Could I Have Been Shot?

Posted: December 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

My Mom sold weed when I was little.

I knew it then, adults weren’t as slick as they thought they were.  She sold it and she and her friends smoked it.  Despite the teachings of the D.A.R.E program in school, I knew all that weed did was make grown up silly and hole up in the living room to watch porn and exploitation movies (though I didn’t know exactly what those were until much, MUCH later).  Seemed pretty harmless to me.

Until I learned another thing that could happen if you sell weed.  You can have your house raided by the cops.

The night of the raid, Little Sister Number One (and at that time only) and I were already in bed.  We shared a room with our bedridden and perpetually out of it grandfather.  That night, the Rottie-Chow mix that belonged to Mom’s boyfriend started barking her head off in the backyard.

Then I heard the backdoor being burst open.  “Police! Get down!”

Every thing happened so fast after that.  Suddenly the bedroom door was shoved(kicked?) opened and there was a cop with a gun and a flashlight pointed at us.  The sound of me and LSNO’s screams (we were 10 and 8 respectively) still haunt me to this day.

The cop put the gun down and I had to explain that Granddaddy couldn’t get up and was harmless, and we were escorted to the couch in the living room to sit with Momma, still bawling from fear. I remember what was on the television.  US troops had just arrived in Iraq, to save Kuwait in the first invasion.

They found enough weed to put Momma, her boyfriends and an uncle who had been staying with us in handcuffs.  In order to distract the kids from the sight, one of the cops brought us over to the drug dog, who was gracious enough to allow us to give belly rubs.  Did I mention we were terrified kids?  Fuck, dogs still scare me.  But if it calmed down LSNO, then I would play along.

We ended up being driven over to a cousin’s house with clothes for school the next day.  It was strange and I still can’t remember how Momma came home two days later, but that memory sticks in my mind to this day.

And today, I can’t help but think about the babies and children hurt and killed by overzealous cops while raiding their homes.  What if that officer got it in his head that we were dangerous?  Who knows, we may have been hiding guns in our Popples dolls.  We were too panicked to ‘get down’.  What if he thought that was enough disrespect to shoot us?  What if he didn’t believe that Granddaddy was too sick to comply and shoot him? Shit, what if they decided to plug Lady the dog with bullets for barking too loud?

I think about these things.  I cry about these things.  Because today, apparently, that’s perfectly acceptable police behavior.

And that is a crying fucking shame.

  1. It is indeed a crying fucking shame, and I am so, so sorry. When I was a kid in White Suburbia, the homes of my neighbors—some of whom were adults who regularly did and sold drugs—were never once raided by cops. I’d hazard a guess that they still aren’t, or at least not at anywhere near the incidence that homes in black communities are. The War on Drugs is an epic disaster by every conceivable measure except one: dehumanizing and criminalizing black lives. It really and truly excels at that. I’m sickened and scared for the little girl you were, and for all those like her today. What happens to change this? I mean, I can envision what that future looks like, but I am at a loss to see how we get there from here. I’m not asking you for the answers, Feminace, just venting my frustration at the question. Because wherever the solution lies, it sure as hell does not lie with those most oppressed by the injustice of it all.

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