First time this has happened. I was walking home (really drunk) on lavalle in microcenter and I got stopped by the police. I'm not really sure what happened since I was really drunk but they went though my pockets, checked my id, wrote down some info and let me go.
It was just routine police work and wasn't even a shakedown.
It sound like they were fairly gentle with you as well as very tolerant.
In most cities and towns in the US you would have been hauled to jail for public intoxication.
You might ask why I would quibble over your use of the word, it's simply because this is how unfounded or seriously exaggerated claims of police harassment spread among the expat community and might create a distorted image (of the police) to those who visit this site.
I'm glad you ran into the police and not some thug(s) who would have undoubtedly robbed you.
Arty, did they search any other cavities besides your pockets? I'm sorry, but what happened is actually quite funny. I'm pleased they didn't lock you up for the night.
In canberra, my australian home, the police cannot search you unless you verbally abuse them or give them 'due cause'. If you're really drunk they execute you on the spot or give you a ride home... what happens depends on the mood of the police that night.
Thanks, Rob, The distinction is important because using "harassed" in arty's situation tends to dilute the meaning of the word. That's especially important in a country where (in my adult lifetime) the "police" aided in the disappearance 30,000 Argentine citizens (almost a third of whom never returned).
The PFA are nothing like that today and we have little if anything to fear from them, even if and when we (expats) are drunk in public.
PS: Cangurito, I never heard of anyone being executed on the spot here, even during the rule of the military junta. That surely would have spoiled the fun of electro-torture and throwing people (alive) out of airplanes.