October 28, 2005
I pulled out in front of a police car while leaving a parking lot in Chicago. I didn't see the car coming. There was a side road to my immediate RIGHT, so when the cop car turned LEFT he was right on me. It was my mistake. The car didn't hit my car or anything, the "through" traffic was stopped at a light and I didn't even think of the traffic that could turn towards my direction.
After a few blocks the officer hit his lights and I pulled over into an alley. He had his pistol drawn and yelled at me to get out of my car. He told me to turn around and put my hands behind my back. I complied without saying a word.
As soon as those cuffs hit my wrist... his gun hit my head! I went down to my knees. He then shoved his pistol into my temple and started screaming. I can't really recall what he was saying because I KNEW that he was going to execute me, so I was praying. I was praying so hard. All I could do is pray for forgiveness and please dear God, don't let this guy kill me and my buddy (he was in the passenger seat).
Thankfully, he stopped. and then he and his partner escorted me to the back of his car. I got yelled at some more. Then they let me go without a ticket or warning, or anything else (except for the knot on my head).
Some folks are probably saying, "Hey! Fletcher, this is just a case of 'road rage' and the jerk just happens to be a cop." That's probably true.
Oh yeah, about every 5th word he was yelling at me was "Nigger".
True story. Every word.
I've taken away that this is what it's like to be 100% helpless. This is what it must feel like to be raped. This incident had the immediate effect of severe depression on me for about a week. Now when I look back on it, I get kinda angry.
I had an incident in Dallas, TX last summer while on vacation. An officer pulled me over for NO reason. He made me stand in the weeds for about 10 minutes and then GRILLED me with question after question. Every answer that I gave was refuted by him. See I must have looked like a terrorist because I had a "vacation" beard and I speak with a funny accent. (I'm from Chicago-land. You know, I sound like "Elwood Blues"). He asked if he could search my car and I said "yes". After it was over, I gave him my business card and said that If he ever comes up to visit me... I'll be a lot nicer to him than he's being to me. His response was, "You think I'm being mean to Yyyouuu?" I called and complained after I crossed the border into Arkansas. It went nowhere.
The days of my parents having friendly conversations with the local policeman at the diner are long gone. My own little theory is that because almost everyone in the police are former military, they still think they're in war zones. To this day, I fear the police.