I thought for sure I had posted this, but it appears I hadn't. It's long, but the end is a definitely PD.
About 20 years ago, I took an adventure travel trip to Mali, in West Africa. (There have been major social & political changes there since my trip.) It was with an American tour company that provided a Tour Leader (TL) who was fluent in French, the official language. He had lived & traveled extensively in Mali and was familiar with laws & customs. He also had some very heavy-duty political connections.
The American company contracted with a local tour company for logistics. They provided transport, camping equipment, and a crew. They also provided a fabulous local guide (LG) who spoke English, French, and Bambara, the most common local language. The crew members mainly spoke French and other local languages.
There were about 15 of us clients on the trip, all American and all very experienced with this kind of travel in developing countries.
We had been camping in the bush for a week and were on our way to a large city for a welcome hotel stay. We stopped in a small town to buy gas & stretch our legs. Suddenly there was trouble. A public spirited local citizen had informed a local police officer that one of our group had photographed the police station, something that was illegal and taken very seriously. It was a false charge. LG took over the discussion and the rest of us, including TL, retreated to the bus. TL explained that it was better to have a Malian do the talking.
They went round & round for some time, then LG came on the bus and said that the police officer wanted the film from the supposed photographer (pre-dgital age), so it could be developed to prove we were guilty. The "photographer" was upset--she was afraid of losing some important photos. I had just put a new roll of film in my camera, so TL came up with a plan. The "photographer" took my camera out and dramatically ripped out the film, exposing it to the sun so there was no way of knowing that it was blank.
At that point, the police officer declared that he was taking us all to see his district commandant, who was based in the same big city we were headed for. He and the informant boarded the bus and off we went. We took out cue from TL and stayed quiet & subdued.
It was a two-hour drive and we arrived after dark. We stopped at a police station and the officer got off. He returned to say that the commandant wasn't there & we had to go to another station. When he got off there, TL tuned to us and said "I'm being quiet, because I have to deal with these people again. You don't. It's time for you to get angry." He suggested that we demand the US Ambassador because the law said we had to see him (there was no such law.)
So, when the officer reboarded the bus, we exploded. We said it was an outrage. We demanded the Ambassador. One person demanded that everything be translated, which disconcerted the officer. Someone remembered that I'd complained of heartburn earlier in the day, so he pointed to me and said "This lady is sick, She needs to go to the hotel and lie down." I immediately clutched my stomach and began moaning.
It took a couple more stops to find the commandant, while the riot on the bus continued. Nothing physical, no threats or personal attacks (i.e. we didn't call the officer names or scream obscenities at him), but we were very loud and very angry. Except for me. I was irritatingly whine-y about my "illness."
It turned out the commandant was home having dinner, so that's where we went. The officer, the informant, LG, most of us & a couple of crew went inside. Negotiations went on for some time, in several languages. The upshot was that the "photographer" agreed to sign a statement that she wouldn't sell photos of Malian police to American newspapers. And off we went to the hotel. The officer & the informant stayed behind.
Now the PD part. When we gathered in the hotel bar later on, LG told us the Rest of the Story, some of which he'd gotten from a crew member who knew the local dialect. The public spirited citizen was either mistaken or, more likely, made it up, as an opportunity to ingratiate himself with the local police. The police officer, in turn, decided that this would be a perfect chance to impress his regional commandant with his diligence and refusal to be intimidated by rich Americans. Which he did by interrupting the commandant's dinner table with a busload of irate American tourists demanding their Ambassador. Oh yes, he made an impression on the commandant, all right.
The commandant invited the officer to remain for a "chat." TL told us that had we been guilty, we would have been ordered to pay bus fare home for the officer and the informant. As it was, after the "chat," they would be out on the highway, trying to hitch a ride home.
Unbeknownst to the officer, things were going to get much worse. Remember I said that TL was very well connected? One of the connections was Extremely Influential Elder Statesman. And the local tour company? It was owned by Elder Statesman's brother, who was furious about what had happened, and told LG that a few phone calls were going to be made the next day. The police officer would be very lucky if he still had a job. The informant would probably be permanently on the police station blacklist, which is never a good idea.