So I sort of got held-up at gunpoint day-before-yesterday. This is a photo of the Oakland cop who wouldn’t take the report. I’m not embellishing. He flat-out refused. Absolutely not. Can’t help you, pal. End of story.
He was sitting there, on the corner of 41st & 42nd, jabbering on his iPhone. He’s probably still there now. I limped up and asked if he could take a record of how I almost got murdered not 10 feet from where I was standing. He ignored me, wouldn’t roll down the windshield.
Then I whipped out my iPhone and tried to take a picture. That got his attention. Suddenly he was all PR.
I admit, I was not bubbles & sunshine to begin with. Yesterday I waited for 5 hours for the OPD to come and take a report. No one called to say why the police were a no-show. So I was happy to walk back to the crime scene and see a police officer parked there the next morning. And I would have turned a blind-eye to his initial brush off. People on the street are weird—even bruised victims looking to report a crime.
But then he explained: There’s a construction retrofit happening across the street. He’s been contracted out to monitor that and only that. He can’t engage in any other police work. He can’t take my report, even if it involves just sitting in his car, writing.
Which is an insult to the intelligence. If an assault was happening in front of him, he wouldn’t stand on ceremony. I was about to mention that when he took one laconic look at my San Francisco Giants jersey and said, “Listen, I don’t know how long you’ve been living here, but I’ve worked here 20 years…” Hand to god, he said it.
Which may have been the only thing to make me feel worse: to imply that because I’m not an Oaklander, I matter less. When it was clear that he wasn’t going to take the report, I got back in my car and watched him for a few more minutes. He went back to talking on his iPhone. I am now going to make the completely unsubstantiated claim that he wasn’t conducting official police business. Pretty sweet gig.
And at the end of the day, I understand the big picture. I really do. The situation in Oakland is such that if there’s going to be any retrofitting of the city’s infrastructure, private companies need to feel protected from violence and theft. Which means those lower levels of police protection come at the immediate expense of the citizenry. I totally get it. It means a guy with a gun has to sit in his car and watch construction workers on bulldozers, yet ignore the mugging victim. Sad, but true.
I guess it’s no surprise that police are overworked in Oakland. I guess it’s to be expected in a parolee dumping ground. But my god, what a toilet of city this is.