A Street Conversation

Journal Entry: April 20, 2011

I parked my patrol car, an unmarked Crown Victoria, just north of the corner store.  Another officer had just gone in before me and was roaming the small, cluttered interior for the suspect.  The store owner gave us a brief glance oblivious to the intrusion of two officers canvasing his shop. 

On the corner, just south of the store, two officers were out with a young black female, a phone pushed flat on her ear.  Her voice was raised and stitched together a tapestry of street profanity. 

"Okay, turn around." The officer said as he reached for his cuffs tucked back on the rear of his gunbelt.  She dropped her purse to the ground and let the phone fall.  Perspiration covered her forehead and between the tightly woven braids in her hair.  Her earings hung heavy and smacked her face as she twisted and turned upset at having to put her hands behind her.  Her agitated state had become her downfall and it was best to control her movements by instituting a detention until we knew what we had. 

"Is he down the street?  Are they out with him?"  I asked the other officer who appeared in a hurry to go assist others out with our suspect.  A black male with a white tank top who was walking with our young female had apparently flashed a gun to another black male walking on the sidewalk.  The victim assumed it was because he "just looked at him wrong".  That was what it was like south of the freeway. 

"You mind staying here with her lieutenant?  I'm just gonna go down there and see what they got."  He said as he sat the girl down. 

"Absolutely.  I'll move her over here."  I made sure her feet were out of the street and his partner and I began questioning her.

We proceded to ask this young lady how it came to be she was with a young man who chose to flash a gun at another man.  We wanted to know what she knew.  What is his name?  How do you know him?  Where does he live?  Where were the two of you going?

"His name is D.C."  She said.

"What's that stand for?"

"I just know D.C. That his name.  I don't know but I tell you, I can't believe he got me mixed up in this!" 

She then continued to tell us that D.C. was her boyfriend, a fiance and they had been dating two months.  She was 19 and he is "around 40." 

"You only know him as D.C., he's "around 40" and you two are engaged?"  I asked clearly bewildered but not surprised.


"You been arrested before?" The officer asked now seated in the car running her information. 


"Let me guess, aggravated assault?  Against..... D.C.?"


"Whadyou use?"  I asked since aggravated usually involves a weapon or serious injury.

"A knife."

"So, you are with a man, twice your age, who you know only as D.C. who you have actually stabbed and been to jail for fighting with?  And you're still with him?"

"You have any kids?" I continued.

"No. I go to church, I go to school, I stay out of trouble!  I live with my mom!"  She said elevating her voice clearly attempting to make herself believe her own words.

"Time for you to make a change.."  I hesitated for a bit.  "Why aren't you in school now?"  I asked since it was about 1030 in the morning. 

No answer. 


So, this was just a small snipit of a conversation I had a week ago on the street with some folks in south Phoenix.  I typed this real fast with no real intent on making it "story worthy" but more of a journal entry.  I plan on putting more journal type entries here as a quick writing exercise and as a street lesson, study in human nature.  Hope you check back for more. 

I am still working on my short story, titled "A Moment for Rosalie".  I will have it done and ready to submit by Monday.  May 2 is the deadline!!!


Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

Wow. I read this and have to thank God for the gifts I have been given. All of them.

Stay safe and I look forward to reading more.

All the best,

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I figured things out late in life, like what I wanted to do, getting married (age 30), having kids, (36 and 38) and changing degrees about 3 times. Now as a cop of 19 years and in my mid 40's, I am finally figuring out some things. My first career or dream of becoming a writer is playing more in my head and daily life than ever. I love it. Thus the blog. It is all mine. I also love being a mother. They are all ours. I love my husband and as a cop, wow.. have I seen some things. Street degree. I got it. Let us learn together. I also am on She Writes.