Which story is better?
Off duty, I had gone home, took my gun and threw it on the kitchen table, something I never do. I changed my clothes, put on jeans and sweatshirt to go walk my dog. I was going to leave the gun, but on second thought I just got it an threw it in my pants as I went out the door.
I went into the park. It’s one o’clock in the morning by now. A guy was passing in the street on a bicycle. He sees me. He just kept going back and forth in front of the park I think, I’m going to have a problem with this guy. I call my dog and put her on the leash. We’re walking out the only entrance to the park.
Now we’re on the city street, he on one side of a car, me on the other, right under a light. His back is to me, he’s still motoring on his bike. He sticks his hand in his pants. I think, he’s got a gun. When he turns around, he didn’t have a gun. He had his penis in his hand and he was masturbating. I got so mad. I wasn’t frightened. What if it was my niece walking the dog, or it was someone’s daughter? A housewife? Someone’s who’d be frightened. I remember when I was a young girl and that happened to me I was terribly frightened.
Now I knew what he had in his hand. I pulled out my gun. And he knew what I had in my hand. I stuck it straight out, and said to him, “I’ll put a bullet in your eff’ing head.”
And pssh, he had an instant crash. And he said to me–which struck me very strange–”what are you, crazy, lady?” And he drove off, thinking I was crazy.
I had dropped off my pet at a vet near our transit police headquarters. As I was walking out back to my car I noticed a young big black man running across a schoolyard playground. He hit the chain-link fence, climbed over and ran down the street.
Two other police came up and said, “Get him! Get him!” So I went dashing down the street.
But then I realized, “Ah, I don’t see him.”
Two women hanging out their window said, “He went down there, officer.”
There was a door in the side of the street. I just go in there, walking into the dark until I came out the other side into a series of back yards. Then I began running and jump over fence after fence. I finally come to the last yard where the building rounds the bend into an L. I go running in.
There I see this poor suspect towering over me, but huffing like he was going to have a heart attack. I am just standing there as cool, as non-winded as possible. I had run track in school.
Here I am confronted with him. And I hadn’t had that much practice and I wasn’t really that tough. I’d never have made it in the regular police force. I just wasn’t that aggressive. But all I had to do was say, “OK, you’re under arrest, turn around, put your hands on your head, walk to the wall.”
And he just did everything I said. I didn’t even touch him. He was so astonished that I would show up. He was just so exhausted. After I had put him in cuffs, my two partners showed up.
Then things got interesting. I was the only white person there–black suspect, two black transit police officers.
And they were beside themselves, saying, “Hold him up. Let me hit him!” He had apparently assaulted one of our female officers on her way to work. So here I am, protecting this suspect. Once I had my suspect arrested, I lost all my anger. I thought they were pathetic at that point, because they were defenseless. You had done the worst thing you could do, which was to take away their liberty. I never understood the temptation to beat them further. Even though in the pursuit I’d be agitated, angry.
I’ll never forget that incident. People often say it’s the whites beating the blacks. But here it was two blacks wanted to beat a black suspect. And I was saying, “No, he’s mine. Back off!”