Saturday, February 11, 2012

House Arrest by the Rubber Gun Squad

The first hint of trouble was when I almost couldn’t get into the driveway.  Several police cars had set up a barricade in front of my house.  There was just enough space to go to the left of the barricade and turn into my driveway.  As I got out of my car, a man with a rifle ran up my driveway demanding to know if I lived here.  Even after I assured him that I was indeed parked in my own driveway, you could tell that he was unhappy at my having parked in my own driveway without his express permission.

“You can’t fix that kind of stupid,” the cop said.
“No, but the police department can hire it,” I replied.  From there, the evening went downhill.

For the next couple of hours, police cars came from all over the county.  I didn’t know we had so many cop cars.  I finally counted 37 city, county, and state vehicles.  The K-9 corps was called out.  The only people missing were the campus cops from Enema U.   I have never seen so many cops at one time without a tray of donuts.
Despite what the police told us--some wild lie about a disturbance a few blocks away--the police had surrounded a house 4 doors up from us.  We might never have known the truth if we hadn’t accidentally noticed the bright floodlights and the bullhorn that screamed for over 5 hours.  Only a trained observer could have picked up on these tiny details.

Well, I’m lying.  His name wasn’t really Billy the Kid.  And I think the police may have been lying about the part about not hurting him.  Otherwise, why exactly did they call out two separate SWAT teams?  And did I mention the tank?  Why in the hell does this town own a tank?  Hell, we don’t even have a good barbecue restaurant.  Shouldn’t good ribs be a higher priority than a tank?

It was about this time that I walked out to my truck and noticed that there were an equal number of cop cars at the other end of the block.  Does everyone in this town own a cop car but me?  If you wanted to rob this town, this would be the perfect time.  I might have tried it myself but THERE WAS A TANK BLOCKING MY DRIVEWAY.
After five hours, the police finally made their big push.  Covered by a sniper on the roof of my neighbor’s house, and safely crouched behind the tank, the police rushed the house, blew open the front door and deployed a robot.  (If we can have a tank, why quibble about a robot?)   As the robot reconnoitered the house, the police eventually learned….that the house was empty. 

The police shut down a neighborhood, blocked a major thoroughfare, and assaulted a residential area so they could assault an empty house. 

There were dozens of heavily armed men moving up and down the street.  What would have happened if one of these men had accidentally fired his weapon?  The resulting firefight might still be going on.  If a car had backfired, a kid had thrown a firecracker, or that idiot sniper had fallen off the roof of my terrified neighbor’s house, the results could have been tragic.  It doesn’t really matter what crime the guy they were after was accused of.  Unless he was making (and testing) homemade nuclear hand grenades, he was not nearly as dangerous to my neighborhood as the police.

Any small town police department stupid enough to think it needs to own a tank and is stupid enough to use that tank against an empty house, needs to rethink things.  If we can’t get better cops, let’s not allow them to use anything more dangerous than a potato gun.

Several hours into the one-sided standoff, a local cat slowly walked across the boulevard—right through the assembled police, under and past the road block.  The cat was obviously not impressed; he had probably seen a galloping cluster fuck before.  If only the police had taken a clue from the cat—the only sign of intelligence, and the coolest cat, in the street.

1 comment:

  1. Providing paramilitary weapons to local police only provides safety to the bank accounts of the industries who manufacture the equipment. It was bad enough when we had to worry about the military industrial complex. This new narco/military marriage threatens all of our civil liberties.