I find the incredibly hateful cruelty of law enforcement officers towards the victims of senseless violence to be quite puzzling.
I always had the idea that one would want to become a police officer so as to aid those who are in need, not to rub salt in their wounds.
I've seen much the same thing happen twice, both times in Portland, but based on what I've seen or heard about police elsewhere I have reason to believe this is widespread:
a young woman sat next to me at the counter at the diner late one night. I tried to chat with her but she did not respond, and seemed quite upset so I let her be.
After a little while she walked away from the counter. I wasn't paying attention so I didn't see where she went.
I stepped in the men's room and was performing The Lord's Work at the urinal when suddenly I heard a whole bunch of shouting, the slamming of the woman's room door, a blood-curdling scream and that woman shouting in paind and in terror: "MY TOOTH!"
I came out of the men's room to find her standing in the little hall there, blood streaming from her mouth.
She had gone outside in an attempt to speak with her angry boyfriend who had been sitting in the car. He chased her inside the restaurant, into the ladies room - he followed her in there - where he belted her hard in the mouth, loosening two of her teeth.
Two cops, a regular patrol officer and some real young guy eventually turned up.
I tried to report to the officer what I had heard, but the very instant he figured out that I had only heard the event from within the men's room, he flatly refused to speak to me any more, because he asserted that my testimony could be used to convict the guy.
I explained to him that if he wrote down my name and number, there were many ways I could work with the Portland detectives that they would find helpful, that would not involve testimony on the stand.
he flatly refused to so much as write down my name or number. When I started trying to reason with him, to point out that he wasn't making sense by that choice, and that he was refusing even to permit me to talk to any detective who might eventually look into the matter, he grew furiously angry at me, and startes shouting at me.
I wasn't concerned that that police officer was going to arrest me for trying to do my part as a concerned citizen.
I feared he was going to violently attack me. The guy had a real anger problem.
Eventually I let him be. I figured I'd call or drop by the station on my own in the morning.
He then spent some time grilling that poor, distraught woman, quite angrily hammering questions at her and making it plainly apparent that he regarded her having gotten to of her teeth busted out by a powerful violent man as in reality being her fault!
Eventually I realized I had one of the Rose City Resource booklets. I was given a book just like that when I worked the Suicide Hotline, that led my fellow Suicide Prevention Service staff to regard me as particularly sick and twisted because I cheerfully referred to it as "The Freeloaders Guide to Santa Cruz County".
Both books - the Rose City one being for Portland and the surrounding area - listed every organization, charity or church that in any way was able to help those in need.
A whole bunch of woman's crisis lines and shelters were given right on the inside front cover.
The poor woman was now completely overcome with tears because of her cruel abuse at the hands of Portland's Finest, so I figured I would do well to step over to tell that Visigoth that I was a trained and experienced Suicide Counselor, and this little yellow booklet I intended to give to her would result in her finding a safe, warm place to spend the night, as well as lots of help with no-contact orders and the like.
Boy, was that a mistake.
I was finally able to comfort the poor woman, and to give her the book and to point out to her where they shelter and crisis lines were found in it, but only quite a long time later after both cops left.
It was plainly apparent to me that the trauma, pain, horror, despair and shame that wonderful young woman experienced was compounded by a factor of ten because of that abusive cop.
The second time I saw something like this was similar but not quite as serious. For no apparent reason, some totally random stranger walked up to some teenage boy on a light rail train, bloodied the kids nose, then stepped off the train at the next stop, disappearing into the night.
I was at the other end of the car so I didn't realize any of this happened until the call went out for kleenex, napkins or handkerchiefs to wipe up all the blood.
I walked over to the cop to offer my knit cap. My cap was clean, there was lots of material in it to soak up the blood, I did not need it at all for the rest of that night, and it was quite cheap so I would not miss it.
My offer of my nit cap, offered immediately after they asked for anything absorbent that could mop up that poor kid's bloody nose, served only to totally infuriate that cop.
I sat a short distance away, watching that cop again blame that poor kids for some completely random stranger just walking up to him then completely out of the blue belting him real hard on the nose.
Eventually I realized I had another one of those Rose City Resource books. I try to keep some with me always.
Perhaps You Can See Where This Is going Here.
"I don't work well with other people because people who work well with other people are Nazis."
-- Michael David Crawford