I’ve been meaning to start blogging. This isn’t really what I had in mind, but so it goes.
Here’s what happened tonight. Just the facts:
March 29, I’m awakened by screaming outside the window.
12:45am I call 911 (this is as soon as I’m cognizant enough to tell that something is wrong.)
“There’s a woman screaming outside in a car,” I say. & I give the location, the cross streets to my friend’s house in South Seattle that I’m staying at.
I’m trying to look out the window to get a description, while attempting not to be seen…
Did I mention I’m in the room right next to the street, with my son somehow still sleeping right next to me? No? Sorry, there are a lot of factors buzzing in my head right now.
I remember the cross streets, as I realize this is the first time I’ve ever called 911.
I give a quick description of the vehicle, when suddenly the car moves. I hurry to follow it from the kitchen window on the other side of the house.
The 911 dispatcher is very calm.
“What’s he wearing?” He’s shirtless, I say.
I just don’t have that much info to give.
“Can you tell the race of the man?” she asks…
“…uh… brown?” I manage, the car now disappearing into the night.
“Would you like to leave your name, or remain anonymous?”
“…I… don’t know.” I really don’t, but they have my number, so…
9 minutes later, a police cruiser rolls past.
Although the car is now long gone, the experience lingers.
I’m concerned for the woman.
I’m nervous being next to the window.
I’m worried about him coming back.
I don’t want anything to happen to my son.
I’m also aware of the fact that I likely just got an innocent brown couple pulled over in South Seattle.
It’s less important than the above list, but it’s still weighing on my heart.
…It’s almost two hours later now, & I’m still awake. I had to record the experience and my feelings.
Violence sucks. It affects many more indirectly.
I should’ve called 911 before now.
My neighbors in Bremerton, a young married (& pregnant) couple, used to fight.
The husband would drink, & I remember it getting bad.
I used to live right next door to the Police Patrol Station.
There was no good reason not to call in that situation.
I’ve also been in a car pulled over by the cops.
(Okay, a few times – but this one is relevant)
It was the year 2000 & I was out with friends.
We had just raided a large street-side donation pile for a plush chicken that sang the “chicken dance”.
(We’re perfectly sober, btw — though filled with youthful exuberance.)
We were driving home to Greenwood in my friend’s dented Pontiac, whooping it up & holding the chicken out the window.
…when we realize the cops are behind us.
We turn onto 85th. They turn.
We turn onto 3rd. They turn.
We turn, a block from home… They turn & pull us over.
Instantly, four more cop cars are there.
“Would you mind getting out of the car?”
“No problem… or, actually…”
My friend’s car had just been t-boned & the driver’s door wouldn’t open…
He leaps out the window, Dukes of Hazzard-style…
…after a long while they finally let us go.
Turns out there was a shooting at the “All-American” (or whatever) Dance Club, which we’d driven right past (as it’s right on the way home).
The shooter was in a new model-year Pontiac.
We were in a late-70s Pontiac.
“Don’t worry, it wasn’t about the chicken,” says the officer.
Now, that went pretty well.
But we were white…
It’s more than possible the cops used this as an excuse to pull over anyone brown in a same-model car of pretty much any year.
Violence needs to stop.
Violence against women needs to stop.
Waking me up with some dumb shit needs to stop.
And shit with the Cops.
Needs to Stop.
I love y’all. Nite!