“But why are you arresting me? He’s the racist!” Melissa Becker was struggling and putting up quite a commotion as Police Officer Irene Atkins pressed her against the side of her car and handcuffed her.
“Need any assistance?” Atkins’s partner of four years Mike Shelton paused while taking a statement from the victim, 37-year-old Preston West.
“No, I’ve got her.” If it had been any other male officer, Irene would have taken the question as condescending, but Mike was one of the few in the Department who cared more about doing the job right than whether a cop was a man or a woman.
“Watch your head.” She eased the 25-year-old Becker into the backseat of the patrol car, holding the top of her head so she wouldn’t bump it as she entered. She’d already read the younger woman her rights and wanted to get this circus over with as fast as possible.
Becker had stopped screaming and trying to slip her cuffs and was sobbing now. “Why me? Why me? Didn’t you see his bumper sticker?”
“Ms. Becker, you have the right to an attorney, and I strongly advise you to wait until you can call one or the court appoints you a representative.”
“But he’s a racist.”
“Ma’am, how do you know that? He says you tried to run him over.”
“But the Trump bumper sticker.”
Irene looked over at the dented rear end of the victim’s car and saw the “Trump for President” red, white, and blue sticker prominently displayed. “Just try to relax and sit tight.” She closed the car door and hoped Becker wouldn’t admit to something too stupid.
“Yes sir, just a moment.” Mike left West by his car and walked over to Irene.
“What’s his story?”
“You won’t believe this.” He paused for a moment as another unit arrived, the crime scene investigators. They left their vehicle, checked in with Mike and Irene, and then began to take photos of the cars involved and gathered other physical evidence.
“The vic says he was waiting at the red light when Becker pulled up behind him and started honking her horn repeatedly. He thought she was trying to tell him something was wrong with his car, so he got out and went up to the driver’s side of her vehicle.”
Mike started chuckling and then stopped himself, realizing the suspect and victim could see him. “Now get this. He said Becker screamed at him about the Trump bumper sticker, and then called him a racist when he told her he had voted for Trump.
“West started recording all this on his phone, got everything on video. That’s when she tried to run him down. He managed to get back in his car, but she smashed into the door, backed up, and kept ramming his vehicle. Oh, here comes his tow now.” Mike looked up to see the tow truck arriving, West’s car now being undrivable. “I’ll go clear him to leave. Then we can take her down to the station and book her.”
Irene watched her partner talk to West, and then went to the driver’s side of her unit and got in.
“What’s going to happen now?” Becker had managed to compose herself, but still sounded scared.
“Your car will be towed to the impound once the crime scene officers are done. You’ll be booked, and then the higher-ups will decide if you’ll be released pending a formal hearing or incarcerated.”
“I could go to jail?”
“Yes, Ms. Becker. You are alleged to have attempted to hit that gentleman with your car and then…”
“He’s no gentleman. He’s a…”
“Ma’am, it’s in your best interest to remain silent.”
After a few minutes, Mike got in the passenger side of the patrol car and called in their status. Becker was quiet as they pulled away from the curb, the only noise coming from the police radio. Then another call came in.
“Wait. What?” Mike blinked his eyes rapidly and turned to Irene.
She leaned toward her right and whispered, “Did I hear that right?”
“Yeah. They’re sending a unit out to a grocery store. A white woman called 911 because a black woman beat her to a parking space.”
“Unbelievable,” Irene shook her head in disbelief.
I wrote this for FOWC with Fandango — Commotion, a weekly one word writing challenge. The idea is to use a single word, in this case “commotion,” as the prompt for crafting a poem, short story, or some other creative work.
Fandango and I operate at very different places along the political and social scale, so I imagine he might not think very favorably about the subject of my tale, but these incidents are based on actual facts I’ve read about in the news.
As it turns out a Massachusetts driver deliberately tried to run down a man because he had a “Trump” bumper sticker on his car and said he voted for him. You can read more about this at Heavy.com.
I wanted to be fair, so I included something from another news story, this time from San Diego, where a white woman called the cops on an African-American woman for taking a parking spot the former had been waiting to become available.
People on both sides of the aisle really are unbelievable, at least some of them.