So I was jumpin up pon di pakway today, and decided to call it a day. The way the cops have their maze of barricades situated, it’s pretty much impossible to cross the eastern parkway during the parade, the only way I knew how, was through the train stations that cross it underground. I’d done it earlier in the day, and there was no problem.
I figured I’d go the same route to leave, but when I got to the train station I’d crossed over through earlier, the cops had erected barricades in the train station, to prevent people from crossing over for some reason. FUCK MY LIFE. There was literally no way to cross the street. I was tired, my feet hurt and I wasn’t interested in navigating the endless barriers and people on the street to find another way to cross. I saw and elderly lady struggling through the emergency door and held it open for her. After she passed I went in to the station, came right back out through the turnstile and made my way toward the stairs to the other side of the parkway.
Shortly following, I heard “HEY!” screamed several times in my general direction, but didn’t pay it any mind as there were a shit ton of people passing through the station. A few seconds later I felt a rough tap on my shoulder, I turned around to see a large policeman presumably a ranking officer, glaring at me.
Officer: “Did you just walk through the emergency exit!” He barked.
Me: “Yes, but I didn’t enter the station, I walked right back out.” I said calmly.
Officer: “Didn’t you see the sign that said no crossing over in this station? Didn’t you see me standing right there? I know you saw me, I looked you right in your face.” He said belligerently.
At that time he was barking, 2 more officers massed up behind him, watching me intently, hands gripping their guns
Me: *Staring at them blankly* “Honestly I wasn’t even really paying attention ” In my calmest voice possible
Officer: “So you just do what you want? Walk through places with no regard for signs?”
Me: “What do you want me to do? Walk back where I came?” I asked.
Officer:“I want you to give me the courtesy, at least ASK if you can cross over” He growled.
Me: *Blank stare* “Look, I’m just trying to get home, it’s crazy out here.” I said calmly.
Officer: You live on this side?
Me: Yes sir.
Officer: Let me see your ID.
I hand him my ID.
He takes it, looks it over and hands it back wordlessly.
Me: Have a nice day.
I’m completely convinced that had I not remained calm the whole time; this interaction would have ended badly for me. I could feel the anger and fear and apprehension coming off the officers; and they were the ones with the guns! It was a little bit scary. Given the endless stories in the news about cops goin off on black men, I’m thanking my lucky stars this incident ended in the way that it did.
Lesson of the day: Always remain calm when dealing with Police, no matter how rude or belligerent they are to you. It could save your life.