Things are tight right now, and we’re all feeling it. I don’t even have
business cards yet. I’ve been at community meetings since 9 o’clock this morning, and I’m
having to write my name and phone number down on any piece of paper I can find to give to
people. So what I’m saying is that we’re all feeling it, and I’m feeling it too. We’re just going to
have to do the best we can until we can get that stuff. Anything else?
[the room turns silent as people look around at each other and down in front of them]
OJ: I have an announcement actually. I was at the FOP for a meeting recently, and we are close
to having a contract together. There are three dates in August to keep in mind. The 16th and 17th,
you can stop by and look at the contract, and then we will be voting on the contract on the 18th.
So please remember those dates.
Sergeant: Commander, did you have anything else?
Commander: No, um, no, I’ve said everything I can think of. I just wanted to stop by since I
was in the neighborhood this late. Be careful out there.
Sergeant: Okay, thank you sir. I don’t really have anything much to add. [the Sergeant goes
over a few addresses with problems from middle shift of which officers should be aware. He
does this quickly and without much detail, so I don’t catch it.] All right. That’s it. Be careful.
The officers begin to file out. OD leaves quickly. He was the only officer who had his radio on
during roll-call. Toward the end when OJ was talking, a run came up in his beat. OD responded
saying he would check and advise. I stand by the file cabinets until O9 comes past in the stream
of officers filing out of the room.
O9: You ready?
Me: Yep.
I follow O9 who stops and talks to an officer sitting in his car in the first row of spots in the
parking lot next to the side door of the building. I follow O9 to his car, where he has to move a
bunch of stuff off his front passenger seat to make room for me. He is parked next to O11 who is
standing outside of his car next to the driver’s door.
O9: So I talked to SergeatntB. He’s a good Sergeant. He’s just got a good head on his
shoulders. It makes no sense to have two open beats on either side of us. I said to him that
having the 60s full but leaving 12 and 23 open didn’t make a lot of sense, so he’s pulling OF
from the 60s and putting her in 23. [O9 is cleaning out his car as he talks and making room for
me in the front seat.] I said the same exact thing to Sergeant Millhouse, and he suspended me for
a week.
O11: How did you say it?
O9: The same way. The reason the 60s are always full are because Millhouse lives in the 60s,
so he always makes sure there aren’t any open beats up there.
OF is walking through the parking lot on the other side of the fence that separates the small lot
from the larger lot where officers park their personal cars.
Sorry I got you moved down to the 20s.
[smiling] Oh, that’s fine. I’d rather be in the 20s than the 60s.
Are you in 23?
Two other officers come over and join O9 and O11’s conversation.
OT, a 5’10” white male officer with a fit, medium build in his early 30s with nearly shaved blond
hair is accompanied by OB, a 6’ tall white male officer with a medium build but a bit of a belly
in his late 20s with dark blackish-brown hair that is a few inches long and parted to the side.
OT: Did you guys get a chance to visit OW [a north district officer who got in a car accident
while responding to a robbery. He ran into an electrical box and had to get numerous stiches to
affix his scalp back on his head.]?
O9: I feel bad about not being able to get there. I was off with some health issues and just
recently got back.
OT: I went to the hospital, but he was sleeping when I got there. I didn’t wake him up.
[speaking louder] Do you know that neither the Chief nor the Director of Public Safety visited
O11: That’s bull shit!
O9: They didn’t?
OT: No. He was in the hospital for a week. He was injured in the line of duty, and neither of
those guys put forth the effort to go and visit him in the hospital. That’s bad.
O9: I know. It’s hard to feel like we are being supported. I think the Chief had a real
opportunity to send a message by not firing [name of officer fired over the Brandon Johnson
brutality case]. He could have stood with us and said, “No, we’re not going to fire him.” That
would have sent a huge message, but he caved.
OT: I agree. We don’t get supported that way and then he can’t even show up to the hospital.
O9: What I worry about is the effect that this will have on younger officers who are still
learning. What’s going to happen is someone is going to question whether force should be used
in a situation, and someone isn’t going to go home to their wife and kids. Someone is going to
get shot.
OT: Yeah, we shouldn’t have to worry about getting fired for doing our job.
O9: That’s what I worry about. I don’t necessarily worry about my life as much as my
livelihood. I’m more afraid that I’ll lose my job than anything else.
O11: Well, on that uplifting note.
OT: Yeah, we should get out there.
Me: Quite the motivational speech.
O11: Let’s go get fired!
We all laugh as O11 gets into his car, O9 and I get into his and OT and OB walk to their cars.
We get in the car and start the shift at 9:50pm.
Me: So how are you doing? I hear you had some health problems. O11 said you have a cyst on
your brain and diabetes?
O9: Yeah, I am having some health problems. I’ll apologize in advance for tonight. I didn’t
really sleep today, and I didn’t know I was going to have a rider until I was on my way in. We
never get any notice. I may be dragging a little.
Me: I’m dragging too. I spent the day at Holiday World in the hot sun with the wife and kids.
O9: Holiday World with the rides?
Me: Yeah. We went on some rides but then spent the day at the water park there.
O9: That sounds like fun.
Me: It was.
O9: So a while back I was working, and I actually had the girl I’m seeing riding with me. But
about half way through the shift I started getting dizzy. I just thought I was dehydrated or didn’t
eat enough or something, so I just pushed on through the shift. But then I got home, and the
whole room started spinning. It was a scary feeling, so I went to the ER. They started running a
bunch of tests, and it turns out that I’ve got diabetes and a cyst on my brain. So they put me on
some medication immediately to deal with that, and I have a nutritionist to work with me on my
diet. It took about a week for me to start feeling normal again.
Me: Yeah, O11said you had been off for a few weeks the last time I rode.
O9: So I started feeling better eventually. But after working last night, I went and played golf
this morning, figuring I’d go home and sleep until I had to come to work. I fell asleep at like
noon, and then the phone rang and 2:00 and woke me up. It was my doctor’s office saying that
he wants me to see a specialist. I was half asleep and asked the receptionist if she could call
back and leave a message on my voicemail because I had to work tonight. I tried to go back to
sleep but started thinking about it and called her back.
[we are now in the parking lot at BP at the corner of Fall Creek Parkway and 38th Street, sitting
in his car.]
Me: So are you OK?
O9: You know. I don’t know. The doctor thinks I might have some rare auto immune
deficiency disorder that has to do with your blood vessles.
Me: Geez. Well, I guess right now, you don’t know if you have it for sure.
O9: I know. People say that, but he wants me to see a specialist and get some tests run, but I
can’t get an appointment for like a week. But the way it sounded to me is that the doctor is
pretty sure I have it and this is more confirmatory.
Me: Man. Well, I hope you don’t have it, and I hope you’re okay.
O9: Thanks man. I appreciate that.
Me: Man. That really sucks. I will be hoping for the best.
O9: I think O11 is almost here, so we might as well head in.
Me: Okay.
O11 pulls into the BP lot. We go inside and get drinks and sit at our usual table. O11 is surfing
the internet on his phone. O9 looks at a copy of USA Today that is lying on the table. O9 starts
to talk about golf clubs.
O9: I played a really good round of golf this morning.
O11 does not acknowledge this statement; he continues to play with his phone.
Me: Oh yeah?
O9: I was almost under 80 but blew a few 6 foot puts. I saw [name of some guy they both
O11: Oh yeah? [still looking at and playing with his phone].
O9: Yeah, I golfed at [name of course I don’t remember]. The nice thing is that [name] is the
pro there, and he’s gonna give me free lessons. I’m thinking about getting a new set of irons.
Talking to [name of golf pro], he told me he’s not really a fan of the King Cobra’s. I think I’m
learning how to hit em, but I might be better off just once and for all getting my own clubs that
are fit especially for me. The one’s I have now I bought off [name]. So I think I’ll be set if I get
clubs because then I’ll be done. I can golf for free at [course] with the membership I have and
will get free lessons from [the pro]. You know, I might as well try to do this now and get this
golf thing going. There’s no reason to wait. So I’ll be really freed up if I can sell my house. I
would have the money to get clubs, and if I more into a place that gives me free rent, I can get
caught up.
O11: True.
O9: [to me] I’m sure you can tell, but I’m having some financial problems.
Me: Oh really?
O9: I’ve just never been good with money. O11’s good with money, and I’m sure you’re really
good with money. I’m not.
Me: I don’t handle the money; my wife does.
O9: I bought a house, which was good, but then I bought a truck, and I shouldn’t have. This guy
calls me the other day and tells me that I missed two truck payments.
O11: Why did you miss two truck payments?
O9: I have the payment taken directly out of my account, along with my bills. I always make
sure that I have enough in there for that. So last fall, there were two months where they didn’t
take the payments out. I didn’t know because they usually just do. So two months went by
without payments being made, but then they started doing it again after missing two months. I
didn’t even know.
O11: Didn’t you notice that you had an extra thousand dollars?
O9: No because I don’t balance my checkbook. Bills just get taken out of the account. I
occasionally check to see how much is in there, and I would have a few hundred dollars and
think, “Oh, that looks about right.”
[O11 is shaking his head and looking back down at his phone.]
O9: So anyway, this guy calls and tells me that I am two months behind in my payments. I look
into it and figure out what happened, and he calls back and he wants me to pay more to get
caught up. I’m like, I don’t have it. He’s like, “What about an extra fifty dollars on your
payments.” I told the guy I can’t. I can’t give you what I don’t have. I asked him to put the
payments on the end of the load. He said no, so I asked to talk to a supervisor. Finally a
supervisor gets on the phone, and he agreed to put the payments on the end of the loan. So that’s
at least good.
Me: Yeah it is. It was their fault, not yours.
O9: Right! I don’t know. So I thought about declaring bankruptcy, but I don’t really want to do
that. So I’m trying to sell my house, and [looking at O11], [another officer’s name] is going to
take over my payments.
O11: So you’re going to sell him your truck?
O9: No, he’s just gonna start making my payments.
O11: But you’re going to put it in his name, right?
O9: No, that’s the nice thing is that it will stay in my name, so I’ll get credit for making the
O11: [shaking his head again] But what if he doesn’t make the payments? Then you’ll get
credit for that too.
O9: If he doesn’t make the payments, then I’ll just take it back.
O11: But you’ll still have missing payments on your credit report.
O9: One or two months won’t matter.
O11: Yes, it will.
O9: He’ll make the payments. I trust him. He’s my classmate [police academy] and friend, and
I know he wouldn’t do that. I’m not worried.
O11: [in a flip manner that seems to indicate his disapproval] All right.
O9: I think what it is is that with his divorce and his financial situation, he can’t get a loan, so it
works out well for both of us if he just takes the truck and starts making my payments.
O11 doesn’t say anything. He keeps playing with his phone.
O9: We should probably go do something.
O11: I suppose.
The three of us get up and head out to the cars. O9 and I drive west on 38th to Boulevard. He
makes a u-turn around the median and comes back east on 38th. About 6 black people in their
40s and 50s, two females and four males, are standing in the grass on the west side of the Shell
parking lot. O9 rolls down my window and talks to them.
O9: We’re doing warrant sweeps tonight.
The group turns and looks at O9 who has stopped along the curb. Someone says “Huh?”
O9: We’re out doing warrant sweeps tonight, so you better keep moving.
He drives east on 38th, turns right onto Capitol, and pulls next to a black male in his 40s who is
standing on the sidewalk next to the Shell gas station parking lot just south of the corner of 38th.
O9 rolls down my window again and talks to the man through my open window. The male is
about 5’8” tall, is wearing dirty dark blue jeans, dirty white high tops, and a worn maroon t-shirt.
His hair is nappy, and he has a scraggly beard.
O9: You’re gonna keep moving right?
Man: Yes sir.
O9: You know this is an indicted corner right?
Man: Um, a what?
O9: It’s an indicted corner. I can search anyone standing here, so keep moving.
Man: Yes sir.
O9 drives away from the man by making a hard left across Capitol. He cuts through the
Community Spirits liquor store parking lot and drives east on 38th.
I laugh.
Me: An indicted corner and a warrant sweeps?
O9: [laughs] I sometimes like to come out here and try to scare people away—get on top of
things to prevent trouble.
O9 pulls into the BP/McDonalds parking lot. Five males on motorcycles are sitting in a parking
spot along Illinois Street. O9 rolls my window down and talks to them.
O9: You guys are all right now, but if the crowd starts to get too big you guys are gonna leave,
Male on motorcycle: Yes. We will.
O9: All right.
We drive around the back of McDonalds to 38th and drive east. Passing the fairgrounds, an SUV
passes us and stops at the light at Fall Creek Parkway. The window on the passenger side of the
SUV is open about 5 inches.
O9: [through his open window] Hey! [there is no response, so he fumbles for his flashlight,
picks it up and shines the light into the SUV] Hey! [the window rolls down] Is your
speedometer broken?!
Black Female Driver: [leaning forward to see O9 around the black female passenger—both in
their mid 20s] No.
O9: [he is saying this loud and with an aggravated voice] I thought it must have been because I
was tracking your speed. I was going 40 and you passed me. Never! Speed past a marked
police car. Do you got that?
Driver: Yes, sorry.
OL, a tall, 6’5” white male rookie officer in his mid-twenties has a car pulled over in front of the
Fairgrounds. O9 turns right on Fall Creek Parkway, makes a u-turn and backs up OL. Rather
than parking behind OL and getting out of the car, O9 pulls next to his car and asks, “You
OL: Yeah. I’m fine. Thanks for stopping.
O9: No problem.
We drive west on 38th. O9 tells me that he recently went to a Cubs game with the lady friend he
is seeing. They got a little drunk, and he drove back to Indianapolis after the game, which he
admits was probably not a great idea.
O9: I love Chicago though man.
Me: Yeah, there’s nothing like Wrigley Field.
O9: Yeah, but the thing about Wrigley is that going to a game there is an event. We met some
friends there, and of course, they wanted to sit in the bleachers. The bleachers at Wrigley is
more of a party, a drunk fest, than about watching baseball.
Me: This is true.
O9: I didn’t care though because I didn’t really care who won since I’m a Reds fan. When I go
to a Reds game though, I’m there to watch the game. I rooted for the Cubs though, and I admit
that after the game I sang the song. There is something cool about everyone singing Go Cubs
Me: I hear ya. Since I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, we used to go to at least one game each
summer. I have an uncle who’s a lawyer now, but when I was younger, he used to work in the
Cubs front office. He would get us box seats right by the Cubs dugout, and would have players
stop by and say hi to us.
O9: That’s awesome!
Me: It was. I need to get a hold of him because he has season tickets. So when I go, I use his
tickets. I just haven’t had time this summer.
O9: We got up there early to hang out in Wrigleyville before the game. I didn’t know where to
park, and I saw that there was a police station right by the park. There was an officer there
standing outside. I pulled up and said I’m a police in Indianapolis and asked her where I might
be able to park. She said we could park in their brand new parking garage for free. So we drove
up and parked on the top right next to the park.
Me: Seriously? That’s great.
O9: Yeah, police are pretty good about that stuff. I didn’t expect it though when I asked. I was
just looking for some advice on where to park.
Me: That’s really nice.
We have been driving around 38th. O9 is now driving east on 38th back toward Fall Creek
Parkway. OL has another car pulled over in front of the Fairgrounds.
O9: Jesus OL! Look at this guy!
Me: He’s on a roll.
O9 turns on his police lights, and as we pull next to OL, OL sticks his left arm out his open
window and waves us off. O9 pulls next to him anyway.
O9: Bumping up your stats tonight?
OL: [laughs] Right after the last one this one drives past with a tail light out. I’m good. Thanks
O9: All right.
O9 turns right on Fairfield across from the Fairgrounds and drives to College. He turns right on
33rd into the poor black section of the community. We drive past the drunks at the yellow house.
We drive past them slowly, but O9 doesn’t stop to talk.
A call comes over the radio of a group of males trespassing at a vacant house on Kenwood in
beat 12. O9 drives quickly to beat 12. We drive north on Kenwood toward the address and pass
four black males who are walking south on the west sidewalk of Kenwood. We drive past them
and see OL driving south toward us. O9 pulls next to him.
OL: I just drove past the address. No one is there.
O9: I just passed a group of guys walking south. I’m gonna turn around. Why don’t you go
down there and jump out on them. I’ll be there in a second.
OL: Okay.
OL speeds down the street as O9 makes a u-turn in the intersection of the next cross street. OL’s
car is parked with its police lights on, and he is out of the car talking to the four males. O9 pulls
just past his car and parks in the middle of the street. We get out. The males are all black and in
their mid-20s. One male is about 5’8, medium build with long wavy hair pulled back in a ponytail. He has light skin and is wearing a white t-shirt, baggy shorts and black high-tops. Another
male is 6’ tall with a large build and belly to match. He has short hair, dark skin, and is wearing
light colored shorts, high-tops and no shirt. Another is thin, 5’10” tall with a medium build and
dark skin and is wearing a black t-shirt, dark denim shorts and black high-tops. He is smoking a
cigarette. The last male is thin with a medium build, 5’9” tall and dark skin and is wearing a
white t-shirt and blue denim shorts and white high-tops.
O9: [to the long haired guy] You got ID?
The males are standing on the sidewalk and in the street along the curb in a line that goes from
left to right: long hair, shirtless big guy, black shirt, and white shirt. OL’s car is parked along
the curb a few feet north of the black shirted male, and O9’s car is parked in the street right in
front of the males but leaving a space of about 8 feet between them and the car. O9 is asking
long-hair for ID, and the white shirted, black shirted, and no-shirted males are asking OL why
they were stopped. There is a lot of chatter going on.
O9: [to long-hair] Hey, I asked you for your ID.
Long-hair: Why did you stop us? [while he asks this he is doing something with his shirt and
pants. It looks like he is trying to pull his shorts up through his shirt and then starts reaching
under his shirt]
O9: [in a loud, stern voice] Show me your hand! [Long-hair is still reaching under his shirt]
Hey, remove your hand! Remove your hand!
Long-hair: What? [he removes his hand from under his shirt]
O9: [in a puzzled, more conversational tone of voice] What are you doing man?
Long-hair: I’m not doin’ nothing, but you still stopped me.
O9: Are you giving me attitude?
Long-hair: I’m not giving you attitude.
O9: Where are you walking from?
Shirtless guy: He just wants to know why you stopped us.
O9: [to shirtless] Did I ask you for your fucking opinion? No, so be quiet. So what’s the deal?
Big Guy: Officer, with all respect, you’re talkin’ crazy to us. We just ask that you treat us the
way you want to be treated.
O9: I would, but I’m getting attitude from him.
White shirt: No offense sir, but I want to know why you stopped us.
O9: We got a call that a group of males were trespassing on the porch of a vacant house just
down the street. We pull up to check it out and see you guys walking. So we stopped you to
question you and check your IDs.
Black Shirt: [now sitting on the curb with the other males] Pfft! [contracting his facial muscles
and shaking his head from side to side] That’s bull shit.
White Shirt: [talking about me; I’m standing in front of the men with my notebook taking notes]
Yall trainin’ him here?
Shirtless: You mean to tell us that we happen to fit a description?
O9: Here, come here [to the shirtless gentleman]; I’ll show you. No really, stand up and come
The shirtless male gets up and follows O9 to his car.
OL: Hey, what is he doing? Sit down!
O9: No, it’s okay. I want to show him something.
O9 and the shirtless man walk to the driver’s door of O9’s car. O9 opens the door, reaches into
his car, and pulls up the run information on his laptop computer. I am still standing by the males
at the curb. O9 shows shirtless the information that he and OL were given regarding the run. O9
and the shirtless man return to the group, and shirtless takes a seat on the curb in his previous
spot in between long-hair and black t-shirt.
Black t-shirt: This is ridiculous. You don’t have the right to stop us.
Shirtless: [to black t-shirt] Nah, nah. It’s cool man. He showed me the report he got on his
computer man. They’re not lyin’. It’s cool.
Long-hair: But you can just stop us for walking down the street?
O9: Okay. I’m going to teach a little law class here. [speaking to the four males collectively
while OL is at his car checking IDs.]
Before O9 could get his lesson underway, OL returns from his car.
OL: Mr. [last name of guy in black shirt], come here real quick.
Black t-shirt: What?
OL: Stand up and put your hands behind your back. [Black t-shirt stands and turns around]
Black t-shirt: Why?
OL: You’ve got a warrant. Stand up and turn around.
Black t-shirt stands and turns around.
Black t-shirt: Man! What the fuck?! I’ve got a warrant?
OL: Have you been up in Hamilton County?
Black t-shirt: Not for a while.
O9: Were you supposed to be up in Hamilton County but didn’t show up for something?
Black t-shirt: Maybe for a traffic violation.
O9: Then that’s probably it.
Black t-shirt: Man! I’ve been busy workin’. I just got off a work tonight a little bit ago.
Long-hair: I’ve been havin’ run-ins with the law since I was 12 years old. You all just stop us
for doin’ nothin’.
O9: So here’s the law lesson. If I stop and ask you for your ID, I can do that, just as a matter of
fact. You are supposed to have your ID with you, and I can ask for it. I can stop you and ask
you who you are, and you have to show me.
Black-shirt: [OL is putting him in cuffs] But you stopped us for no reason. I work every day.
O9: All I ask is that if you see me, you shoot it to me straight.
Long-hair: But if I’m walkin’ down the street, you can’t just jump out on me.
Shirtless: [laughing, looks straight up at the sky, shakes his head, and looks at O9] Ain’t no
learnin’ with him [referring to long-hair.]
Black-shirt: Man! Hamilton County of all places.
O9: [to long-hair] Look. I’m not gonna make you a project, but when we get a complaint of a
group of males hanging out at a vacant and we see you walking down the street, we’re gonna
stop you and ask for ID.
A white bald officer in his 30s who has a large wad of chewing tobacco tucked into his lower
right cheek arrives, parks behind OL’s car and walks toward us.
Black shirt: [calls bald officer by his last name] We just got stopped for no reason.
Bald Officer: But I’m sure there’s a reason you’re getting handcuffed right now.
Black shirt: Ah, man!
O9: I’m trying to teach. Fifty percent of the class has it, but fifty percent doesn’t. If you’re
walking down the street,
Black shirt: [cutting off O9 and getting louder] I wasn’t in the street! I was on the
O9: Listen,
Black shirt: [cuts off O9 again] Why stop me?!
O9: [shaking his head and speaking slowly] ID! The reason I can stop you is to ID you.
Shirtless: [he is laughing] He can check your ID man.
O9: Now, if I searched you and found dope on you, that would be a different story because I
can’t just come up and search you. But we can stop you and ask for your ID.
A black woman in her late 50s gets out of a car which drives away. She walks toward the house
located just to the south of where we are standing on the same side of the block. He stops and
looks at us.
O9: You can go inside ma’am.
Woman: [standing a good 15 yards away from us] I’m waiting on my keys.
O9: That’s nice ma’am. Go in your house.
Woman: [yells louder] I’m waiting on my keys!
O9: [O9 yells at her] Go inside your house!
Woman: I can’t! I’m waiting for my keys.
O9: You’re what?!
Woman: My keys.
O9: [in a much softer voice] Oh, I’m sorry. [laughing a little] I thought you said kids.
[laughing] Oh, okay. Can you wait for them on the porch please?
The woman slowly labors up the sidewalk to her front porch shaking her head.
Black shirt: [he is now cuffed and sitting on the curb again] Man, I wasn’t in Hamilton County.
I was pulled over on Shadeland.
O9: But how north were you?
Black shirt: I guess I was pretty far north.
O9: Then you were probably in Fishers.
OL: [comes back from his car] Mr. [last name of guy in white shirt], please stand up and put
your hands behind your back.
White shirt: [he closes his eyes, rolls his head, opens his eyes and lets loose a] This is fuckin’
bull shit man!
OL: Stand up and put your hands behind your back. You’ve got a warrant.
White shirt: Bull shit man!
OL starts to cuff white shirt.
O9: [to the big shirtless guy] What’s your deal? You gonna come back with a warrant? You
been locked up?
Shirtless: I don’t have no warrants. But I been locked up.
O9: Where at?
The shirtless guy and the others start talking about and comparing jails where they guys have
been locked up.
O9: [referring to black shirt] Well he’s heading up to the country club in Hamilton County
tonight. It’s nice up there.
Another police car pulls up. The officer doesn’t get out of the car.
O9: Oh, here comes Serg[eant]. You guys are fucked now!
The big shirtless guy, OL and I laugh at this comment. The bald officer goes over and talks to
the officer who just arrived.
Black Shirt: [to O9] Officer. Is there any chance I can smoke a cigarette before I get taken
O9: If he [shirtless] wants to help you, sure. Go ahead.
Black Shirt: Thank you. Also, can I answer my phone? It’s my girl. I’m supposed to meet her.
O9: Ah. This guy’s pissed because he had some pussy lined up.
Shirtless, black shirt and white shirt all laugh.
O9: All right.
Shirtless puts a cigarette in black shirt’s mouth and lights it. Black shirt stands up, and O9
pushes black shirt’s cell phone up out of his right front pocket from the outside of his pants. O9
answers the phone and holds it to black shirt’s ear.
Shirtless is holding his own phone. It rings. He looks at me and says, “This cool?” O9 is
holding the phone for black shirt. I nod signaling it is okay for him to answer. He does.
A call comes over the radio that someone has just been shot in beat 23.
O9: Someone just got shot.
The big shirtless guy takes a few steps back and laughs loudly at hearing this news. The bald
officer said that someone pulled up on a motorcycle and shot a guy and then took off. We can
hear a motorcycle speeding off in the distance.
O9: I wonder if that’s the motorcycle.
Black shirt is finished with his phone call. OL opens a ziplock bag, and O9 puts black shirt’s
phone inside the bag.
O9: [to long hair and shirtless] You guys are free to go. Please try to limit our contact for the
rest of the evening.
Shirtless: I’m going to bed man.
Long-hair: Don’t worry officer. We’re going home.
The sheriff’s wagon has arrived, and OL works with the deputy to transfer cuffs and load the two
males with warrants into the wagon. The other officer who had pulled up, OTat, has gotten out
of his car. He is a white male in his early 30s whom I’ve seen at a few other scenes in the past.
He has tattoos on his forearms and a closely shaved but not bald head. He is thin and about 6’1”
He and O9 start talking about rifles after he notices O9’s rifle rack in his car. OTat tells O9 that
he just got a new rifle. O9 expresses interest in seeing it. Before walking to OTat’s car, O9 gets
his rifle off the rack mounted on his hood just behind our seats. The two of them compare rifles
at OTat’s car. O9 and the bald officer are chewing tobacco and spitting in the street.
It is 11:55pm. We stand in the middle of the street for several minutes as O9 and OTat discuss
rifles. The bald officer joins the conversation, and after OL is finished loading the two males
into the wagon, he joins them as well. We finally return to our respective cars.
O9: O11 is going to kill me. He’s been wanting to go to the lawyer’s office to eat, but we got
hung up. Now we have to go back him up on a run. He had a domestic on Central near 30th.
He’s gonna be pissed.
Me: Really?
O9: I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but with the amount O11 works out, he has to eat every
few hours. He gets really testy if he gets off his schedule. [there are two messages on O9’s
laptop from O11; the first one says, “When are we going to eat?” The second one says “I know
you’re telling Greg right now that I’m crazy about when I eat.”] Ha! Look at this.
O9 shows me the messages. I laugh.
O9: [laughing] That’s hilarious. I called it.
We drive to Central and pull behind O11’s car. He is standing on the sidewalk on the west side
of central in front of a small, grey, ranch home with the front yard enclosed by a chain link fence.
He is talking with a short, overweight black female in her early 30s who is wearing a tank top
and shorts. She has relaxed, curly hair pulled into a pony-tail behind her head. The female is
standing on the sidewalk next to O11. Inside the chain link fence stands a black male in his early
30s. He is 6’1” tall, has a large build, is wearing shorts, sandals, and a grey t-shirt and glasses.
The female is complaining to O11 that the man “put his hands” on her. She is showing O11 the
area of her arm just below her right shoulder, arguing that he grabbed her there.
Woman: You hit a woman! [turning and addressing the male on the other side of the chain link
O11: So is there somewhere you can go right now?
Woman: Yes, I’m leaving. I don’t want to be here anyway. He’s been runnin’ around with
other women.
O11: Okay. Then why don’t you go.
O9 opens the gate of the chain-link fence and stands next to the male.
O9: [in a quiet, conversational voice] So what exactly happened?
Male: [talking quietly] She flipped out and started hitting me. I was just protecting myself,
trying to get her off of me.
O9: Right, but she’s a woman. So you gotta think about how that looks.
Male: I know. I’m the guy in the situation.
O9: [quiet but slow and with emphasis] Exactly!
Male: Thank you sir.
O9: All right. Have a good night.
Male: You too.
The woman walks south on Central and gets into a Geo Tracker and drives south.
O11: [to me] So was O9 talking about me and my eating habits.
O9 and I bust out laughing.
Me: That might have come up.
O9: Just as I was saying to him that you are probably pissed because we haven’t eaten, I pull up
the message you sent.
O11: [smiling and standing by his car] Well it was dinner time, and I need a microwave warm
up what I brought.
O9: So do I, but things are getting busy. I don’t know if we’re gonna have time.
O11: I know. We could try BP. They have a microwave.
O9: That’ll work.
We drive to BP. O11 is already there. He is in the back of the area in which they prepare
sandwiches chagrinned that the industrial strength looking microwave is not plugged in and is
unable to find an outlet anywhere near it. O11 and O9 decide that they will have to eat their
dinners cold. While in BP, a disturbance call comes over the radio. There are reports that 6
people are yelling and fighting in an alley south of 38th near BP. O9 and O11 respond with their
20, “38 and Fall Creek.” They are assigned to the run. We return to the cars, and O9 and I
follow O11 to the location.
O9 talks about how he could probably eat his dinner cold since it’s chicken and vegetables and
that he was really depressed when he had to change his diet. “I tell ya though. I got really
depressed when I found out I had diabetes and had to meet with a nutritionist, and she said that I
had to completely change my diet. It makes it hard that I can’t just eat whatever I want. It’s a lot
less convenient. I have to plan out meals and always think about what I’m doing. I have to
check my blood sugar in the morning and at night.”
Me: Do you have to prick your finger?
O9: Yeah. It’s not that bad, but it is a pain in the ass.
Me: So it’s probably not good that you haven’t eaten yet right? I mean, you should eat dinner at
some point right?
O9: I’m okay now, but I should at some point. It’s hard when things get busy.
We follow O11 south down an alley and then left down another alley into a parking lot. Nobody
is there. [This happens often with these types of calls. It is common for a call to come over the
radio that 20 people are fighting in the street and to show up and find that all is quiet and nobody
is there.]
O9 follows O11 west on Fairfield, south on College, and right on 30th. We take that to Meridian.
O11 turns right. O9 and I wait at the red light at the corner of 30th and Meridian. Three black
males in their late teens, early 20s run across Meridian from the northeast to the northwest corner
through the red before southbound traffic on Meridian reaches the intersection. None of them is
wearing a shirt, and all are wearing shorts that are sagging—hanging low, halfway down their
asses exposing their underwear. The last two males to run across the street hold the front of their
shorts and run with their legs straight and spread wide apart, trying to cross the street without
their pants falling down.
O9: Ah look at that. The ghetto run.
O9 picks up what looks like a radio but is actually attached to the loudspeaker outside of his car.
O9: [rapping what became a popular song after it was performed by an older black male when
he was auditioning for American Idol] Pants on the ground! Pants on the ground! Lookin’ like
a FOOL with your pants on the ground!
I bust out laughing, as does O9. We get the green, and O9 pulls up next to the three males who
are walking west on the north sidewalk of 30th next to the Children’s Museum. He slows down
and drives next to them at the pace they are walking.
O9: [in an excited, friendly voice through my open window] You guys like my rapping?!
One of the males: Huh?
O9: I was rapping! Did you like it? I thought it was pretty good.
The males don’t smile. They look forward in the direction they are walking. They do, however,
pull up their pants.
Me: Ha! They actually pulled up their pants! [laughing] Pants on the ground. That was great!
O9: When I worked in the East District, there was a street on my beat called Grey Street. We
used to play Dave Matthew’s Band “Grey Street” over the loud speakers when we would drive
down the street.
Me: That’s great.
We drive around a little and come upon another officer who has a car pulled over. O9 backs him
but is waved off. We drive to 38th, and O9 drives back toward BP and then right on Fall Creek
A call comes over the radio of a male who has been harassing drive through patrons at
McDonalds at 38th and Illinois. He responds and is assigned to the run. We arrive to find a
black male wearing jean shorts and a tan shirt and work boots sitting on the ledge of a retaining
wall next to the 38th Street entrance of McDonalds on the south sidewalk of 38th just east of
Illinois. He is 6’3” tall, with a large, fit, muscular build and is eating a quarter pounder with
cheese value meal. O9 pulls into the lot using the east entrance and parks his car near the male,
just off the sidewalk. We get out.
O9: [in a matter of fact way, not friendly but also not overly stern] You got ID?
Male: [he takes a bit of fries, chews, takes a sip of his drink; he answers but does not look at O9;
he looks straight ahead in the direction of 38th Street] I’m just getting something to eat.
O9: [now in a stern voice, reprimanding the man] Don’t get mouthy!
Male: [speaking faster contesting the accusation] I’m not getting mouthy.
O9: You’re drunk.
Male: [slows the pace of his speech to explain himself] I’ve had a few drinks, but I can’t go
inside because the doors are locked.
O9: Have you been locked up lately?
Male: [still eating and taking a while to answer. He now talks in a way that his words sound like
he is sighing them out. Talking slowly:] I haven’t been locked up for a moon.
O9: A moon? I have no idea what that means.
O11, driving east on 38th pulls up and stops at the curb right next to where we are standing and
talking to the male who is still sitting on the ledge.
O9: For the second time, you got ID?
Male: [reaches into his pocket, produces the ID and hands it to O9] Here you go.
O9 returns to his car and runs the man’s ID. He comes back after a few minutes. And informs
the man that he’s good.
O9: [handing the man back his ID] Time for you to hit the bricks.
Male: [looking at O9, holding a half-eaten quarter pounder with fries dumped into the lid of the
quarter pounder container, he holds up the burger and uses his other hand to point to his fries]
Can I finish eating?
O9: I need you to leave. You need to pick up all of your stuff and hit the road. Do you still live
at 30th and Broadway?
Male: Yes.
O9: Then that’s where you need to go. [raising his voice since the man has yet to make any
movements to comply with O9’s directive to leave] Now!
Male: [exhales loudly, seemingly for dramatic effect, and laboriously stands up and slowly
gathers his half eaten meal.] All right, all right.
The male closes the container with the fries, grabs his bag and drink and walks west on 38th
while still eating his quarter pounder. He is walking in the opposite direction of Broadway,
which is east of where we are standing. At the intersection of Illinois, he crosses the street and
continues West.
O9: [watching him walk] Hey! [the male does not turn around but continues walking west. O9
asks O11 to use his loud speaker. Now talking on the loud speaker. O9 yells at the man over the
loud speaker] Hey! You! [the male turns around and looks in our direction] Yes you! Turn
left! [the man raises his hand and waves to O9 but continues walking west] No! Turn around
and go home! You’re done tonight! You either turn around and go south or I’ll lock you up for
public intoxication. You’re done tonight!
The male turns around walks back to Illinois and heads south.
O9: Jesus Christ!
We get back in the car and drive around 38th Street a little. A call comes over the radio of a
suspicious person just north of 30th on Park. O11 is on the run, and O9 responds telling Control
that he will back O11. We arrive on Park to find O11’s car sitting in the middle of the road just
north of 30th. O9 pulls next to him. The two talk about whether they might have time right now
to head to the attorney’s office to eat dinner. Neither knows because it is getting to be the time
that things start popping up and they get busy.
A call comes over the radio of a robbery in beat 13. The location is Dominos Pizza on 38th. A
Dominos driver was beaten and robbed. O11 and O9 sit silently and do not respond to the call.
O11: That’s your beat. Are you gonna take it?
O9: Hold on. I’m waiting to see if Lurch takes it. Come on Lurch! I told him that if there’s a
shooting or robbery that he can take the paper on it because it would be good practice for him to
do this by himself [laughing, O9 said this only to avoid doing work; they sit there silently for a
few more moments.]
O11: Come on. You’ve got a rider that I’m sure would like to see what happened.
O9: We’ll go either way. I was just hoping that Lurch would pick it up. He’s not. Fuck!
[talking into the radio on his chest, he gives his unit number and 20] A### 30th and Park.
O9 gets assigned the run. We drive to Dominos and are the first on the scene. A male Dominos
employee goes inside to get the victim. The male employee mentions that the robber took place
at the 3000 block of Ruckle just a few minutes ago. O11, O9 and I were probably sitting one
street over right when the robbery took place. The victim is an obese white, female driver. She
is in her early 20s, about 5’5” tall and is wearing khaki pants with her blue and red Dominos
Pizza polo tucked into her pants and a Dominos Pizza hat. She is wearing white tennis shoes and
has blond hair pulled back into a pony-tail that sticks out of the back of her hat and a fare
skinned, round, pudgy face with a pinkish hue.
She walks out of the front door of the Dominos carry-out store and toward a bright yellow pickup truck that is parked in a space directly in front of the store. She walks slowly, and her
movements seem to be a little shaky. O9 addresses her.
O9: [in a very soft, gentle voice] Are you the driver who was robbed?
Woman: [she looks at him for a second and then looks down as she continues toward her pickup
truck.] Yes. [she puts something in the truck, closes the door and walks back toward O9. He
talks to her on the sidewalk right in front of the store. She stands in front of him, takes her hands
and rubs her eyes that are now red and watering.]
O9: [soft and gentle] I’d like to start by getting your information. Can I get your name? [she
gives name, O9 writes this on his notepad] And where do you live? [she tells him that she lives
in Greenwood] And your birthdate? [she gives her birthdate. O9 speaks slowly and gently]
You know, we almost have the same birthday, only two days apart.
O9: Are you okay?
Woman: [crying a little] Yes, I’m all right.
O9: Are you hurt at all?
Woman: My face hurts a little. [wimpering and pointing to her left cheek]. Right here.
O9 leans in to look at her face.
O9: [gently] I understand that you just went through something traumatic. But you’re fine.
You’re upset right now, and you’re probably experiencing some post-traumatic symptoms, but
you’re OK. Just remember that that’s the important part right now. Okay?
Woman: [nodding head up and down while wiping her eyes]
Can you tell me what happened?
Woman: [her voice is shaky; she seems to be having trouble getting enough air under her words
to speak them clearly] I was delivering a pizza to [gives address at 3000 block] of Ruckle. The
order was made from a cell phone. I called the number when I was two minutes away. There
were a few porch lights on, and the porch light was on for the address where I was delivering the
pizza to. We always call to make sure someone is there to take the pizza. They answered. The
number was good. I parked the car next to a Sheriff’s van which was parked outside of the
O9: [with wide eyes] A Sheriff’s van?!
Woman: Yes, it was parked in front of the house I was delivering to.
O9: You didn’t see anyone standing outside of the van?
Woman: No [pause]. It was just parked there.
O9: Okay. [shaking his head in disbelief] Then what?
Woman: Two guys came from around the van [crying], and they started beating me with a stick.
O9: What happened next?
Woman: I started running and screaming bloody murder.
O9: Did they take anything from you?
Woman: [wiping eyes] Like $14.00 and some change and the pizza.
[O9 is shaking his head as he writes this in his notebook]
I lost my glasses when they hit me. They are somewhere on the street.
O9: Where exactly did this happen, do you think your glasses might be?
Woman: Between 30th and 31st Street on Ruckle.
O9: Which side of the street?
Woman: I was coming, um [pause]. I was coming, I turned right onto Ruckle, so it was on my
O9: So you turned onto Ruckle from 30th, so it was the east side of the street?
Woman: Yeah. The address was 3050.
O9: Okay [talking into the radio on his chest, he gives his number and then says “to” O11’s unit
number and asks O11 to switch over and talk to him on channel 2] I’m talking to the Dominos
driver. She was at 3050 Ruckle. Could you go over there and take a look and see if you see her
glasses? [O11states that he will]
O9: My partner is going to take a look and see if he can find your glasses. Did you get a good
look at the guys who robbed you?
Woman: All I know is that they were black males. I didn’t see their faces. [pause] One was
wearing a bandana under a hat.
O9: Did you notice their clothing? [silence for a moment] Or did it all happen too fast?
Woman: It happened too fast. They had on baggy shirts and jeans.
O9: So they were two black males.
Woman: Yes.
O9: Did they say anything?
Woman: They said, “Bitch! Give us your money.” And then they started hitting me with a
O9: Do you know what direction they ran in?
Woman: North down Ruckle.
O9: Okay. Thank you. You can go back inside now if you want. We will need you to come out
in a little bit. I’ve called a detective who is on his way, and he will want to talk to you. There is
also an evidence technician coming to take a picture of your cheek that looks a little swollen.
Woman: Okay. Thank you.
The woman enters Dominos, and SergeantB gets out of his car which had been parked a few
spots from where we were standing for about 5 minutes. O9 gives the details he just obtained
from the woman to SergeantB. A moment later a Ford Taurus arrives and parks in the lot of the
business just to the east of Dominos.
O9: [to a Hispanic looking male in his 50s wearing a suit who steps out of the Taurus] We’re
doing this again! I suppose we can just change the case number and keep everything else the
Detective: [laughing and smiling] I know. When I got the call, I thought you were maybe
confused and thought it was yesterday!
O9: [to me] There was another driver from this Dominos robbed yesterday, and he is the
detective on the case.
OBunk, the white male evidence technician, pulls up and gets out of his police car, carrying his
camera. At the same time, a Lieutenant from the late tac, Lieutenant Brown, shift arrives and
stands next to SergeantB.
We all stand in a circle as O9 fills everyone in on what just happened. After recounting the story
of the robbery, O9 adds:
O9: The sad thing is that these two guys can face 70 years for stealing $14 and a pizza, and that
would be the same amount of time they would get if they had robbed a bank.
SergeantB: I don’t think that is sad at all. I think these guys should get 70 years. I don’t care
that it was just for $14 and a pizza.
[O9 backtracks a little]
O9: Oh, I agree that they should get that amount of time. They hit her in the face with a stick.
I’m just saying that for the same amount of time, they could have stolen a lot more. If you’re
gonna take the risk, you might as well do it for a big payoff.
SergeantB: [restoring the situation and O9’s face] No, no, I understand what you’re saying.
O11 pulls into the lot and gets out of his car.
O11: [he is holding the woman’s undamaged glasses] How’s that for service?
O9: Oh, you found them! That’s great.
O9 walks OBunk to the door of Dominos, knocks on the locked door, gives the woman her
glasses [she immediately puts them on], and introduces him to the woman who was robbed. She
comes out, and OBunk takes some pictures.
The detective begins talking to the woman, and LtBrown, SergB, OBunk, O11, and O9 and I
return to our respective cars. O9 and I drive east on 38th. A moment later a call comes over the
radio of “trouble with a person” on Guilford, east of College in beat 13. O9 responds with his 20
and says he will do a security check. He is assigned the run, and O11 backs him.
We arrive to the address, a corner house in the Watson-McCord Neighborhood. The houses
surrounding the address are well-maintained with manicured lawns. The address of the run is a
dark, brick ranch-style home. O9 and I walk around the house. He leads, and I follow. He
shines his flashlight around the well-lighted exterior of the home. Returning to the front of the
home, O9 knocks on the front door. The porch light is on, and we stand at the door waiting for it
to open. When it does, we are greeted by two pit bulls. A glass door separates us from them,
and O9 places his hand on the door to hold it closed. An overweight black woman in her 60s is
trying to squeeze between two excited pit bulls who are barking and trying to push the class door
Woman: Let me put the dogs away.
O9: Yes, please do that.
Woman: It’s okay, the door is closed.
O9: No, the door is actually open, they’re trying to get out. [O9 is still holding the door closed.]
Woman: Oh, I’m so sorry. Come here boys! Come here!
The dogs follow the woman. The woman comes back and informs us that the dogs are locked in
the kitchen.
O9: So what happened ma’am?
Woman: [her voice is a little shaky, either from fear or carrying her large frame to the kitchen
and back] I was sitting here watching TV when suddenly someone started banging on my door.
O9: Do you know who it could have been? Would anyone you know be banging on your door
this time of night?
Woman: No, nobody I know would do that.
O9: Was it the front door?
Woman: No, it was my backdoor.
O9: Well, I walked around your house, and everything looks good out here. Whoever it was has
Woman: It scared me! I didn’t know who it was, so I called the police.
O9: That’s good. It’s better than you trying to check it out yourself. But I’ve been working this
beat for a long time, and I rarely get calls over to this area. I think you have a pretty quiet
Woman: Well, we’ve had a few problems.
O9: Right, but in general I don’t get called here much. Plus, it helps that you’ve got two guard
Woman: Yes. When whoever was banging on the door, they started barking.
O9: Okay ma’am. Is there anything else I can do for you tonight? As I said, everything looks
good out here.
Woman: No, I guess that’s it. Thank you for coming.
O9: Okay, have a good night.
Woman: You too.
O11 is sitting in his car in the street in front of the woman’s house. O9 tells him that someone
was banging on her door but that they’re gone now. O11 tells us that he is going to park. O9
states that he’s going to drive around for a while. Back in the car, O9 states to me: O11 likes to
park, but I don’t like just sitting all the time. I’d rather be out patrolling.
Me: I’m good with that.
We drive around and start discussing music. O9 is a Dave Matthews fan. Earlier in the night he
mentioned that he was buying music—Dave Matthews—through Itunes. I told him not to pay
for Dave Matthews and that my new brother in law recently sent me his entire collection of Dave
Matthews on a few CDs and that I could burn them and give him copies. O9 pulls up some
songs on his Iphone and starts playing them. We drive around for a while listening to music and
eventually park with O11 at the closed hospital. O9 has an eclectic taste in music. He plays
some Dave Matthews but also some winners of American Idol who have done songs that he
likes. It’s all pretty good. We talk about the Grateful Dead and going to Grateful Dead shows
when Jerry Garcia was still alive. He was at Deer Creek where there was a “riot” according to
news reports. I mention that I had the chance to see Jerry’s last show at Soldier Field before he
died. A call comes over the radio that a father living at the 3700 block of Pennsylvania wants an
officer to do a personal breathalyzer test (PBT) on his 15 year old son whom he believes is
O9: Seriously?
O9 sends SergeantB a message through his computer asking if he really wants him to go and do
this. SergeantB responds saying that O9 should go there and talk to the father to see if this is
really what he wants for his son.
O9: Whatever!
On the way to the run, O9 puts on some Grateful Dead. When we are almost there, we are
disregarded from the run; the father changed his mind.
We drive past a white male sitting with his legs crossed on the northeast corner of 34th and
O9: What the fuck is that guy doing?
O9 turns east on 34th, makes a u-turn, and stops at the curb next to the man. Through my open
O9: [a loud voice with a tone that indicates disbelief] What are you doing?!
Male: [he mumbles something along the lines of] Sitting here, taking a rest.
O9: Where do you live?!
Male: [mumbling still] Couple blocks down the street.
O9: How much have you had to drink tonight? 6, 10, 20 beers?
Male: Yeah, around that.
O9 puts his car in park, and we both get out. The male stands up. He is about 5’10” with an
unfit medium build and is wearing a white t-shirt, army green cargo shorts, and Converse All
Stars. His hair is slightly long on top and the sides, and he is wearing brown plastic rimmed
O9: So now where do you live?
Male: [He is slurring a little and talking slowly.] I live at 32nd Street sir.
O9: Where have you been tonight?
Male: I wasn’t even going to drink, but a few of my friends met at Melodies.
O9: Oh Melodies, okay.
Male: The next thing you know, I’m drunk. My friend was going to drive me, but I said I’d
walk. I walk everywhere! I don’t mind walking, but then I needed a rest.
O9: To tell you the truth, you look kind of like a fish out of water around here this time of night.
I’m just looking out for you. It’s not safe for you to be sitting out on this corner this time of
Male: [slurring] Oh, I know. And I appreciate it. I do. Off, officers, I know officer Zeek.
O9: You know Zeek?! How do you know him?
Male: He worked by my building for a while, and I started talking to him whenever I saw him.
He’s a nic, nice guy.
O9: He is. Here’s what I’ll do. Do you have any money?
Male: No. I have a credit card.
O9: Okay. I’ll call control and have them call you a cab that takes credit cards so you can get
home. Okay?
Male: I would appreciate that. Thank you.
A call comes over the radio that a robbery has just taken place at 61st and Guilford.
O9 uses the radio on his chest to call control.
O9: Control, can I get you to call me a cab that takes credit cards to the corner of 34 and
Meridian? Thank you, clear. [looking at the male] It will be here soon.
Male: Thank you. [to me] Who are you? Are you getting trained?
Me: No, I’m actually collecting data for a dissertation in sociology I’m working on. I’m
studying this community. I go to neighborhood meetings, am conducting interviews with
residents and also get to ride around with police officers during their shifts.
Male: Oh that’s cool. I have a Master’s in computer science.
Me: Oh yeah?
Male: Yeah.
Me: So you almost made it home but needed a rest?
Male: I thought I could do it. All the cabs know where I live. I could have gotten one, but I
thought I could make it.
O9: I could give you a ticket for public intoxication, but I’m more concerned that you just make
it home. That’s why I got you a cab. The last thing we want is you to get seriously hurt by
stumbling into the street and getting hit by a car and then have someone find out that I talked to
you and sent you on your way.
Male: I understand officer. And I thank you.
The cab pulls up, and O9 flags it down. He tells the driver that this guy just needs a ride to his
apartment down the street and that he’ll be paying with a credit card. The male thanks O9 again,
and bids me farewell as he stumbles toward the cab. O9 and I get back in his car.
Me: Protecting and serving.
O9: I could have ticketed him, but why? He was just sitting there. He’s better off if he just gets
home safe.
Me: Oh, I agree!
We drive to 38th and turn right. O9 gets back to playing music for us on his Iphone. We drive
east on 38th and pass College. Three cars turn right onto 38th from Guilford and then turn left
onto College.
O9: That looks weird.
He makes a quick u-turn and follows the cars. One car goes straight, south on College. Another
vehicle, a large 1970s blue Chevy, pulls into a driveway on the east side of College, a block
south of 38th Street. A white Volkswagen Jetta pulls behind it. O9 veers left and stops behind
the Jetta. He is sitting in the middle of the two northbound lanes of College facing south.
O9: [in a stern voice] Hey! What are you doing?!
A black male gets out of the blue Chevy and walks to the end of the driveway and stops, standing
next to the Jetta. The male is in his mid-20s, is wearing a tight white tank-top and baggy shorts.
He has tattoos that stretch from the shoulder to wrist of each of his muscular arms. He is
wearing a fitted baseball hat with a straight brim.
Male: Yes sir?
O9: What are you doing? You don’t live there!
Male: [pauses, starts to talk and then hesitates] I, I’m with my friend. She lives here.
O9: She does not! Neither of you live there.
The Jetta is being driven by a black female, also in her mid-twenties. She gets out of her car.
She has long straight hair, an outstanding body, and is wearing tight blue jeans and a tight t-shirt.
O9: You guys got IDs?
The two produce IDs and give them to O9. He looks at the addresses on the IDs.
O9: Ha! I told you neither of you live here!
O9 checks their IDs as the two stand in the street next to his car. They both come up as clean.
The female explains that this is her grandmas house and that they were just dropping of his car to
park it here for the night. O9 gives them their IDs back and tells them it’s probably time to call it
a night.
Male: Yes sir.
We drive south on College.
O9: I stopped them because I thought something might be up. Three cars came from Guilford
and turned left. One kept going, but suddenly he stopped and parked his car once I started to
follow. You’ll see that sometimes, once they spot the police, they quickly pull over wherever
they are if they aren’t supposed to be driving or something else is up. I figured he wasn’t
supposed to be driving and just pulled over so I wouldn’t catch I him driving. They were okay
We drive south on College and turn right on 30th. A gold Chevy Caprice driving north on
Delaware stops at the red light at 30th. O9 notes the vehicle and that radio traffic stated that the
car used in the robbery at 61st and Guilford was a light colored Caprice. O9 turns right at the
next street on the west side of an apartment building and on a road that quickly T’s on the north
side of the apartment building and meets up with Delaware. He stops in front of the apartment
building and waits to see if the Caprice continues north on Delaware.
O9: Let’s see if they continue straight here.
They do, and O9 drives behind the car that appears to be occupied by three young black males.
O9 calls SergeantB on the radio.
O9: Can you give me some information on the car that was used in the robbery at 61st and
Guilford? What it a Caprice, and what color was it?
SergeantB: It was a white Caprice.
O9: Okay, I’m driving behind a light colored, maybe gold or off-white Caprice right now that
just came north across 30th and is driving on Delaware. Is there any chance the person who gave
the description got the color wrong?
SergeantB: That’s a possibility.
O9: All right. This is a light colored Caprice. I’m going to go ahead and pull it over if that’s
SergeantB: Affirmative.
O9: [says O11’s unit number and requests that he backs him on the stop]
The Caprice turns left on 34th. O9 follows it, and turns on his police lights. The car stops in
front of the High School just west of the corner of 34th and Meridian. I take off my seatbelt.
O9: Hold on a second. We’re gonna wait for backup.
Me: Okay.
O9: People are gonna be pissed, O11 especially, that I’m pulling this car over after 4am. I’m
making them do things when they are typically doing nothing.
The driver is wearing a black fitted baseball hat, and a male in the front passenger seat has a on a
red fitted baseball hat. A male who had been sitting crouched down in the back seat on the
passenger side sits up straight. He has dread locks gathered in a loose pony-tail at the back of his
head. O11 arrives and walks next to my door. O9 gets out, as do I after O11 passes. O9
approaches the driver’s door; O11 approaches the passenger side of the car.
O9: [in a loud, but not necessarily hard voice] Put your hands in front of you where I can see
them! In the front seat, put your hands on the dash! You, in the back seat, put your hands on the
seat in front of you!
Driver: What’s the problem?
O9: Please step out of the vehicle.
O11: [to the males on the passenger side of the car] You guys too! Step out of the vehicle. Do
you have any weapons on you?
The passengers seem groggy and annoyed as they get out of the car. The fit, muscular, 6’4”
black male with dread locks in the back seat wearing sagging blue jeans and a t-shirt with the
number 8 on his back wipes his eyes as he exits the vehicle. The shorter, 5’10” front seat
passenger with a thin build and Cincinnati Reds baseball hat shakes his head and winces as he
gets out of the vehicle. The driver has a large, muscular build and is wearing a black Yankees
hat, a white t-shirt, and black plastic rimmed glasses. He too is shaking his head at getting pulled
Driver: What’s going on officer? What did I do?
O9: Turn and put your hands on the car.
O9 closes the driver’s door and points to the hood just in front of the driver’s door, indicating
this is where the driver’s hands should be placed. O9 frisks the driver.
O9: Where are you guys coming from?
Driver: We were out downtown and are just heading home.
O9: Where were you downtown?
Driver: Club [name I didn’t catch]. What’s the problem?
The male in the Reds hat is still wincing and is shaking his head and occasionally sighing. O11
directs the guy with the Red’s hat to place his hands on the hood of the car, opposite the driver,
and the tall male with dreadlocks to place his hands on the trunk. Their faces become drawn as
they do as they are told.
O9: You guys match the description of some guys involved in a robbery tonight.
The three males smile and laugh.
Driver: [lets loose a frustrated sounding laugh] Ha! Match the description.
O9: None of you are in cuffs. My partner is just gonna check for weapons. The robbery
happened just north of here.
Driver: [speaks as though he is sighing as the words come out of his mouth] I guess you gotta
do your job.
O9: Exactly!
O9: The victim said she was robbed by two black males in a white Caprice.
Driver: This car isn’t white! It’s gold!
O9: Right, but she could have gotten the color wrong. It’s a light colored Caprice. If you guys
are good, you’ll be on your way in a minute.
More head shaking from the males. O9 collects everyone’s IDs and runs them on the computer
as O11 searches the car for weapons and I stand at the rear of the car as three males keep their
hands on the gold Caprice.
O9 returns and gives each male his ID back.
O9: Okay, you guys are good to go.
The males take their IDs and get back into their car. They do not thank the officers or tell them
to have a good night.
OBunk arrives to back O9 and O11. The males in the Caprice have left, and O9, O11, OBunk
and I stand around on the sidewalk in front of the high school and chat. Conversation revolves
around a female officer who has dated other police.
O9: [names officer] got that [meaning had sex with the female].
O11: No way!
O9: He did! They were seeing each other for a while.
O11: Not that guy. He’s greasy.
OBunk: Yeah, it looks like he combs his hair with a pork chop.
We all laugh.
O9: She has a great body though.
O11: So she went from you to [greasy officer]?
O9: I was thinking of trying to get that again, but now I’m not so sure that she’s been with him.
I saw here the other day and couldn’t help but think about how nice those tits are.
O11: Yeah, but those tits have been tainted.
O9: True, true.
Conversation slows down, and we return to our respective cars. O9 apologizes for waking up
O11. O11 laughs.
The rest of the shift is uneventful. O11 spend the next hour driving around and listening to and
talking about music before he eventually drops me off at my car at 5:20am. I thank him. We
shake hands, and I tell him that I hope his health issues are resolved and turn out all right.
From Jottings to Field Notes
• Write field notes as soon as possible after
conducting observations:
– Immediately afterward, your notes will be rich and
full of detail
– Less of a burden to write your notes
– If you wait a few days, writing becomes a chore; it
is more difficult to remember; you’ll tend to gloss
and summarize and lose important detail
• What is your stance?
– Prior experiences, attitudes, beliefs
• Can affect the tone you take in writing your notes.
• How do you frame events (consciously/unconsciously)?
– Are you being descriptive but not evaluative?
• From jottings to field notes:
– Write freely and clean later:
• Write loosely, getting everything you can remember on
the page with as much detail as possible. At first, you
do not need to worry about your audience or feel like
someone is looking over your shoulder.
• After you type as much as you can as fast as you can,
you can always go back and rewrite the notes – not to
change the content but to make them read better.
• What to write/what not to write
– You can’t write everything
– So what do you write?
• We want detail and descriptive accounts, but
descriptive about what?

What are people doing?
How are they doing it?
Someone is working on a computer. How?
Three people are sitting at a table talking. How? Who is
talking more? How are they talking? How are people listening
or not listening or listening while looking around the room or
checking their phone or cutting each other off?
• http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/1
• Choices:
– Observe: describe the overall scene
• Who is present (specific/general)
– Depends on number of people
– Important to note: what may seem to be minor or
unimportant events at the time may prove to be
very important later.
• Point of View:
– First Person – your experience
– Third Person – describing what others are doing
• Your typed field notes can include both
During and After Writing the Field
• Asides: [bracket questions you think of when
writing, or other ideas concerning what you think
is going on.]
• Commentary: [a more elaborate reflection on a
specific event or issue]
• In-Process Memos: [after writing field notes,
these are more integrative memos that often
combine several sets of field notes. Can include
ideas about what should be observed next and/or
interpretations of what has been observed thus
Observing and Jotting in the Field
Where and what are you going to
• Today, you’ll have a chance to practice
observing a public place on campus and
jotting down notes.
– Where? Up to you, but pick a place where there
are people who are interacting with one another.
– What are you going to write down, and how are
you going to write it?
Emerson, Fretz, and Shaw –
Recommendations for Jottings
• Making jottings isn’t just a writing activity; it is
a mind-set.
• 1) Jot down key components of observed
scenes or interactions.
• 2) Avoid generalizations – e.g., compliant
(does not capture actual behavior and
interaction; the goal is to write close
descriptions of what takes place).
• 3) Jot down concrete sensory details about
actions and talk. Show rather than tell about
people’s behavior (records of actual words,
phrases, or dialogue that the researcher wants
to preserve in as accurate form as possible.
– Don’t say someone was angry; describe the
words, behaviors, expressions, bodily movements,
etc. that would lead you to characterize the
person as being angry.
• The jottings you take in the field are intended to
assist you in later writing a detailed description of
the scene.
• Write down what will help you remember what
you observed so you can write the scene in a way
that places the reader in that location, at that
moment, so they can see, smell, hear, and feel
what transpires in real time.

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