This morning I was treated to a unique experience . . .
I was walking to the bus stop in the hopes of catching the bus to work, stepped off the curb, saw a cop car approaching and amended my trajectory a little--walked the additional 10 feet to the corner before primly crossing South, and then East. The bus was not yet in sight. I started playing around with my phone, checking the ETA of the bus.
It was then that I noticed that what appeared to be the same cop car was now parked 50 feet West of me. "How curious," I thought. "I wonder if he's watching me? I didn't jaywalk."
Just as my bus was about to arrive, the cop car pulled forward into the bus zone and the officer got out. He was tall & bald with sleepy blue eyes.
"I'm going to miss my bus," I said forlornly. And indeed, it did then zoom right past me.
He told me he wanted to ask me a few questions. Where I had I been this morning?
"Home," I said.
"That's the only place?"
"Where do you live?"
I named the intersection nearest home.
I told him that I had paid my rent that morning just an hour before; my landlord could verify that. He asked for my identification and I gave it to him, upon which he got back into his car and no doubt referenced a great empty nothingness, not even the jaywalking tickets I so richly deserve. I felt confident that I would be exonerated of any wrong-doing, but my heart hammered nonetheless. I started thinking of the way I was holding my wallet, my coat, about every movement I made. And my Burner brain wondered if they would ask if they could search me, and if I would enjoy it when I told them "no".
While he was doing this, a second cop car arrived from the East and parked behind the first. He had backup. Good lord.
Finally, the bald cop got out of his car and walked back to me, just as the police cruiser behind him used their loudspeaker: "It's not her."'
Heh. Ya think?
"Yeah, not with a record like that," he said, looking a little sheepish as he returned my driver's license.
"NO record," I said. "Nothing! I've never been accused of anything. Never even ticketed. . . .What was I supposed to have done?"
"A woman punched an employee at the Value Village," he said.
I laughed. Fisticuffs in a thrift store!
"You matched a description," he said, " . . . grey hoodie, brown boots."
My sweater was grey and creme striped--no hood--but I suppose my boots were definitely brown. Heh.
"I've missed my bus," I said pointedly.
"Where do you work?"
I named the place.
"I work for the state," I added bizarrely, still incredulous. "I can't just go around punching people."
(Surely this hasn't stopped anyone in the past, but it seemed like the thing to say at the time.)
"I can't take you that far," he said.
"I'll take her," said a shorter dark-haired cop in shades.
"You can even ride in the front."
"Well, I would hope so."
I chatted up the cop who drove me to work. (He's from North Carolina.) I also thought about asking him for a ride-along sometime, but realized I should probably do that separately.
I caught a glimpse of his screen before he cleared it, and saw something about a person with her credit card over the limit. Hee. I wonder now if that had anything to do with the assault--if someone's card had been declined or confiscated.
He admitted that my outfit resembled--but did not match--the one in the description.
"What race was the perpetrator?" I asked him curiously. "There's not a whole lot of mixed-racial people around here. Was the person African-American? Latina? I've been mistaken for Puerto Rican."
I figured it would be much more likely that I had been mistaken for either of those than the possibility of some rare, mixed-race unicorn running around assaulting people in the North End. And if there was one such girl, I definitely
wanted to know about her. I'd have to start keeping a daily alibi.
The cop tapped a few keys on his computer, bringing up the original statement.
"She was . . . white, about 25, medium build."
I laughed and laughed, thinking "I know my tan has worn off, but this is ridiculous!"
I guess there's a first time for everything. And I don't mind being mistaken for 25.
Man . . . people of color are so tempting to question that we get dragged into things even when the perpetrator is pale . . .