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Phuk the Police

July 23, 2012

I have yet to meet a nice cop.

Tonight my radio show recorded at The Twisted Tail near South St. in Philadelphia. As I left the restaurant headed to my car, I walked up on a small situation. There were two cops and three scruffy guys and a dog. One of the cops was yelling at the guys ‘I don’t want to see you here or on 2nd Street or on South Street and if I do, you are getting locked up’. The inquisitive 8 year old in me was exhumed. A few questions/thoughts ran through my mind. I wonder why this guy is being so harsh. Is this guy being harsh? What is the full story? Is this cop just another hardened and angry cop? Is he on a power trip? Do these guys really have nowhere else to go besides  the street and strategically picked South Street because of its restaurants and shops and what appears to be ‘rich folk’? Questions molleywhopped my brain faster than I could count. So, the cops walked off and I ran to catch up with them. I politely said ‘May I ask you a question, sir?’ He didn’t really respond, so I said ‘I saw you talking to those three guys back there and I was curious about why you took the particular stance you did. I mean no harm, I simply am curious’. He responded, ‘If it’s not pertaining to you, don’t worry about it’. I agreed with him. On surface, it had nothing to do with me. I could have just got in my car and gone my nosey ass home. I said ‘You are right. But I’m not really approaching you for that in particular, I am more curious about you as a person, in general’. Needless to say, this cop never opened up to engage my inner 8 year old. So I got in my car and drove off.

I was hurt. So hurt that all I could muster was tears. I was confused. I felt an emotion that I hadn’t experienced in decades. I was propelled back to that inquisitive 8-year old who was constantly rejected by adults. I was reminded that life does not welcome questioning with open arms. I just wanted to talk to this cop. I was not even thinking about checking his power dynamics. It’s clear he was ‘in charge’. He had the gun. I get that. Cool. So let’s chat about your ‘why’. My buddy Amanda believes that he rejected my conversation because he felt convicted. But I’m not even sure that I desired to convict him in any way. I don’t know exactly what I desired. Other than a conversation.

My curiosity primarily surrounded what appeared to be fatigue with ‘these vagabonds’ on his part. My curiosity surrounded who he was when he initially became a cop and who he is now. I recognize that few folk (especially cops) would be willing to engage in that conversation with some random person on the street. But what hurts is his response. What feels like a put down. What feels like silencing. Maybe this is about me feeling chucked. Maybe this is about my inner 8 year old still yearning to be heard and engaged. Maybe that’s what drives all that I am. Maybe that fuels my sarcasm and defensiveness. Simply needing my inquisitiveness to be validated. Who knows. But I do know that I still would like to engage this dude in conversation. To simply chat. Or maybe I’d like to be engaged.

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