A Month in Memoriam: Day 20
Someone was banging on my door. Loudly.
My roommate answered.
“YO GLOSS!” he said. “Come here!”
He stood halfway in between the door and the hallway.
“Ma’am,” said a police officer, “Do you know this man?”
I stood in the doorway to see a brother squirming on the floor, hands behind his back in handcuffs. There were two other police officers. One kneeled next to him, restraining him while the other stood nearby.
“You b*tch! F*ck you b*tch! What the f*ck!”
His voice filled the quiet hallway. It wasn’t even 10am yet. No one poked their head out of their apartment to see what was going on.
The officer rolled him over to his back. I didn’t recognize his face at all.
“Alright,” one of the officer said, “Up on your feet, let’s go.”
The profanity resumed. The officer raised his fist — froze — then lowered it. The two other officers helped to get the man up on his feet.
Before I got to the door, the man swung at one of the officers. He missed, stumbled to the floor and was put in handcuffs.
“F*ck this I’m not going anywhere! What the f*ck! You b*tch!”
The three officers turned and walked the man down the hallway.
We closed the door.
“He tried to say he lived here and almost rushed past me,” said my roommate. “He was definitely drunk, I smelled it heavy on his breath.”
I sat down on my couch and put my face in my hands.
Tears slipped down my face.
I was overwhelmed.
The situation could’ve gone a million different ways.
Would the officer restraining the man, have hit him if we weren’t in the hallway?
He was black too. Only one of the officers was white. None of them reached for their guns.
Would that have been different if we hadn’t stood watch?
Would they have shot him in the back, like Oscar?
Or in the stairwell, like Akai?
Would it have been an “accident”?
Did he possess demon, hulk-like strength?
They didn’t cuss at him. They didn’t belittle him.
They did — so far as I could see — what they were supposed to do.
Serve and protect.
Nothing more, nothing less…