Archives for category: police

DHSKMdzVYAANuF2It’s Sunday, August 20th and this has been one really tough week for the city of Charlottesville. Yesterday the media finally cleared out and we are left alone to grieve for our city, and to try to heal.

I might not be able to adequately express what this week was like. I might fail miserably at it, in fact. But I have to try.

My family and I struggled with whether or not we were going to stand up to those invading our town…whether we should brave the streets of Charlottesville in the name of equality and inclusion. My daughter and I had attended the KKK rally back  in July. It was certainly hectic, and I thought of that crowd multiplied by 5. That was scary enough.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 10.59.02 AMThen I woke up to this on Saturday morning and the decision was clear…hubby and I felt the risk was too great, so we hunkered down in front of CNN and MSNBC to watch the events unfold.

It was exhausting. Watching the streets I have walked on, streets right around the corner from my office, being invaded by verminous thugs wearing riot gear, carrying guns, sticks, and batons was sickening.

We were in the middle of watching a live interview on CNN with a clergy member when she suddenly said, “I gotta go!” and was literally yanked out of the camera’s view and hustled to some safe location. Shortly thereafter, the shit hit the fan.

ss-unite-the-right-rally-20-546p-rs_3788f269ac38bbdd88b5e2d735866d15.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000We’ve all watched the images of water bottles flying through the air, fist being thrown, and clouds of pepper spray. See that newspaper box flying through the air? That is the paper I work for. And the other box with Real Estate Weekly on it? That’s mine too.

la-na-charlottesville-beating-20170813-1Once the police finally broke it up, the madness didn’t stop. We watched as some poor dude got the shit beat out of him at the entrance to the Market Street parking garage. We watched as he struggled to get away, tripping and falling repeatedly, with blood down his face.

It wasn’t even noon yet.

When I first saw the footage of the car attack my stomach hit the floor. I’ve walked up that street a thousand times – my office is just 4 storefronts away from that intersection. Cars traveling down that street are required to stop and wait, for no matter how long, until pedestrian traffic on the Downtown Mall is clear before you can proceed.

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I am AMAZED that nobody else was killed. That is a one-way street, so there is no need to see if traffic is coming from the opposite direction. My family and I spent the rest of the afternoon in a zombie-like state, staring at the TV and checking social media.

We are local, so we were getting reports from friends who were in Charlottesville that day. Hell, 5 of my coworkers were in and around the scene reporting for our paper. Facebook and Twitter were invaluable sources of information on that day.

And then trump went on the air. I cannot tell you how disgusted I was by his statements. Many sides. Fuck you. While I’ll admit Charlottesville folks were throwing punches, we were DEFENDING our city. We didn’t march in with clubs, guns, tiki torches, shields and bottles filled with urine.

If this vermin had never slithered into Charlottesville, our good people would have been spending that Saturday morning eating breakfast at Bodo’s, milling around the City Market with their baskets and man buns, or sipping coffee at the Mud House.

Do we not have the right to defend our city?

Sunday, August 13th
We headed into town. We felt the need to be there…to clean up if need be, and to support local businesses. There was still a very large media presence in town. The photo below was where most of the fighting had happened a mere 24 hours earlier.

20170813_121843Market Street, which the day before had been filled with Nazi slime, was now pretty much empty. I was glad to see our celebrate and embrace diversity banner was not torn down the day before.

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20170813_122011This is my poor little C-VILLE box…all battered and bruised from from being treated like a volleyball on Saturday. It actually held up quite well – the door wouldn’t open, but it held it’s shape surprisingly well.

At 2 pm we attended the Jason Kessler press conference. What a shit show that turned out to be. Lots of people were milling about, jockeying for position in front of City Hall. Hubby managed to get a spot right behind a CBS news crew.20170813_135916.jpgDavid Begnaud, who spent a lot of time covering these events, was right in front of us. I’d see him quite a few times around town over the next few days. Kessler, shown in the background of the photo above, was jeered from the second he stepped foot outside the building.

20170813_134147Snipers were at the ready…

20170813_135753.jpgIt didn’t take long for him to be approached and chased out of town. It was sort of angry mob-like, but without the violence and tiki torches. And let’s be fair. Kessler had tweeted “Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.” He’s lucky he left town with his ball in tact.

And we visited 4th Street. This is what it looked like on Sunday.

20170813_120640This is how it looked on Friday…

IMG_0375The entire street is a chalk tribute to Heather. It is sort of a sacred spot, which is why a couple of do-gooders erased the “Burn in Hell” over Jason Kessler’s name, along with the suck dick comment to the left.

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IMG_0370Her memorial on Wednesday had the Downtown Mall packed once again. It was a sea of purple, and thank goodness was void of any vermin…they had said they were going to “protest” her memorial. Fat chance fuckers…

IMG_0341The gentleman in the bow tie is Heather Heyers boss.

20170816_110151During the memorial, those who could not get in to the Paramount stood in solidarity outside.

IMG_0380.jpg I don’t know how long it’s going to take my town to get over this. There is going to be much finger pointing and much arguing. After seeing what happened in Boston yesterday, it’s apparent that the rallies in Charlottesville could’ve been handled a lot better.

The police stood by for most of the violence, only intervening when they were given orders to. Where were they when a newspaper box was a projectile weapon? Where were they when a man was getting the living shit beat out of him in a parking garage A MERE 15 FEET FROM POLICE HEADQUARTERS???

When the KKK came to town, they had barricades set up to keep the two sides apart. Why wasn’t that done this time? Why in the world was 4th Street, where all those people were run over, open to traffic?

There are lots of questions. This might not be over for a long, long time.

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In response to the daily promt Hideout

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My friend John used to throw some decent parties when we were in high school. He always managed to get beer…little nips of Michelob, I think…and there was always an abundance of Donna’s Pizza. You would think that would be enough, but as teenagers, it never seemed to be.

His house was around the corner from a cemetery, and after one of these parties a bunch of us were hanging out at the end of a street that butted up against the cemetery. We were probably being loud and obnoxious to those residents trying to sleep on a warm Saturday night, perhaps with their windows open, because before we knew it, the cops came down the street.

Well, we all scattered like flies. The only place I could run was into the cemetery. It was dark, and I was unfamiliar with my surroundings, so when I saw a giant tombstone with large bushes on either side, I ducked behind it and laid flat on the ground.

I could see the patrolman’s flashlight arcing back and forth as he walked through the cemetery. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to calm my frantic breathing, praying that one of Leonia’s finest wouldn’t find my hiding spot, and make me the “example” of a teenage night gone awry.

It had also not escaped me the fact that I was laying flat on someone’s grave. In the dark. All alone. I’d seen “Night of the Living Dead” and “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” a few times too many, and I will admit, it creeped me the hell out.

I was also being eaten alive by mosquitos, and swatting at them was not an option, not as long as I could still see flashlights and cops’ headlights.

What seemed like an eternity ended with the cop car pulling away, having not located a single one of us. I stayed put for a few minutes and then slowly crept out from behind the tombstone, brushing dirt off my t-shirt and scratching at my sweaty, itchy legs.

I was afraid to go back to John’s house – I was afraid to go back out from the way I came in, sure that there was a dragnet of sorts set up to catch me. So I just walked home. On the way I ran into another kid who’d been chased away and we compared notes, happy to have escaped the clutches of the law.

The next day, via my orange teen phone, John and I laughed over the incident, proud that we had not only had a fun night, but had outsmarted the cops to boot. But I’ll tell you, we avoided that street in the future.

After a night spent laying on someone’s grave I was smart enough to not tempt fate.

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Back in 1996 I was heading to work after dropping my infant daughter off at my sisters when I noticed a cop behind me. I looked at my speedometer, and low and behold, I was going too fast. The lights switched on, and I was pulled over.

That was the last speeding ticket I got. In 1996. I’ve been pulled over a time or two for silly things…like for driving with a failed inspection sticker, or going 8 miles over the speed limit in my residential community. I was always let go with a warning, because I have a clean record and my offenses were petty.

Well, that streak came to an end on Friday night. Sigh.

My girls and I had attended Halloween Haunt at King’s Dominion, a theme park about an hour away from our home. The night had not been very fun for me, because I find as I grow older, getting startled and scared is losing it’s charm on me.

After walking through three haunted attractions, where ghouls pop out around every corner or scream in your ear, I was done. My lower back hurt really bad mostly because I had spent the last 45 minutes in a tense ball of nerves. I told the girls they were on their own…I was waiting outside the rest of the attractions.

When we were leaving, the road was crowded and I couldn’t manage to get over to get on the ramp for I-95. But I wasn’t worried because after years of going to good old KD, I knew the back roads. We were traveling down Rt. 1 rehashing the night and talking about our weekend, when a saw a car on the opposite side of the road turn on it’s headlights. I hit my brakes, saw my speed go down to around 45, and noticed that car, was indeed, a cop.

I looked in my rearview and saw him U-turn and thought, “shit.” Part of me hoped he would run my plate, see that I was had zero priors, and just let me go. But no, the lights went on and he pulled me over.

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how cute is that?

Unfortunately this dude wasn’t going to let me go with a warning. He was taking way too long after getting my license. Even though I had a crystal clear record, and was wearing a super cute hat with fox ears, I got a speeding ticket. My 20 year streak, shot to hell.

Yeah, I probably was going too fast. The road was empty and we were talking so I guess I just didn’t realize that the speedometer was creeping higher. It sucks, but it wasn’t the end of my sucky night.

After pulling away from the cop, using directionals and coming to full and complete stops (even in the parking lot) we pulled into a McDonalds because I was thirsty. Before I know it, there are flashing lights behind me again. WTF?

ANOTHER cop was pulling me over. He approaches my window and tells me my headlights aren’t on. I say, “Yes they are – I can see the light from them.” He says, “No, that’s your fog lights.”

Oh great. He then asks if I were just pulled over. I said yes, for speeding. He had recognized my plate from the call that went over the radio. He said he’s not going to give me another ticket, but that I was lucky he recognized my plates. Yeah, gee – let me run out and play the lottery. I feel sooooo lucky.

But my lights were on. I had him come over to my car and look at my light switch on my steering column. The lights were turned on, but not working. What I was seeing was the glow of my fog lights. Thankfully my high beams worked, and I had to drive the hour home with them on. How is a person sitting behind the wheel, who sees lights, supposed to know her lights are not working. If he HAD given me a ticket, I totally would have fought it.

Ugh. It ruined my weekend. I hate when I’m careless and it costs my family money. I hate it. But, when you think on the bright side, if you spread the cost of the ticket over the 20 years, it’s only about 10 bucks a year.

Nah, there’s no bright side. It just sucks.