I can’t sleep, so I walk. Three or four miles at 3 or 4 AM does wonders. I’ve been doing this for years without incident. People out at that time have their own private concerns and don’t seem to be much interested in interactions, which I’m also not. There is a certain sense of community among those of us on foot, though. For instance we like to say good morning or utilize some other way of signalling we mean no harm, but no one’s out there looking for conversation.1 I’ve walked hundreds of miles of LA streets in the middle of the night and have never spoken to a cop for any reason until yesterday.
Some time after 3 AM I was returning home from such a walk when I saw that the street I intended to use was blocked by yellow cop tape and there was an empty but lights-spinning cop car guarding the tape. No people, officers or otherwise, were visible on the entire taped block face. I took what I thought would be an effective detour around the cop conclave but when I got around to the street I live on I could see it was taped as well.