I don’t remember ever planning to be a cop. Shit happens. – Me
I know what the inside of a baby looks like after his father threw him across the room. I know what 6 dead men look like because they weren’t able to run out of a room fast enough when gang members rushed in. I know what an 80 year man looks like because he didn’t fasten his seat belt and his lower jaw is hanging by a thread. I also know what he sounds like when he is trying to ask about his wife who was sitting right next to him, and also did not wear a seat belt. I know what it feels like to tell him she didn’t make it.
I know what a woman sounds like when I tell her that her husband was murdered. I know what another woman sounds like when I tell her that her husband killed the first woman’s husband. I know what a man looks like just because he was driving a motorcycle, and though the helmet stopped his head from getting bumped and bruised, it did not stop it from being completely separated from his body. I know what an entire family looks like when it is trapped and burned inside a burning car. I know what a 5 year old little girl sounds like when she is describing what and how a man put something between her legs. I know what her mother sounds like when I tell her it was her own brother that did that.
I know what a lady’s scream sounds like when I am trying to pull her over because she is running red lights in her car and she is waving at me with her hands covered in blood. I know what my voice sounds like when instead of pulling into the hospital emergency she passes the building and pulls into the office of an obstetrician instead. I know what her hand feels like when it is crushing mine as she sits in a wheel chair with so much blood running down the inside of her legs.
I know what a woman sounds like when she calls us because her husband beat her face in. I also know what it feels like when that same woman jumps on my back and starts hitting me because I arrested her husband.
I know what a small gun looks like inside the front pocket of someone who is standing across the street. I can walk into a crowded restaurant room and tell you who probably has gun or a knife. I will notice what the chairs and tables are made of to see if i can use them as cover or concealment or as a weapon in case something happens. I always know where the exits are. I know older men usually carry knives and younger men carry guns. I hate sitting with my back to the front door. I can match everyone inside the restaurant to their car outside. I know what gang you are in by the shoes you wear and bandana you carry. I can tell if you just got out of prison by the shoes you wear or by how you eat your food. I know when you are up to no good. I don’t know how I know, but I do.
I know regular people are afraid of gang members. I know gang members are afraid of everything. I know that if you join a gang you will someday wish you never did. I know that if you remain a part of a gang you will one day destroy your entire family. And I know that you can only save it by leaving the gang. And I know that could cost you your life.
I know that people hate cops. I know that people love cops. I know that no matter who you are you will some day lie to a cop. I know that cops deserve better than what they get from you. I know that cops were once regular people. I know that nearly all cops have nightmares about what they know. I know many cops will one day think about eating their own gun.
And I know that all cops wish they didn’t know any of these things.