Officer Alex muses on those people who view police action as entertainment
The sun had dipped just enough below the horizon that it was still bright enough to see, but there was no direct light to blind us. A light wind blew from the east to stave off the heat, and I made a mental note to cast a prayer of thanks for this at some point down the road.
Positions had been taken on all four sides of the home at off-angles to maximize coverage. I was standing behind a car on the street that was serving as cover and blocking traffic from coming past me into a possible field of fire.
Communications were solid. I knew all the operators; most had long guns for accuracy, notifications had been made, and I even had the target’s mother on scene for information…but something was still missing.
I took a step back both literally and mentally, and keeping my Sig at a low ready, I began to scan the area for whatever it was that was nipping at the back of my mind like a significant other’s overprotective dog. Traffic control? Possible escape routes, retreat routes? It was killing me—and then I spotted it.
Directly across the street from this address a family of three was sitting on their porch. The (presumed) father, in his late 30’s, was smoking a cigarette, the (presumed wife and/or baby-momma) was to his left doing the same, and finally there was what looked like a 3-year-old boy, watching the policemen quite contentedly. The family would occasionally make a hooting noise of excitement, or perhaps a rule of order.
“Hey!” I yelled. “You need to GO.” They responded with a dismissing wave of the hand and a smile, signaling that it was “OK.”
I cocked my head for a second, then turned to confirm there were six uniformed officers with assault rifles pointed at the house literally a stone’s throw away from this family and that I, too, wore the blue and had a pistol in my hand. Did they not understand what this meant? What guns do? I mean, didn’t the seven police cars register any alarm bells?
I took a breath and violated my instincts to turn away from the house we were targeting, and faced them fully. It was unnecessary, but I raised my voice while I pointed my pistol barrel skyward with my gun hand, and I pointed a finger at my pistol with my other: “This is a gun. These are all guns, we all have guns because we expect gunplay here. Bullets, everywhere.”
I paused, and I at least had their attention. And naturally, they didn’t budge an inch.
“You are welcome to stay,” I said politely. “You probably won’t get shot, but do me a favor and at least send the boy in the house. That brick should keep him safe. The boy deserves a chance.”
There was a pause, and now it was the father that cocked his head in sudden unexpected consideration, and then his eyes got wide with the light of the “ah ha!” moment. Seeing this (and still holding my pistol up sideways to maximize the silhouette for effect), I smiled at him and shook my head in confirmation.
He flipped his cigarette butt into the yard and tried to get hold of his son about the time his wife began reading him the riot act, as she now started shuffling all three into the front door. I was able to turn around and get back to the task at hand. (Ah! A bullhorn! I wanted my ’70s-era bullhorn, that’s what was missing from earlier.)
The situation was resolved amicably several minutes later (another story perhaps, one involving lies and Chihuahuas), but I was left with the lingering thought of just…how…thick some people were.
When I was in high school during the Reagan Era, there was a hostage situation on Lee Highway in a convenience store that ended with the (violent) death of the offender. What I recall most is seeing people park their cars and put their children on the trunk lid and just make a day of it.
Keenly oblivious to the danger of random gunfire during a hostage situation, they turned it into a Sunday Disney movie for their kids. Who knew that 30 years later their simple-minded heirs would still be doing the same?
And worse yet, that I would now be the one in uniform trying to explain such idiocy?
Darwin is real, folks, and he doesn’t need cable television to stay entertained. But he does need better seating choices.
I’m workin’ here.
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.