Blackhumouristpress's Blog

December 13, 2015

Chicago’s Finest… At a Bad Time

               

                “Every damn cop that ever fired a shot at something or someone will have a hearing…  Am I fucking clear to you?  All cops who ever pulled their gun out will have their day in court. Dig up everything you can find before others do and we will have a special committee to hear every case…  DON’T STAND HERE LOOKING FUCKING DUMB!  GET TO WORK!”

                And so it was that every cop alive that ever pulled or fired a gun, was put in front of a Chicago tribunal.  Those willing to purge themselves of wrong doing, might be able to keep their jobs if it was found that the lives of the officers were in danger.  It was sort of a truth and reconciliation tribunal like South Africa had after apartheid whereby white officers went before a commission and apologized for wrong doing and then went on with life without penalty.  Why?  So that the mayor could keep his job.

                The city called in the Altgeld 20.  Altgeld Gardens as it was called, was a housing project where poor African-Americans lived.  It was named after a former German born Governor of the State of Illinois.  Nobody in the early 2000s gave a shit about the name of their blighted housing project.  It was bordered by landfills, steel mills and constructed during a time when asbestos was widely used in the construction of the buildings.

 The police got a tip that the Gangster Disciples were gun fighting with the Black Disciples.  Why?  Drugs, territory, territory to sells drugs, retribution and so on.  Ten squad cars raced in a line down 130th Street towards where the gun fighting was taking place.  It was alleged that four innocent men were gunned down by police that night. The four innocent men were gang members who terrorized the residence of Altgeld Gardens.  This fight took place nearly ten years earlier and was captured on a VHS recorder from a window.  On the film, you can see the mostly white cops surrounding and shooting the gang members in a clearing among buildings, like fish in a barrel.  Anyone who did not drop their weapon immediately was shot.  It was the commission’s belief that none of the officer’s lives were in danger and for that reason, at a minimum, all who took place in the murders, should be fired and their pensions taken away.   Residents of Altgeld Gardens took turns reading accounts of the confrontation that day.  The last to speak was a little old woman by the name of Dorothy.  Dorothy had the same hair style that she wore back in the 1950’s.  She was a tiny old woman in a nice dress and a pill box hat held in with hair pins.  She sat on the witness stand with white gloves covering her hands and her purse on her lap.  She smiled a serene smile and waited her turn to speak.  The whole crowd of angry protestors and former neighbors of the since closed housing development laughed at what Ms. Dorothy had to say.

                “Now y’all fixin to crucify all these here officers.  Nevah the mind dat we killin each other an little ones who happen to git in the way.  There one man among all these officers who never pulled his gun and wadn’t even part the whole ordeal…  Officer Miller…  You want to tell them all or should I?”

                Officer Miller looked down and picked at a loose thread on his cuff.  He had a hard time looking at Dorothy or any other of the people in the room.  Officer Miller was horrified by what was about to be said about him.

                “Well then…  He won’t talk, I will.  I was watching ma television bout 9pm.  The lottery numbers was about to come up and I was all ready to look at what I got.  I don’t nevah win but I play.  Some call it gambling but I don’t see no harm in pickin a few numbers and maybe git a few dollars off it.  Ain’t like no casino.  Anyway, I had all ma tickets spread out and I was waiting for that woman to pull the balls that bounce around in the air puffer that make them move round.  I suppose I nevah heard them numbers cause all the sudden the door was knocked down clear off the hinges.  There stood Officer Miller.  He wad out breath an he aksed me where I keep ma crapper.  I toll him dat ain’t no way to enter a person’s home and ain’t no way to aks where the bathroom at.  I looked at him and say- excuse me?  The man was sweating and panting.  He removed his gun and begin to unzip his pants while he walk to the washroom.  He slammed the door began a moaning and crying.  I believe it wad comin from both ends on him.  Now this went on foh a good few minutes maybe five.”

                Officer Miller recalled stopping off for lunch and eating something with sour cream.  The cream was truly sour.  It hit Miller when the call went out that ten squads were needed to quell a gun fight at a housing project.  Miller began to sweat and it felt as though he had rodents running through his intestines.  He felt waves of nausea come and go and had to use all the muscles possible to keep from shitting in his pants.  Miller turned to his partner, Officer Termini and told him to stop the car.  Termini told Miller that it would not be possible.

                “Are you fucking nuts?  You want me to stop now so you can take a shit?!  If I stop, every car behind us is stopping too.  I can’t do it.  You’ll just have to fucking hold it,” said Termini.

                “You have to stop or I’m going to shit my pants.  I’m sick.  Something is wrong and I have to fucking go now,” said Miller.

                Termini drove faster and told Miller he could just shit in the field when the got there and hope that he wouldn’t be shot while relieving himself.  When all twenty cars pulled up, Miller went into the trunk and pulled out the battering ram.  It was a heavy cylinder shaped metal with two handles meant to break doors down with.  Miller found the first door he could reach and broke down the door without knocking.  Once in the bathroom, the shit poured from Miller’s ass while vomit flew from his mouth.  Miller turned his head while sitting on the toilet and filled the sink with vomit.  It felt as though the end of the world had arrived for Officer Miller.  After five minutes of expelling food and fluids from every orifice possible, Miller opened a small window and closed the door behind him.  His shirt was drenched from sweat.  Dorothy looked at the man who looked like he was about to pass out and guided him to the couch and laid him down.  She wet a washcloth and put it across Officer Miller’s forehead and held his hands.

                “You gone be alright, baby.  You jus sick.  You coulda knocked and I woulda opened up but now I understand what you was up against.”

                “Ma’am…  I’m so sorry.  I will have this door fixed immediately and get cleaners in here for your bathroom.  I feel so bad about this, ma’am.”

                While Dorothy and Miller spoke to one another, gun fire popped in the night like popcorn in a popcorn maker.  It was nothing new to either Dorothy or Officer Miller.  Both were used to hearing gun fire.  After all- it was Chicago and a part of Chicago where nobody white ever went unless they had to.  It was poor and gang infested.  Dorothy was just a widowed church going elderly lady who kept to herself.  The gangsters knew it and left her alone.

                “And so…  I don’t know what you all fixin to do to these here gentlemen.  They might be wrong or jus doin they job.  It ain’t foh me t’say.  I can tell you this- Officer Miller was in a bad state that day and he had nothing to do with deaths or gun fire dat day.  I ain’t got no reason to lie nor stretch the truth.  God as my witness- this man look like he wad gone die on ma couch.  Officer Miller was a man of his word.  He got someone to install a new door dat night.  In a day, I got it painted.  I had two Polish women come to ma place and clean the entire bathroom.  Nice ladies but none could speak a lick of English.  I aksed them thangs and they just laughed and kept saying yes.  I say girl, what’s your name an the one laughed an jus say yes.  I jus laughed and said thank you.  So y’all do whatchu want but this man here ain’t like the rest.  Maybe he a shot someone ifin he wadn’t sick but on dat day, this man could barely stand.  He innocent as the day he born…  And dat’s all I got t’say.”

                Officer Miller was found not guilty that day.  And faith in humanity was restored to the jaded if only for a day.

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