Monday, December 05, 2005

Called the Cops Again

Last night, after getting home from a long drive, I was in my front room putting together my stereo system. There was a group of eight kids right underneath my flat in front of the laundromat. I looked out the window and noticed about eight of them hanging out talking on their cell phones and smoking Swisher Sweets. I went back to whatever I was doing, but was distracted when I heard the sound of spray paint.

I turned the lights off inside the house and peered through blinds to see what was happening. There was a tag on this big green metal box that the phone company people open up and peer into every once in a while. I decided to call the non-emergency sfpd number and report the spray painting.

The operator answered and asked me the usual questions like, "How many are there?", "What race are they?", "What are they wearing?", "Where Are They Now?" The operator asked for my name and number, and then asked me to stay on the phone until an officer arrived. That seemed surprising. I've called the cops a few times and they'd never asked me to stay on the line and this includes the time I called about a shooting that was going on right outside my window.

So, the kids started walking across the street to the liquor store when a squad car pulled up. Two of them tried to walk into the liquor store but the cop went in a pulled them out. They then had about five kids sit on the ground and put their hands behind their backs. Two more squad cars then showed up. The operator told me I could hang up, but two minutes later she called back and asked if I could see what was going on. She asked if they had the right people. So, with the lights out in the front room and me peering through the miniblinds I told them that one of the guys they had wasn't involved and that one of the girls standing around was. I could hear the person on the phone speaking through the cops' radios telling them what I had said. I was told thanks you and hung up.

They called again. The seargeant wanted to talk to me. The operator told me they'd take the suspects around the corner so I could meet with officers. I declined. No way was I walking out in my neighborhood and talking to the cops after five dudes had been made to sit in the sidewalk.

I stopped peering through the miniblinds and went to my bedroom and tried to watch t.v. I've called the cops after seeing groups of kids totally knock shit over in the corner store without any response from the law. This time...three squad cars appear and they want to meet with me.


Blogger Terra said...

From my experience, SFPD will not arrest anyone. They will ask you to take the risk and do a "citizen's arrest." I believe they do this because they know the DA won't prosecute most of these crimes -- particularly if the witness (you) is not even willing to perform an arrest. Kamala Harris is basically worthless. They can take your phone call, find the kids with the spraypaint on them, match the color of the spraypaint to the kids' paint, but SFPD won't do the arrest without a "citizens' arrest taking place." As a citizen, howeever, you can even be sued for false arrest -- so many people won't do it -- not to mention people being "gun shy" as it were, as you are (and rightly so) about being a neighborhood snitch.

8:55 PM  

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