Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer of Sharks

sharks Pictures, Images and Photos
I've always felt uneasy around law enforcement. A lot of it stems from engaging in illegal activities in my youth. Another part comes from seeing them engage in transactions with the leopard print ladies of the night outside McDonalds. A wee bit comes from this one cop who would say inappropriate things to me when I was 15 even though he already had a teenage wife.

This summer, my town seems to be full of cops. Their cars remind me of sharks, the lights at the top being like fins. They've been called to my neighborhood for domestic disputes, for arresting wild teens, and patrolling the neighborhood next to mine that we lovingly call Vice City. Basically it's a series of town homes and crack dealers. I grew up next to a similar place in Georgia, so it feels like home to me.

Once I hit college, I became a model citizen. I don't speed. I don't jaywalk. I don't even drink! I still feel sheer terror when a cop is driving behind me like they can sniff out my illicit past and arrest me on the spot. Does their speed radar detect all the vandalism, the theft of Hostess Snowballs, and the breaking into trailers? I am a respectable matron now, right?

When I see them arresting kids in the street, I feel rage. I want to flip them off, but wonder if that will get me arrested. I've googled that, but have found no true answers. There is a teeny part of me that still remembers wearing gang colors, trying to project a toughness I didn't possess. I feel like pulling over my car and cracking skulls. I'm sure those kids must have done something seriously wrong, but I understand how they got in those situations. I still harbor a teen in me that abhors authority and lives for recklessness. I can feel the distrust, confusion, and rebellion in those kids, much like my own at that age.

I know that the majority of police officers truly try to protect and serve the people, but some biases are too deep to remove. I don't think I will ever rid myself of the discomfort I feel when a police car is around and seeing so many of them lately does not help matters. It's a strange summer of sharks.

5 comments:

SonyaAnn said...

I feel ya. But I figure we made it and so will the "punk" kids. Though I did miss out on the entire gang colors. I used to out run the cops on my 3-wheeler. Fun times! And I too, had the pervert who would hit on me when I was 16. He went to jail for having sex with a 14 yr old. And you wonder why we don't trust them. I panic when I think about my daughter getting pulled over. She hasn't yet but its a matter of time. Great story!!!!

Vanessa said...

Jess, though I wasn't a law-breaking kids, I am uneasy with cops too. I think a majority of them are good people, but once they put on the uniform, can transform into power-hungry thugs. I don't trust them to protect me, but instead I am leery of their ulterior motifs. It sucks to feel that way, but with my BIL in prison for something we believe he is innocent of, that holds some biases as well.

Jessica said...

SonyaAnn, I think we must have had similar youths. I can only imagine the thrill of outriding cops though. We rode our bikes hard and fast, but that didn't have the speed of a 3 wheeler.

Van, I can understand why you feel that way with your BIL. You have all the reason in the world to be uneasy.

A.Marie said...

What is it about police? I also am distrustful of them, and I almost hyperventilate when they follow me down the road.

I didn't get into much trouble when I was younger, but my brother was kind of a rule-breaker. One time, I was driving his truck, and the local cop thought that it was my brother. So, the cop proceeded to follow me ALL OVER TOWN until I finally parked, got out, and started walking towards City Hall. Only then did he finally see that I was not my brother!

(How he got us mixed up I'll never know...my brother was almost 6' tall and I am only like 5'3". DUH!! :}

Jessica said...

A.Marie, I'm really glad I'm not the only one. It's just such a weird feeling.

That's a funny story about them thinking you were your brother though!