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He’s Mine. Back Off!

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!”

Six Live Rounds

Robert P, a GI out of Fort Hood was estranged from his girlfriend. He went over to make up and found her in bed with another gi. The fbi came in after he had his car was run off the road by a texas ranger. That’s when he took a very young girl, shelby m, hostage with shotgun in his right hand, the muzzle in his left hand up against her head.

We had lights from patrol vehicles and it was almost a full moon. Eventually our eyes adjusted to a mowed pasture of eight-inch high stubble by a farm house. Then came a five-hour emotional roller-coaster confrontation in that field leading to a face to face negotiation involving me and ranger Johnny A. We’re about ten feet apart, with Robert P pointing the gun toward me and Johnny alternately. Johnny and I are 90 degrees from each other to him. He’s got to turn his head from one to another. So if he tries to engage either of us he’s got to do it one at a time. Hopefully one of us can get a shot off.

He’s talking about his gal and “what a no-good bitch she is”

I interrupt him and say, “is this the woman you plan on spending the rest of your life with?”

He says, “hell, no!”

“Then, why are you letting her win?”

He’d said he wanted to see his brother, to make his peace. This was a very suicidal sounding prelude to a suicide by cop. At one point Robert P said he was going to make it to that farmhouse. Johnny who was standing between Robert P and farmhouse said, “Partner, that ain’t going to happen.” Whereupon the guy sat down.

He stops and thinks about what I said.

He turns to Johnny and says, “do you have a gun?” Johnny, who is six or eight feet from him at this point on other side of a fence, looks at him and says, “no.”

Robert P turns to me and asks, “Do you have a gun?”

I said, “Yes, I do.”

And he starts to get real pissed off

I say, “Wait a minute. I’ve not lied to you yet. I’ve been standing out here with you for five hours. Yes I’ve got a gun. I may be stupid, but I ain’t no fool.”

He starts laughing. We all start laughing. With that he gets real quiet. I look at Johnny, Johnny looks at me. We both figure, Oh boy, here it comes. He’s probably going to level that weapon at me first which will give Johnny an opportunity to take him out.

All of a sudden at 12:47 am he raised the muzzle of the shotgun up, racked six live rounds out onto the ground, then put the gun down.

When he pulled that gun up in the air, I crouched and had my gun about halfway out of the holster prepared to kill him.


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