AGAIN, there was no exchange. There was no disturbance. There was no disorderly conduct. There was no criminal behavior. No one needed assistance. There were no angry participants. There was one woman, muttering as she walked down the street [sort of] with a silent man. And -unless, further down the block, she ended up acting out her ill-feelings - I bet no one else called the police (and would have, even in Georgetown).
In America, we respect the liberty of others. Though I am pretty good at reading the subtleties of body language, I'm not perfect. And even obvious body language doesn't disturb the peace. We can't leave side by side in cities without affording each other some degree of privacy. That's why busybodies thrive in small towns.
Some people may think they want to live in an authoritarian society (try it sometime) where everyone must adhere to a ridiculously strict code of behavior, where people have to pretend to be happy in order to walk down the sidewalk without fear of throwing observers into such a panic they feel compelled to involve the police. I - and thankfully most of the rest of us - do not. What good is safety if our behavior is so restricted it can't even be called "living"?
Like I said, I mentioned it on the unlikely chance it was the same woman AND it has been determined that, in order to locate and prosecute her murderer, knowing every detail of that day's stream of events might be useful. If there's a next time, I will communicate this (probably irrelevant) information privately - though a lone bit of unconnected info might be less useful to the police.
Otherwise, I could inadvertently end up giving others an opportunity to exaggerate and distort the facts in order to champion intolerance and repression ... and that would be irresponsible and dangerous.
PS If any cop listening wants to be called out every time someone observes a fellow citizen who is merely angry, please speak up. If that's the case, you'd better come and put the handcuffs on me right now!
This sounds like a rationalization for not getting involved. When you adopt such a position you send a clear message that you will tolerate disorderly behavior in your community. How many citizens in Georgetown would listen to such an exchange and say and do nothing? It is likely the police would have received several calls from concerned neighbors before the angry participants reached the end of the block. Let the police decide how to handle such matters; it is our job to call them.
Each of us has a responsibility to keep our respective communities safe and that responsibility certainly includes calling the police when we witness disorderly and or criminal behavior. Do not wait until it is someone that you know that needs assistance. We have a right to address the type of behavior you described by calling the police and an obligation to report all disturbances and crimes. Safe neighborhoods do not just happen, they are made.
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