Back in Mrs. Shears’ yard, the police arrive. Christopher generally likes the police because he knows what they’re supposed to do. One of the policemen asks Christopher what he was doing holding his neighbor’s dead dog in her yard, and whether he killed Wellington. Christopher answers his questions honestly until there begin to be too many, and he can’t keep up anymore. Then he rolls into a ball again and groans to block out the rest of the world. When the policeman tries to lift Christopher to his feet, Christopher hits him.
Here, the reader gains insight into how Christopher interacts with the world. He wants to be able to categorize people’s roles so that he knows what to expect from them and what they expect of him. However, even when he thinks he knows what to expect of the police, they still overwhelm him through their inability to anticipate his needs. The police come across as rather incompetent, dealing with Christopher as they would any other suspect rather than making an attempt to interact in a more productive way.