Friday, June 17, 2005

Who's the Perpetrator?

Last night I was riding my bike into my back alley to enter my building from our courtyard. Directly in front of my building entrance, a couple of teenagers were getting arrested by the fine Chicago Police. Nothing new here- happens a lot by our house. I was going about my business when a police officer came up to me and said, "Ma'm, would you care to know how to defend yourself against perpetrators, such as these men?" He motions over to the guys standing in handcuffs, who happen to be my neighbors. "Um," I say. The cop then grabs a ballpoint pen that is sticking out of my backpack pocket and uncaps it. "You see, Ma'm, with a device as simple as a ballpoint pen, you can maim or kill perpetrators such as these men." "Hm," I say. The cop proceeds to explain how I can gouge someone's eye out (apparently my perpetrating neighbors) or rip their cheek open if I just learn how to be aggressive with my Bic products. He ends the lecture by saying, "Keep a pen in your pocket at all times. You never know." I try not to make eye contact with anyone as I go in my gate.

Ok, backtrack: My neighbors are section 8 residents. They're already kind of suspicious of the people in our building, so why is this police officer making it worse? Although I didn't hardly say a word, I feel like the officer totally created a "me against them" situation that was totally unnecessary. Not only are the people that live across the alley pretty harmless, we've started becoming friendly (after 3 years!). Ugg. Most of my encounters with the police in Chicago have not been that great. This is a perfect example why.
The gentlemen in the alley are somewhat respectable. Who doesn't want to drink Budweiser bottles and barbecue while listening to their favorit R&B tracks. They even helped me jack my car up, to get a better look underneath when I was searching for this nagging rattle sound. Even offering to ride around the block sometime to see if he could identify the source. Cops in Chicago are usually headstrong white guys, bound and determined to "clean up the streets".
Well hello, Matt!

Are these the teens that live above you? I think the real perp is that gigantic dog that dropped a huge one in your courtyard area. Talk about armed and dangerous!
I saw those dogs again yesterday. They are fucking huge and of course, I saw them shitting in the yard.
Cops can be assholes on power trips sometimes and forget that even the people they arrest are just people who made a bad choice. I work with a lot of people who have had run-ins with the police, usually they are decent people who just don't know better!
Yes, who knows what the kids did? But it is likely he was just trying to scare them, and not ostracize you.
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