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September 20, 2005

I wasn’t going to mention the recent police activity in our neighborhood but since there was another incident today, I thought I’d share. The first was almost two weeks ago. It was about 2:30 in the morning and Lawrence and I were watching The Terminal when I heard some voices that didn’t sound like regular nighttime activity. I looked out the front window and saw a sheriff’s car parked backwards on the opposite side of the street with lights flashing and I could see the nose of a city police car, so I went upstairs to the bathroom because its window overlooks that part of the street. I see two more police cars and about five or six officers with their guns drawn surrounding a man who is standing on our neighbor’s lawn. They are shouting at him, “DOWN ON YOUR KNEES! DOWN ON YOUR KNEES NOW!”. He isn’t moving and I’m scared that I’m going to see a person shot to death in front of me, so I go to tell Lawrence what is going on, as he is coming up the stairs a little slower than I did. By the time we get there, they did have him on the ground and they are removing his shoes and lifting the legs of his pants. Lawrence slid the window open and we could hear snippets of the radio conversation-“felon…knife”. I sent Lawrence out to ask an officer what was going on after they had him in the car. I needed to know if the guy was a sexual predator or breaking into a house. Turns out he was a convicted felon with a warrant out and they either saw him walking and recognized him or they got a tip from someone on his whereabouts. The officer wasn’t too clear on that point. I looked in the newspaper at the arrests a couple of days later and think it was a guy with concealed weapons.

Then today we were hanging on the porch at about 12:30, that is the lunch hour for the high school that is about 6 blocks from us. We get a lot of foot traffic from teenagers at that time. A group of boys walks by talking obscenities, which isn’t terribly unusual. Then about two minutes later we hear sirens and start seeing police cars come down the street. They turn at the street half a block away. Then there are so many police cars that they get gridlocked at that intersection and eventually end up lining up almost to our house. There were about nine police cars, with a couple unmarked ones thrown in there. Our neighbor’s lawn (on the other side of us, not the same ones) is swarming with officers taking statements and talking to kids. Finally it all dissipates and Lawrence asks a kids walking back by what happened and he said that the boys who were walking by earlier (the potty mouths) were insulting a girl that was walking with them and then it started escalating and somebody tried to start a fight and she called 911 from her cell phone.

Nine police cars…that is about the whole city force there! (We have a small city.) So, they send four for a convicted felon with concealed weapons and nine for a group of high schoolers. Either a disturbing statement of who the cops are more scared of or a demonstration of bureaucratic ineptitude. I think it could go either way.

There are only three houses on our block. Ours and our two neighbors. I told Lawrence that it is our turn to host police activity in our lawn. So much for our nice, sleepy town.

Also, wish me luck on my search for a very reasonably priced used serger. I have very little money to work with now, so I am really looking for a miracle!

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