Monday, May 21, 2007
D. C. 911
National Police Week. Honest, it wasn't planned - at least on my part.
I emerged from the Judiciary Square Metro station. On one end of the station the exit drops you right into the middle of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. I rode the escalator right out into a sea of hundreds of police officers from everywhere in the United States. They were there to memorialize fallen officers, especially the ones who were killed in the line of duty over the last year. Not surprisingly, I saw more NYPD cops than all others combined.
After looking around and snapping a few pictures, I headed back to my hotel. Outside the building next to my hotel there was a television reporter asking people how bad the ruckus was the night before. No one wanted to talk. I had no idea exactly what they were talking about. But it wasn't long before I understood.
As it turns out, I had to be one of, if not the only, non-law enforcement officer in the entire hotel. Oh sure, it sounds like a fantasy, but there is a reason for that word.....nothing is based in reality, not unlike hunky truck drivers and cable guys. They don't really exist.
Calling Becky regarding where I was in the city (a block from where we had her rehearsal dinner) , I told her about the cops. I can't say I was totally surprised when she immediately broke out into Gang of Four's "I Love a Man in a Uniform".
The reality is that the majority of these cops look like Chief Wiggum and mentally have not progressed past freshmen year keg parties. So yes, they act like Clancy Wiggum too ("bake him away toys"). It wasn't pretty....on any level.
Drunk and disorderly would be the description...or even the charge that would be levied at any of us. It didn't help that on the ground floor of the hotel we (the cops and myself) stayed was an Irish bar. Nothing like feeding the stereotypes....and they ate it all up. Or drank it all up, as the case may be.
Lewd comments to passers-by (I'll assume all women), inappropriate behaviour on most of their parts. And bagpipes. Because you can't have a police memorial service without those g-ddamn fuckin' bagpipes.
So even eight floors up, you'd hear the roar of the police motorcycles that they'd just ride around the block, gunning their engines. The noise of their yelling and the of course, that shrill of that instrument that would wake the dead.
And guess what? No one calls the cops on the cops. Or if they did, the DC police did nothing. But someone videotaped the crowd's behaviour that would get any of us arrested and then had it broadcast on local news. So, now there is an investigation.
I walk out the next morning and they had encased two automobiles in yellow police/Do Not Cross tape (allegedly). I should have taken a pic of that.
When visiting a client, I had mentioned what had gone on - not that it didn't make every news station and the Washington Post. One woman said, 'but that's just how people get at conventions'. But this was no convention for g-d's sake....it was a frickin' memorial.
I kept thinking about the woman in the above picture. Though it doesn't capture it well, she was beside herself and breaking down in tears with her kids by her side. How do you think she took that the same folks who came to memorialize her husband were infantile in their behaviour afterwards (allegedly)?
The next day, the officers on my floor were replaced by 100 or so 8th graders. You couldn't even tell there was a changing of the guard.