Friday, August 15, 2014

The Day a Cop Drew a Gun on Me

Back in the spring of 1994, in Eugene, OR, Jeff swung by the house and we made sure we had our tickets and we headed off toward the WOW Hall to enjoy the first of a three night run of shows given by Zero, one of our favorite jam bands.

As we were strolling through the alleys, we nonchalantly noted that there sure were a lot of police in the area.

What we didn't know was that an armed man had just stolen a vehicle from Valley River Center, a mall about ten minutes away, come into our neighborhood, forced his way into a woman's house, and, for reasons I don't remember, fled on foot.

The woman called 911 and described the caller as having a pony tail and wearing a black Levi jacket and jeans.

Jeff's hair was pulled back in a ponytail.  He was wearing a black Levi jacket and jeans.

As we continued down the alleys between Madison and Lincoln Streets, we came to a vacant lot at the corner of W. Broadway and Lincoln and a SWAT team confronted us.

They weren't wearing camo, but were dressed in the all black SWAT team gear and the team's leader, head shaved and amped up had his pistol drawn and was pointing it directly at me and Jeff.


Immediately, the officers separated us, handcuffed Jeff, and began to question us.

It took about twenty minutes, but, thanks to a security officer at the mall who had seen the real perp and came to the scene and identified that Jeff was not the guy, the SWAT team let us go.

I've thought quite a bit about this incident over the last four or five days.

From the moment I saw that cop's gun drawn on me, I had confidence that this situation would all work out.

I never once thought we'd be hauled in.

It never crossed my mind that I might be treated unjustly. 

I never once thought that that officer would shoot me.

I did nothing to earn that confidence.

I was born into it. 


Unknown said...

Unfortunately, our darker skinned citizens could not have that confidence. As more stories like Ferguson, Missouri come out I thank God for putting me in Idaho.

Jay Gorham said...

thank you for posting this, Bill.

Sadly, horrifyingly, many of our law enforcement officers are enlisted in a war against race.