It would be great if I were actually talking about Martin and Will as actors but unfortunately, I’m referring to the real bad boys in blue. It was about a month ago when I was standing outside the doctor’s office waiting for medical transport to pick me up after waiting over two hours to be seen. Which didn’t happen because once I received a text informing me the driver is on the way (usually already outside) and if I’m not out there, they will leave and it’s uncertain how long the wait will be to arrange for another driver or if one is even available depending on the area. As I’m waiting, talking to a driver there for someone else, several police vans pull up. Jokingly, I say to the driver, ” I wouldn’t be surprised if they were here for me”. Guess what, they walk up asking “is there anyone here name Tammy?” In shock, I’m giggling with a huge smile I’m desperately trying to erase. Apparently because of my facial expression, they didn’t believe I was the person they were seeking. The female officer glances around asking if there’s anyone else out here name Tammy. She was under the impression they were looking for someone angry, hostile and argumentative. After finishing their questioning, looking as confused as I was and then returning from the actual office I had visited they were now seemingly annoyed. Still the officers and I managed to share a giggle as they informed me not to worry, and everything was fine before they went on their way. For the remainder of that day, although in disbelief, I couldn’t bring myself to stop smiling and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because the entire scenario caused me to reflect on all the occasions throughout my life when I’ve had encounters with law enforcement. In some cases, they were called on me and others, I was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time during the midst of someone else’s drama. I thought it’d be interesting to share a few of those incidents. By the way, myself and two other patients waiting hours were having a conversation about a recent news story regarding mass shooting. It may have come up that physician’s should be held accountable, especially since this particular doctor I was seeing that day had recently cussed me out over the phone when I confronted him about a lie, he’d been caught in. I may have mention how unfortunate it is that the receptionist is usually the first victim to make contact with the shooter likely due to the actions of their superiors. The officers informed me of how sensitive this topic is, too which I responded, I am well aware considering mass shootings have affected me personally as well.
My second experience when the bad boys came for me, I was 17 years old and apparently my mother had just realized I was pregnant. Her reaction to the discovery was to beat me after just finishing a bath, still naked and flopping around on the floor she attempted to strangle me with an old telephone cord. Before this day I had never once talked back to my mom, raised my voice to her or dared to lay a finger on her. Now though that I was responsible for another life, in fear and desperation, I bit my mother on her shoulder resulting in her calling the police. They arrested us both and we sat in the holding tank for hours before we were released on our own recognizance and paying a fee of $50 each back then in the state of Michigan.
Sometime during my 20’s while working as a shift manager for Taco Bell, I had begun to feel a bit overwhelmed between motherhood, school and working full-time. Reluctantly per the advice of my very best friend to this day, “smoke a ‘lil bud Tammy, you’ll be relaxed, and your day will fly by”. I had always been against marijuana due to discovering as a teen how it affected me. I had even been interviewed in college when discussions were first brought up to legalize it, still in my ignorance, I went against my better judgement. One day during lunch rush, I was on the line stuffing an order of twenty or so taco’s when I was sure I kept hearing a guy in the lobby making derogatory remarks about me. I put it off until the orders were filled, and the rush was over. This same guy was still there, now walking around being loud and annoying other customers. I went to the lobby to inform him he needed to leave as I held the door open for him. In the midst of his refusal, I mentioned how I didn’t appreciate his comments towards me (turns out until that moment he hadn’t actually said anything to or about me, I was hallucinating from the chronic, lol). Unfortunately, though after being punched in the face by this guy when refusing to leave, (his mistake was not knocking me out) in a matter of a few minutes I created a hostage situation (by locking the doors with customers inside), and also assault with a deadly weapon (by going behind the counter and returning to cut his face up with the tool for cutting the Mexican pizza’s). I was lucky because he struck me first. However, he came back the next day and I was suspended when my GM saw what I’d done to his face. After a week though, I returned, got the keys back to the store along with a raise. Turns out although I was in fact paranoid from being under the influence of the sticky green, this guy had been harassing and terrorizing employees of fast-food chains in the area for weeks. Needless to say, I still don’t smoke the endo and am actually scared to and not solely because of the lessons I learned that day.
I had a couple more of these disturbing encounters to share, but I’m afraid if I don’t wrap it up now, I won’t be getting this post scheduled for Friday so here’s one more for the road. Briefly, during my time of homelessness I stayed with a former classmate of my son. A young man who had no one and had been in and out of trouble. Preparing a nice dinner in the kitchen while babysitting my grandson, I suddenly hear glass crashing and a loud bang becoming paralyzed yet wanted to grab my grandson but scared to move after hearing the police orders not to. The young man had been spotted on a warrant and when trying to flee, the police followed by jumping through a back window to his apartment where their pursuit ended. I was eventually detained and questioned momentarily because I was on probation due to a conviction two years prior. Initially I was frustrated and embarrassed for having to be there in the first place. My attitude changed though after my son thanked me for likely saving his friend and caring for him. I literally had to bury his face in my bosom to stop him from being confrontational with the police. I simply held on to him as tight as I could with care and hadn’t even realized it had been ages since he had a home cooked meal which he nearly missed the opportunity to enjoy that evening. Thankfully he wasn’t the person they previously thought he was and ran out of fear due to his past. I’m happy to say he is doing very well today.
I don’t recall the number of encounters I’ve had with law enforcement over nearly fifty years; however, I have been arrested three times from those instances. Two as a juvenile and once as an adult in 2015. Aside from the encounter in 2015, all the times when I was the victim, I choose NOT to call the police for help or to report the crime. I’ve been held at gun point and robbed, jumped at age 18 by five men while holding my newborn daughter and the list goes on. When I did call in 2015, even though my drunk male neighbor came banging on my door, trying to force his way into my home-I was still the one who was placed under arrest. Although the charges were initially dismissed and I was released the next morning, the case was picked up a month later and the police arrested me at my home at 5am on a warrant. At the trial I was never given the opportunity to tell how my children and I constantly heard him beating his wife through our wall heater which is why I was already on guard with him. All this because I simply asked if he could tell his guest not to spit down on my patio where my G-son plays. My son, who’s trained in various forms of martial arts could’ve handled the situation and was upset that I didn’t let him. He was still a minor at the time, but now understands the situation could’ve been much worse when the police show up to find a black “boy” over 6ft tall. So as a mother bear does, protecting my cubs, I handled it. This in short explains my thought process as to why I never called police before. I have no ill feelings towards law enforcement because honestly, I haven’t had a bad experience with them but that doesn’t stop me from being fearful for my brown son, brother’s and G-son’s. Other than this most recent occurrence at the doctor’s office, there was nothing humorous about any of my previous encounters in the moment. However now, looking back, I can’t help but see the humor in my run-ins with the so-called bad boys of law enforcement. Some were traumatic and I cope by finding the humor in the situation and embracing it as healthy.