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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Police Boretality




Sometimes, even I can't explain the randomness of my life, from angry internet racists to heart-breaking bitches. I am a pretty regular dude for the most part, but yet seem to attract the most hilarious, frightening, insane, random, and bloggable situations ever.

This Labor Day was one such occasion.

I was at the Hotel Utah's famous open-mic for the first time. Been living in the city for two years now, participating heavily in the open-mic scene, yet never really dropped by (except for one time, backing someone's band) because Monday nights are always work or school, or something else.

I should go more often. The crowd there was great! All my friends, or acquaintances, or band-mates, or musicians I've worked with were there. And anybody that I didn't know, was easy-going enough that we all got along fabulously anyways. The music was good, the audience (mostly) respectful, and I had a mouth-watering burger... for 9 bucks.

But like any seemingly great night, there is always a hanging chad.

After getting back from grabbing food with a few friends, the open-mic was getting near the end of the list, so only the die-hards were really there. (Well, and the die-hard's fans too.) I was standing in the back-corner near the stairwell with my friend BB and J, when all of a sudden the cops come in like eight deep, and guns out!

YES, I said guns out. Not holstered, not unlatched in their holster even, but out in their hands, fingers on the motherfucking triggers.

I think, now would be a good time to use the bathroom.

They box in the place and start questioning everybody, shining flashlights around, all while the musicians are still trying to play on stage. I get stuck against the wall and then they start crowding around BB, J and I.

Now let me make an aside to describe us three. BB is a skinny black guy with a huge afro and goatee. J is a muscular white dude with dreads and dressed like a transient. And then me, skinny Jew boy eyeballing those itchy trigger fingers. You wanna talk subtle racism? I knew if any shooting went off, the primary target would be them two, and I did NOT want to be next to 'em when it happened.

Then one of the cops comes up to me and asks, "How long have you been here? Do you know this guy? [he didn't specify which] When did he get here? How old are you? Have you been drinking?" Just a barrage of questions and I didn't even want to answer, because I'm just innocent bystander right now. I said BB's been here all night, but J just got here. (He came like ten minutes ago, probably for the same reason I did - getting food.) BB agrees and also mentions that we don't know each other very well.

Well this makes the cop reaaal interested. He turns from me and motions his buddies to make J stand up, put his hands on top of his head, then they cuff him and drag him outside!

At this point, I'm wondering if we just got J arrested on suspicion, and as they go out of the bar, everyone gets up to see. (I know, we're all such fucking rubber-neckers.) The cops have five squad cars outside, and now there are fifteen cops all surrounding J. The bouncer tells us to go back inside, and being the cowards we are, we do... gossiping like mad though.

A few of the cops come back inside to continue questioning BB and I. "Are you with him? How well do you know him? Did you see any weapons? Can I ask you to take your hands out of your pockets?" They're asking so many things so fast and seriously, I almost felt inclined to tell them my life story!

Eventually a friend of ours, G, comes by, reaaally drunk and starts telling the cops, "We all know each other because we're musicians, but not really well. You should have a beer! Is J okay? What did he do? Is he gonna be alright? Nobody has any weapons. Nobody saw anything. Hey, is that thing loaded?" G went around and around with a bunch of questions and slightly confused comments. I guess they got tired of it because it made 'em leave right quick, and everyone goes back to whispering.

About thirty minutes goes by and J comes back inside. BB and I mob him for the story. Why'd they cuff you? What happened? How come they decided to let you go? What the fuck pissed off those cops so much to come in here guns drawn?

Apparently, there was a fight somewhere nearby, and there were weapons involved. So the cops started checking around to find the guys. When they came in and saw J, having just arrived and looking pretty disreputable, they decided to check him out.

I don't know what kinda fight or weapons were involved, but the cops must've been really scared, really mad, or really bored to need fifteen of 'em and have their guns out. Well, the fight did involve weapons, but they said nobody was injured. They'd have known nobody ran in here because the bay bridge is closed and there's a squad car parked on the off-ramp right outside the bar. They could've just asked their buddies before charging in. They must've not had a whole lot to do. Labor Day, not much going on, bridge closed, no traffic from Oakland. That and the fact that there were so many of them for just one location convinced us...

We decided bored.

Just another case of cops making a scene and scaring the shit outta people.



Oh, and to top off the randomness, to make the night even more crazy than it already was. I saw one of my ex's at the open-mic... with the boyfriend that she married while we were still dating.

Fuck my life.

3 footnotes:

FunkyStarkitty50 said...

Wow. Just wow. I'm sorry about all of that stuff.It sounds like you need a hug:-) I always find it amazing that bad things always happen to good people. It's like this perpetual dark cloud hanging over you wherever you go. I'm glad that you were not hurt physically, at least.But emotionally, it was a train wreck. Believe me, things can only get better, hopefully not worse.

Christie said...

Some of these cops are really ridiculous. Abuse of authority is never a good thing.

Lol just like FunkyStarkitty50 said, you do need a hug, maybe 5. :)

lizziek said...

Can't believe all that happened after I left! And after such a lovely night.