I keep seeing scenes in English-language movies and books where people (mostly police officers) act in the following counterproductive manner: Situation 1 A man enters a parking house in the morning and walks towards his car, to drive to work as usually. His path is blocked by a couple of police detectives who tell him "Why don't we go back upstairs and pack your suitcase?" When he keeps asking what's going on, the only answer he gets is "It's for your own protection." How hard can it be to say: "Your colleague So-and-So was murdered last night and we have reasons to believe your life may also be in danger. We have orders to protect you. Please let us take you to a safe place"? If you don't want to talk about the murder, you can skip it and simply say "We have reasons to believe you may be in danger." Why antagonize your valuable witness and waste time convincing him to obey orders and not ask questions? Situation 2 A police detective stormed into a government office and demanded to know the home address of a man who worked there. (That was before the cellphone era.) He was told that such information is given strictly on need-to-know basis. He was like: "Trust me, I need to know!" And when he was refused the information, he got loud, aggressive, and actually obscene. And, unsurprisingly, went off empty-handed. How hard can it be to say: "I just learned that his life may be in danger. We need to get to him as quickly as possible"? When one hears from a policeman that one's colleague's life is in danger, surely the normal human reaction would be to give him the address without requiring sufficient evidence or a court order. My question is: Is it usual for real-world US law enforcement officers to act like that, or is it just writers creating cheap drama?