There’s nothing that ruins your day quite like the helplessness you feel, walking home from the store wheeling your bike on the sidewalk in your ‘hood on a sunny breezy almost-last-day of summer, especially when a cop directing traffic has just retrieved your cell phone from the tarmac to which it dropped through an unkempt hole in your pocket, and you are thinking, well, that was nice—there’s nothing that will ruin your day quite like the sight of two white rookie cops, still wet behind the ears, patting down and going through the blue jeans of a tall, kind-looking mild-mannered older black man in front of the TD bank, hands cuffed behind his back, from whose pockets they extract crumpled kleenex and half a dozen reddish-purple plums. The man pleads with them to give him a break from whatever I assume, if any, minor infraction of the penal code he had committed in the subway; when asked by a bystander, the man mouthed that he’d done nothing. The cops wouldn’t say. They are transit cops and maybe they hadn’t heard, as I did on the radio, police commish William Bratton’s injunction that officers should use discretion in the arrest and prosecution of individuals for minor misdemeanors.
© copyright Liza Béar 2015