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An belief based on anecdotal evidence: Ray Bradbury and Oriana Fallaci (both writers) have attempted to just go for a walk in Los Angeles.

Each were stopped by the police, who were quite suspicious of this activity and asked questions like:

In the end, the police compelled them to get in the police car so that they could take them somewhere.

Bradbury wrote a short fictional story based on his experience. He confessed to Fallaci that it had actually happened to him.

Once upon a time...

I like to take walks. Around college I'll take fairly long walks at night, basically as far as I can go in a certain direction, just enjoying the fresh air and what not. Anyway, one day I had got to the end of my journey(reached an expressway onramp) and was about to turn around when I heard a car drive up next to me and slow down. I was a little worried about this, but just casually turned around and started to walk the other way.

I heard the car turning around also, which got me even more worried, but I kept walking. Now the car pulled up in front of me and I saw it was a cop car. I was relieved, but a bit confused. I kept walking. As I get closer to the car, the cop gets out and comes up to me. He asks me:

- what are you doing? "Just taking a walk."
- where did you start from? "The university."
- oh so you're a student there? "Yes."
- you live on campus? "Yes."
- where? "Dickinson."
- and you're just taking a walk? "Yes."
- can I see some identification? "OK." I hand it to him
- OK, you can go. "Thanks."

Now, if not for the fact that I had been carrying in my pocket a small pipe and some salvia(legal drug, but the cop doubtless would have taken me into the station anyway), I probably would've answered about the first two questions and then asked if I was in any trouble or could I go, since a cop has fuck-all right to stop you while just walking around and play 20 questions. And he certainly has no right to ask for identification.

The bustcard from the ACLU is something every American should read and carry around with them. Know your rights.

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