I KNOW there are great police. Those who are compassionate and care and hope to do the right thing.
There is misuse of power. Perhaps tilted towards the black and brown population but I have my own story. One about not brutality but mistreatment. One about a dike cop. Now let me clarify I am not homophobic. Some of my favorite people are gay and lesbian and i do not use the work dike. All but for certain circumstances like this one. It is the only time in my life I have referred to anyone as a dike.
This story takes place in 1989. Probably August i am going to say.
I was as a 28 year old middle class, well educated, law abiding young woman , married and mother of 1 ( Keenan). I had struggled so much with the decision of going to medical school at 28. Leaving Colorado . All the fears that you hear. How it is going to change you and your marriage and your ability to be a present mom. I did not want my life to change but i did want to become a doctor.
We lived in Lyons, Colorado and had a tiny little house that was ours. We decided that we needed to sell it as we were going to upstate NY for medical school at Albany Medical College. It was stressful. I was torn about whether we were making the right decision. Kelly had to stay back to finish our house and get it sold. Keenan was 15 months old and was going with me to NY. My medical school orientation was in a couple of days. I was so sad to leave Colorado and was intrepid about the upcoming changes.
Kelly was taking me to the airport in Denver to fly out. As we were driving down main street in Longmont the tension was present. Kelly and I started to have an argument, Nothing big. In fact I have no idea what it was about but we both got defensive and offensive. As is usually the case with Kelly, when there is an argument he tends to want out. He pulled over the truck and started walking up the street. In my normal fashion (lol) I got out of the truck, grabbed Keenan and started to go after him. When I got to him, reached for his arm and i said "Kelly, let's talk". He retracted his arm and said " leave me alone".
End of story. Suddenly the police pulled up. An innocent bystander in Wendy's had witnessed this and called them. This is where the dike comes in. She was short and stout and mean and tough. She told me that I was under arrest for domestic harrassment and she was mean. Now Kelly is easily 100 lbs heavier than my what was then maybe 120 lbs. She placed me in handcuffs. Kelly told her , " no you cannot take her away . She didn't do anything". They would not listen and took me to jail .
Because I was leaving the state to fly to NY i was not eligible for bail. I spent the night in Jail in an orange jumpsuit. I had to call my mother and tell her not to pick me up from the airport as i was in jail. How humiliating is that???
I spent the night and the next day went to court. Me in my orange jumpsuit and handcuffs and a bunch of big guys dressed the same. Charges? assault, rape... who knows what else. I was placed on probation for 6 months in Colorado and left the state that day . When you fast forward time 24 hours i found myself in NY. At Albany Medical College orientation. Standing under a huge totally white tent in a dress feeling very excited about what was to come. I remember meeting new people and thinking to myself , " I bet no one else in this tent spent last night in jail". I was demoralized and embarrassed and incredibly hurt and angry.
It has been almost 31 years since that happened. I wrote letters to the editor of the newspaper but other than that could not speak of this story for many years. Tonight I am ready to put it into writing. I am a white well educated female mistreated by the police 30 years ago. It horrifies me what they did to me . This is mistreatment and inappropriate use of power.
I know that there are great cops but there are bad cops too. Those that abuse their power. And i cannot imagine how that is compounded by having black skin. There needs to be accountability.
Thank you for reading. This was a very traumatic experience for me and I am happy that I can finally see a little humor in it. Not there is nothing funny about what happened, other than at this point I can add it as a story of my life. As inappropriate as it was.
Police should be held accountable for their actions.