Yes! It has been a while, so much going on. Good news- the college process is OVER, my son did an early decision application to Bard College and was accepted. It was his first choice and we are happy that it came through for him, we found out the day before Thanksgiving and have been celebrating ever since. So both my children will be in New York, and I will have an excuse to pop in for some sponteneous long weekends.
My daughter was home for the holiday, my in-laws were visiting as well, I finished my film class, and I have been busy doing last minute family shoots. I’m finally coming up for air and like the rest of the country I’ve been saddened by the events that have been taking place. Of course having an 18 year old son, I can’t help but to think about Michael Brown’s mother who will not be sending her son to college, or the image of Eric Garner in a choke hold by the officer that has played countless times on all of the networks.
I thought about my 55 years on the planet, I too have had negative encounters with law enforcement. I’m not male. I’m not big, large or threatening, but it has happened to me, 5 TIMES. 5 negative situations is too many, I know there are good police who care and really do protect, but do to my experiences, I am fearful of police and my heart rate goes up at the thought of being stopped. I associate being stopped by the police with something negative, which is sad. My feelings have been shaped by an adult life that has been sprinkled one to many times with these encounters.
Incidence # 1
I was about 22 and I was stopped for expired tags, while driving in LA. During the stop and not being able to show valid registration the conversation deteriorated to being asked had I been to a hot tub club. For those of you to young to know about these, back in the 80’s there were these places where you could go and “rent” a hot tub room by the hour. I remember being uncomfortable with the conversation and telling the officer that I was not familiar with those places. I did not get a ticket, but I felt sick after being talked to like that from a figure of authority.
Incidence # 2
I was about 23 and I was “stopped” while sitting at a bus stop. I was living in Fox Hills at the time and I was sitting at the bus stop on Slauson and Overhill waiting for the bus. It was about 9 pm and I was on my way home from work, when a black and white car with 2 officers pulled over and questioned me as to why I was sitting there. Being a smart mouth at the time, I remember my response, “Officer read the sign, B-U-S- S-T-O-P that spells bus stop and that is why I am sitting here” that did not go over to well, and as a result he emptied my purse and my gym bag on the ground. I remember at that point being frightened and I remained quiet until they left, I picked up my stuff and to this day I don’t know why I was questioned or “stopped”.
Incidence # 3
I was 28, it was October and I had just met Reggie a month prior to this incidence. I was driving to the area that is now Universal City Walk, back in the day there were popular restaurants there, and that particular evening my roommate was having a party at a place called Victoria Station. So I’m driving, almost there and I am pulled over, the officer checked my license and a warrant from expired tags from some years back was discovered, I was petrified. I’m dressed for the party and the officer told me that I was going to JAIL, so I pleaded and he cuffed me anyway and put me in the back of the police car and THEN drove to the party and put down the window, and asked me “Do you see any of your friends? Maybe they can help you…” it gets worse, I’m then taken to the station to be booked, so after being questioned, I was finally able to make a call, and mind you this was before cell phones, and I am unable to reach anybody who could have bailed me out. So time was going by and I am panicking, and I don’t want to call Reggie, because I had just met him, so finally I’m told that in the morning I was going to be traferred to Sybil Brand where I woule be “eaten and beaten” no joke, that was what the officer told me happily. So to make a long story short I called Reggie about 4AM and he came and bailed me out…all this for expired tags.
Incidence # 4
I was 49 and taking my daughter to look at colleges in upstate New York, this particular evening we were looking for a B&B we were staying at, when out of no where the lights came on and of course I pulled over right away. I’m questioned as to what I am doing, and I answered very respectful, because it was dark and there are no other cars around and I was with my daughter. So after showing him my reservation confirmation, along with my license and the rental car contract he finally left and I cautiously checked in to the B&B of course still to this day not knowing why I was stopped.
Incidence # 5
A few years ago, I was “stopped” while parked, by a sheriff in Hollywood. I was never given a reason, but I showed my registration and my insurance card, which annoyed the officer because I had the insurance card from my other car, and I proceeded to tell him all my cars were insured by the same agent. He continued to interrogate me, until he noticed my white friend was in the car with me, ( I was in a little car and the way he was standing he could not see the passenger) once she spoke up and asked him why he was treating me like that, he then backed off…
My son does not have a drivers license yet, and there is a part of me that is frightened for him to drive and the thought of him being stopped by the police really scares me. I pride myself as always seeing the good in people, but we are living in challenging times. I will continue to embrace each day and live it to the fullest, finding joy in simply things and spending times with those that I love.