I've just returned from a police station. I saw something criminal yesterday and called to report it. The officer I spoke with on the phone told me that I should come in and make an official report. That officer and another ended up (for lack of a better word) interrogating me for what seemed like an hour. I felt incredibly uncomfortable, like they were looking at me as a suspect. The questioning veered way too far into my personal history, not germane to what I was reporting. I was tempted to stop their questioning, but then it might look like I did something wrong. It's really upsetting to do the right thing and then feel treated like a criminal.
They were also asking me repeated questions that I already answered with "I don't know, I didn't see." Then they asked "did you see X?" Still later they'd go back to the original question that I answered with "I don't know, I didn't see." This kind of questioning is Planted False Memory 101. I wanted to say that to them, but I felt like they'd just regard such an observation as defensiveness and an indication that I'd done something wrong.
When they were done, I told one of the officers that I was really uncomfortable with the way they were questioning me. He asked "why?" as if it wasn't obvious why, extending the tone of treating me like a criminal. Can they just not imagine how they make people feel? He did offer to let me speak with his supervisor, which I'm sure would accomplish nothing, and even if it would accomplish something, I wasn't looking to make problems for him. I was speaking to him as a human being suggesting he consider the implicit question: "do you realize how you just made me feel and how this might bear on whether I report a crime in the future?"
This has never happened to me before. My few previous experiences have been closer to a response of indifference from the police. I guess I'd take indifference over what just happened, though indifference has also made me feel like not bothering to report crimes or suspected crimes.
I don't often have a reason to contact the police. Maybe I've called an average of once every five years,. Three times I can think of, I contacted the police as a crime victim, but otherwise any contact initiated by me has been a matter of acting as a good citizen.
Right now, I really feel angry and humiliated. Maybe I'll change my mind, but as of now, I don't think I'll contact the police to report a crime in the future.