Dear SFPD Motorcycle cop on 3rd Street, yesterday:

Here’s what you should have done. You should have said, basically, “Oh, don’t worry, this is a just a motorcade coming through in a few minutes. Go on back to your car, and you’ll be out of here in a jiffy.” You could have even added “Hope you feel better soon!” if you wanted to be cordial. I kind of remember police officers doing that, when I was a kid.

When I left my daughter and walked across 3rd Street I clearly didn’t know what was happening or why the street was closed. I didn’t pull out and just drive away as a courtesy to you, by the way, a courtesy I won’t make the mistake of extending to you again. I came up and told you I had a medical condition and I was worried about getting to a doctor’s appointment. Instead of telling me it would only be a few minutes, or even why the street was closed, you grabbed my arm and tried to hold me down. My concern immediately went from making my appointment to my scared shitless 9 year old, watching me struggle with the police across 3 lanes of 3rd street.

I told you my daughter was across the street; you ignored me, and while you told me to stand still, you still didn’t bother to tell me why you were tightening your grip on my arm and yanking me away from my daughter. I admit that when I told you again that my daughter was across the street from me I was probably getting louder. I don’t like being forcibly separated from my daughter when I don’t know what’s going on, and neither does she. Eventually, as this was turning into a full blown physical altercation, and my daughter was panicking and trying to figure out whether to run to her mother, I was reduced to screaming that I had to get back to my daughter before whatever was about to happen on this street happened, which you still hadn’t revealed to me. You let go, pushed me, and told me to stay with my daughter. I did in fact run over to my daughter and stay there.

Once again, all you ever had to say was “Don’t worry, this is only going to take a couple of minutes.” You certainly never had any reason to lay hands on me at all, much less in response to a worried question.

Now my daughter is terrified of you. It’s frustrating to know that if she’s ever lost or in trouble, instead of going to the police, she’s probably going to run and scream if an officer approaches her to help. All because she’s watched the police start physically assaulting and screaming at her mother for asking a question. Not a crime, or a crime scene, or even a protest, just asking a question about getting to the doctor’s office.

This feels like it should be a parody piece, some extreme of what policing would be become if it were not merely out of control, but non-sensical and random. Instead, it’s just a record of Tuesday.

8 thoughts on “Dear SFPD Motorcycle cop on 3rd Street, yesterday:

  1. GKnightBC

    Enough is enough! When will government and officials who truly want to ‘protect and serve’ fire these jackbooted morons? Where is the ‘innocent until proven guilty’, and ‘common sense’ that should be in the top of EVERY law enforcement official’s mind? Every officer should be submitted to a psychological profile study, proving that they are NOT paranoid bullies with power trips. Every news article I read nowadays that involves police or other security forces shows a complete insanity of out of control maniacs. This applies from Kuwait to Canada. Weed out the bad apples!

  2. Coale

    What happened to you was terrible. I don’t deny that, or that there are officers out there who are nothing but bullies. But whenever I hear another one of these and see all the “all cops suck and are bullies” responses it hurts me cause I knew a cop, he was a leader in my scout troop and a genuinely nice guy who out of the blue committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Another thing to keep in mind is that even though it seems its all they talk about bad cops make good main stream news…we don’t often hear of the good cop cause people wouldn’t be outraged by it. I say again, what happened to you was a terrible thing and I don’t mean to make it sound as though I think it wasn’t, I simply encourage people to have the courage to look at both sides of the coin and realize there are good cops out there.

  3. quinn Post author

    Yeah, I see signs here of a whole system is broken. It’s a lot easier to get people to dehumanize others if they’ve been dehumanized themselves, first.

  4. Cait

    Oh, Quinn. I don’t know what to say. How’s Ada now? How are you? Even for a moment thinking of Nora seeing that happen to me is nauseating.

  5. quinn Post author

    We’re ok. Perhaps the most disturbing part is how this isn’t very shocking anymore. :/

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