“Are you doing your job or not doing your job?”
That was the beginning of my shift.
A man who has so little in life that he rolls around trying to tweak cops into doing or saying something stupid so he can post the footage on-line.
Yesterday, he saw me and decided I was worth a try.
…sigh…okay, let’s go, if that’s what you want to do….
To be honest, I felt a little like the exhausted narrator in Bobby Bare’s ‘The Winner.’
So we verbally sparred for 20 or so minutes while he told me how I was doing my job wrong and how I didn’t know the law and did I have permission for this or that.
Ultimately, nothing happened except he interrupted me eating an orange. His camera never came out, though I suspect there is audio and it’s probably already on YouTube.
That this guy’s life is that empty tires me out. Do I need him to say thanks for the work I do? Fuck no, I do this work because I want to and I take responsibility for every aspect of it, but it would be nice if he’d let me do it without harassing me.
Yet this guy, a Copblock wanna-be, absolutely believed he had the right to harass me. Why? Because I was a public servant on duty and I needed to be held to a higher standard.
Here’s the thing he’ll never understand because he is unable to think his way out of the delicate eggshell into which he’s tucked his simple black and white world: I agree with him.
Not about the harassment.
But that police should be held to a higher standard.
Lots of reasons why: tax money, in the public eye, given a public trust, placed in an authorative position. But mostly?
If necessary, I can kill someone…and then go home.
Everything else is bullshit. In the crucible of every day, everything else burns away and leaves that immutable truth: I can take people’s freedom.
The most basic thing a human has is their freedom and I can take it away from them. Committing them to a hospital because of a mental crisis. Taking them to jail because they robbed or sexually assaulted someone. Or, yes, killing them because they were killing someone.
So an annoying little gnat he was, but I partially agreed with him. He’ll never know that because, in his black and white world, all cops are fascists and and bullies and whatever. He saw a squad car and a uniform and decided I was his next target.
He has no idea that I’ve testified as to what actually happened rather than to what might have been expedient. Or that I’ve held many of my mistakes up for the public to see. Or that I’ve handled a large portion of the internal investigations in my department, disciplining or reassigning officers, and sometimes recommending their removal from the department. Or that I frequently write about cops around the country who’ve done stupid things.
Or that I’ve taught recruits that their highest calling is to the truth, not the badge, not their partner, not their bosses, and certainly not some mook trying to create a juicy YouTube video.
He has no idea about that and wouldn’t care if he did. He hates law enforcement, he lied to me to ingratiate himself, and he tried to make me look stupid so he could post it and laugh at me.
It didn’t work and so he drove away pissed off.
Which, I guess, makes me ‘The Winner.’