Winter 2015


Security service officer cop with traffic baton guarding street near police car with siren light

I am on duty, it’s Saturday evening, driving my police car through an area. I am nervous because of the neighborhood, and tired from the night shift. I park my car in an alley, which allows me to observe the road well, and follow any unfamiliar movements.

I see a Mercedes pass in front of me, and it is unfamiliar to see such an expensive car in this area. I leave the alley and follow the Mercedes until it stops at a store, then I stop my car behind it. The store lights allow me to see the driver well who is a man, wearing jeans, unshaven. Remembering my training, his appearance makes me suspicious. He eases out of the Mercedes and moves carefully along the fender and past the grille. He walks toward three young men with leather jackets and a woman, who are standing beside the store but look suspicious and like a street gang.

I have been trained to see an unshaven man in blue jeans who looks like that as a potential thief. I follow behind him with my pistol in my hand, wary of him and of the suspicious group. I order the man to halt and put his hands up. He turns slightly to me and instead of raising his hands as I order him, he reaches his hand inside his jacket to pull out something. I panic. “He’s got a gun,” I tell myself as my finger pulls on the trigger.