Are You Sure You Want to be a Cop?

wright vehicle

Vehicle of a woman charged with assault with a dangerous weapon – attributed to Boston station WBZ-TV.

“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.

“Believe what?”

“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.

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16 thoughts on “Are You Sure You Want to be a Cop?

  1. “People on both sides of the aisle really are unbelievable.” And you know, James, that, given where I stand along the political and social scale, I believe that these examples of unbelievable (and deplorable) behaviors have been fostered and encouraged by our Commander-in-Chief, illustrated by the way CNN reporter Jim Acosta was treated at a Trump rally the other day.

    Like

    • People have free will (this is hotly debated in religious circles, but I really believe we have this quality), therefore, people can make choices, right or wrong. Donald Trump does not control my thoughts or feelings, and to the degree that he has any control at all over those qualities in people, they have had to willing surrender that power. The young woman who tried to hit a Trump supporter committed a crime, and if found guilty in a court of law, could spend years in prison. Her only excuse was that the man voted for Donald Trump and therefore, she assumed he was a racist.

      The white woman who called the cops on an African-American woman also (to the best of my knowledge) committed a crime, though lesser in nature. She misused the 911 emergency service, and I hope she at least is charged a fee for wasting the time of emergency responders (police officers). I don’t know if we can directly attribute her actions to Donald Trump. I suppose we could assume that Trump is somehow involved, but assumptions are not facts.

      If Donald Trump is behind all this, it’s because people are making decisions allowing it. I see plenty of Obama and Hillary bumper stickers in my own little corner of Idaho, and although I disagree with the actions of both, I do not lose my mind and try to kill the people in those cars.

      I know you don’t see Obama and Clinton as reprehensible let alone dangerous in the manner of Trump, but I do know plenty of people who do. This is a pretty red state, after all, and even though Boise is a pretty broad mix of left and right, the majority of the state is not. They registered a lot of fear when Obama was in office, and lived in fear that Clinton would be elected and they’d have to endure another eight years of similar policies. It’s difficult to empathize with people who are very different, but it’s something I keep plugging away at, because, in the end, we are all human and have to co-exist.

      If someone beats me out of a parking spot (and fortunately, this happens pretty infrequently these days), regardless of who that individual is, it would never occur to me to call 911. The worst that would happen, assuming I believed I should have gotten the spot, is I’d be kind of put out about it.

      I’m sorry. I wish I could experience the apparent fear and loathing you have regarding Trump, but I can’t wrap my brain or my emotions around it. He’s a big showboat who likes to shoot his mouth off, saying (tweeting) ridiculous things, but he’s not all-powerful. According to this website (assuming he’s not re-elected, which is a really big long shot), Trump has 900 days, 10 hours, 26 minutes and an odd number of seconds left as President.

      Keep taking deep breaths and stay calm. We’re all going to be fine.

      Like

      • “He’s a big showboat who likes to shoot his mouth off, saying (tweeting) ridiculous things, but he’s not all-powerful.” And he’s the leader of the free world and possibly the most powerful person on the globe. Thus, the way he shoots off his mouth and his ridiculous tweets have consequences. Hate crimes in this country have risen dramatically since he became president. Coincidence?

        Like

      • The results of a quick Google search seems to agree with you, but oddly enough the much vaunted snopes.com has nothing on this. I maintain if people are using Donald Trump as an excuse to commit hate (or any other) crimes, those individuals should be arrested, prosecuted, and if found guilty, incarcerated or otherwise held accountable as allowed by law (probation, parole, fines). I rather cherish my free will and right to choose and will not surrender it, regardless of who is in the White House.

        Yes, he’s the leader of the free world and arguably one of the most powerful people on the planet. That doesn’t make him all-powerful.

        I know you’ve shared your concerns with me before, and I’m concerned as well, but no matter how reprehensible his behavior may be, I choose not to live in a state of fear 24/7. I’ve got a wife, three adult children, and two adorable grandchildren to consider, and I’m not letting Trump or anyone else suck the joy I experience with them out of my life.

        I do, however, marvel at some of the breathtakingly poor choices some people make. I actually watched the 2014 film “Captain America: Winter Soldier” again last night to regain my equilibrium, and get another dose of Cap’s “goodness” as a hero and a man.

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  2. There is a lot of hate going around and I had no idea how much. Did Trump CREATE the racism? No, but he did make it acceptable to express it. He absolutely did that and it wasn’t subtle, either. Most of these people had at least shut up about it until 45 hit office. Now, though, since we have a real-live racist president, it’s okay to be a racist.

    Is this an improvement to our society? I don’t think so. Has it made life better for anyone? If so — other than billionairs — who might that be?

    Did Trump create racism? No, but he absolutely encouraged them to express it. Are we all living in a pit of boiling crap because of Trump’s brainless tweets and stupidity? Sure we are. Are we EVER going to live long enough to see the end the racism and hatred? I won’t. Maybe you will.

    Just because you wouldn’t hit anyone with your car doesn’t mean you aren’t a racist. Are you? Do you think all colors and types of people are your equals or sometimes, betters? Do you? Do you cross the road if you think there are too many black people on your side? Do you live in an integrated area or are you safely ensconced where only people who look like you and think like you also live? Are your kids’ friends with children of different races? Does the insulation of your life bother you? Do you think you are making the world a better place?

    You think?

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    • Wow. I’m sorry if my story and then my comments have gotten you upset (I can’t hear “tone of voice” or see “body language,” so I only have the content of your comment to determine this). For the record, I don’t support Trump’s policies, but that doesn’t mean people have carte blanche to commit dangerous and criminal acts, regardless of their politics. I also don’t agree that just because I wrote this story that I’m automatically a racist.

      I do believe there’s this thing called Toxic Fear which we see most frequently on social media, where somehow people are given permission to say the most outrageous and angry things because, at their core, people are afraid of Donald Trump.

      In the case of the real life Chloe Wright, she is accused of trying to hurt or kill a man with her car because he admitted to her that he had voted for Donald Trump, regardless of Trump’s statements to the press, and his outrageous tweets, Ms. Wright had a choice about how to respond to seeing the pro-Trump bumper sticker on her alleged victim’s car. She chose to follow him for several blocks, honking and yelling at him, then when he stopped because he thought something was wrong with his car, she chose to angrily confront him, and as he re-entered his vehicle, she chose to accelerate toward him in her car, damaging his car door and missing hitting him by inches. She could have seriously injured or even killed him.

      To the degree that she was arrested and charged with at least three crimes, it seems law enforcement believes she was in the wrong by committing these actions. If she’s convicted, Ms. Wright could end up in prison for several years and will have a felony criminal record for the rest of her life.

      I must strongly disagree with her actions, and sadly, she’s ruined her own life. She’s only 25 years old so this will be with her for a long, long time, much longer that Trump will be President.

      The only thing I’m really trying to point out is that we don’t have to let our emotions control our actions. We can do better. As rational, thinking adults, we can contain our feelings and not let them rule us. If people want to oppose or resist Donald Trump, in my opinion, sinking to his level is not the best plan.

      Since you can’t hear my tone of voice or see my body language, I can assure you that I am not angry or upset at you or Fandango for disagreeing with me. I try to engage in a civil manner with everybody, whether we are alike or not. I can only hope others will do the same. If so, then we can dialog.

      Like

      • Your story, James, is a good example of “sinking to his level” out of animus. It reminds me of what happened in Charlottesville. (Not all exactly the same, for sure.)

        Most of these people had at least shut up about it until 45 hit office. Now, though, since we have a real-live racist president, it’s okay to be a racist.

        Is this an improvement to our society? I don’t think so. Has it made life better for anyone? If so — other than billionairs — who might that be?

        …. Are we EVER going to live long enough to see the end [ of ] the racism and hatred? I won’t.

        So lamentable and painful, Marilyn.

        Like

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