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Average Night in DC: The Cop Diaries
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Merciless news weasel, with ballistic vest, battening of human misery and degradation. Often mistaken for Mike Hammer or Philip Marlowe, though Clark Kent would be more accurate.

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In the dog hours after two a.m., the empty time when the streets are dark and lifeless, a police car is an alien bubble, a small moving world unconnected with the streets, not part of the neighborhood. Yet it has to be there. The city is dead. Blank windows, alley mouths leading into nowhere. Parked cars, grey in the wan light, like bloated ticks. There is no color. Nothing happens. Until it does.

Inside, dash lights, warmth in winter. And the redio. The radio, the soul of a cop car. Squawk, sssssss, crackle, laconic female voice, “Wreck on GW Parkway at Pentagon” from a dispatcher sitting at her desk on Ninth Street. Laconic because she has heard it all, many times. Sometimes the radio traffic is downright weird. I have heard “ADW weedwacker,” assault with a deadly weapon, weedwhacker. Who the hell at three a.m has a….. “Fourth and School, naked man climbing telephone pole.” Dispatchers has heard it all. Gunfire, fires, some homeless guy frozen to death under a bench in winter, or located by the smell in summer. The city late at night is an urban coral reef. Strange life comes from who knows where. It isn’t the city normal people know. They are asleep.

The Parkway is on the other side of the river in Virginia, not DC’s problem, but I carry a scanner, a nice Bearcat, to listen to other districts.

The guy I’m riding with, I’ll call him Barnes. I have ridden with hundreds of Barneses.

The radio says there is a fire at such and such an address. It isn’t in our patrol district, but things are slow. When you see six squad cars together, two of them need to be there and the others wanted to see what was happening. We go.

Fire is already there, guys pulling hose, other cops, the engines, an ambulance, which is leaving. No one hurt. Bar lights flashing red-blue-red-blue, reflecting from buildings and cars. A building of three floors is spitting flames. A burning insurance policy. Water runs in the street. There is a curious smell of wet ashes.

Barnes says, “Neighborhood’s going down. They’re burning them to try to get their money out.” Cops know it. They can’t prove it.

Fire departments have less and less to do. In a concrete high-rise with fire-proof steel doors, you can burn the furniture in one apartment. That’s about it. So the departments do medical calls. I once saw a fire engine sent to handle a miscarriage on a sidewalk.

The crash on the Parkway must be bad. Ambulance is there, but the paramedics are saying, “We need a chopper. Right now. This guy is bad….” Ambulance will have alerted shock-trauma, probably at MedStar but the guy has to get there alive. He probably won’t. Head injury. They don’t last well.

We chat with the fire guys a bit, shop talk. Heyjuh hear, think they’ll pass that pay raise? yeah, arson, had to be accelerant. There’s a camaraderie in the street trades. It makes the nights not so long. Then we head back to where we are supposed to be. To fill the hours we bullsht about things we have seen, about what is going on in the city.

It’s funny. People often say to me, “I don’t see how anyone can stand to be a cop.” A cop’s response usually runs to something like,”I don’t see how anyone can spend thirty years in a goddam cubicle, shuffling papers about property taxes.” I don’t either.

Some of it is funny in an anthropological way. A black transvestite as big as a running back in a thong bikini and size probably forty high heels. Harmless but…different. There was the guy–I swear it, I saw the security-camera photo–whose head was so narrow that he got out of his cell between the bars at Seven-D headquarters, on Alabama Avenue. The guy with those shoes with the colored lights in them that flash when you walk. He did something wrong one night–I forget what, shoplifting maybe–and then ran into a patch of woods to hide.

Some isn’t funny. The guy killed by a loon who completely peeled his face, maybe with an Exacto knife. Kids, burned to death in a fire the color of roast ham with their bellies ruptured by expanding gases. The little girl of four years whose ghetto parents kept her, starving and tied, in a closet until she died, when they left her in a dumpster in a plastic bag. The street trades handle this stuff while the rest of us sleep or worry about the property taxes. Guess why cops get weird and cynical.

The crash on the Parkway is still unfolding. Virginia. We hear things like, “That chopper en route? He’s fading in and out.” I’m not sure why they need the whirlybird, but the paras know what they are doing. They do a lot of it.

An all-night convenience store, a blotch of light and life in the deadness. Several black guys–everybody in this part of the city is black–congregate with brown paper bags. Forties or maybe Cobra, fortified wine. Drinking in public. Not very public though, at this hour. Barnes ignormes them. They’re not doing anything.

Race is huge in the city, not always for reasons imagined in the nice suburbs. Police tend to be lower middle class guys, black or white, blue collar, wanting to distance themselves from the lower orders. They brush their teeth, follow rules, comb their hair, wash their cars. They are intensely respectable. The black city is different. The young men dress in dumpster-chic, deliberately telling society to screw off. They don’t follow rules. They and cops wouldn’t like each other under any circumstances.


The laws make it worse. Blacks stand with a beer on the sidewalks in front of their houses, talking to the neighbors. Some guys are shooting craps for quarters on the hod of a car. Both are illegal: gambling, drinking in public. The cops have to shut these dangerous activities down. It’s part of the theory that if you crack down on little stuff, big stuff won’t happen. It makes the people hate the cops. When a black officer is involved, people will mutter, loud enough for him to hear, “I can’t believe a black cop is doing this.” Neither can I. Any cop. Of course the laws are made by a black government. No one thinks of this.

Two hours to quitting time. We search for coffee.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Black Crime, Blacks 
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  1. Fred, when you say that cops are “lower middle-class guys”, you must be talking about the income of their parents. Because cops in many cities, including DC, earn good money quickly, then PLENTY of money over time. With overtime, experienced big-city cops can earn more than many experienced lawyers and registered nurses. Cry me a river.

    If you’re referring to the familial culture in which most cops were raised, and what their outlook is, then yeah, probably.

  2. bluedog says:

    Your right a state trooper here (upstate N.Y.) who got drunk and ran over a few signs made $110,000 with her overtime, and was due to retire at 55 so they gave her a desk job and without a doubt covered up the drunk driving charge…

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  3. What is the point of policing these ghettos. Seems like a big waste of money. It’s not like they’re paying for it. Let them sort themselves out, or not.

    Without the anarchotyranny police if the ghetto denizens spread trouble outside of their hoods, that’ll get dealt with quickly enough. It’s not like the cops are ever useful for that purpose.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  4. Tony says:

    That muscular black transvestite in a bikini must have made Fred’s night.

    • Replies: @fish
    , @Father O'Hara
  5. My reaction to this article is why not impose a 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew in Negro neighborhoods? Anyone outside without authorization or legitimate emergency is arrested and detained for curfew violation. Police don’t have to overlook law breaking, and gambling and drinking can be carried on indoors.

    • Replies: @Issac
    , @Anonymous
  6. fish says:

    That muscular black transvestite in a bikini must have made Fred’s night.

    I’m sure it was quite a sight!

  7. @bluedog

    In places like Los Angeles and NYC, an experienced cop with overtime can pull down $150,000 per year or more.

    How about this: in the town of Kent, Washington State, two officers pulled down $40,000 to $65,000 EACH in overtime recently. One officer earned over $146,000 in one year!

    Our poor suffering “public servants” indeed.

    “To Serve [themselves] and Protect [Sometimes].”

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  8. Good piece of writing there, but I would like to know if this is some old stuff drug out from the FredOnEverything site (or the Cop Stories portion of that site). Does anyone know if this is a new column?

    About the medivac choppers – no, they don’t come just because it is THAT serious. They come because they make a freakin’ killing, even if it’s only a 10 minute flight round-trip. Probably most of the injured that Fred refers to cannot pay the $20,000 or so, but the taxpayers will have no say problem ponying up the money.

    Now, that doesn’t mean these pilots and nurses don’t do a great job, and sometimes a crash site IS very hard to get to. However, I have seen myself an incident in which the helicopter crew, having come about 1/2 hour after an ambulance, spent 15 minutes stabilizing the injured man for the 5 minute flight back to the hospital. By that point, the ambulance coul have dropped him off and already gone for donuts.

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  9. Issac says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    Didn’t you read? Fred clearly stated that the Negro is displeased by the enforcement of such petty “laws,” on their person (re: Black Bodies). If a man can’t flagrantly disregard all ordinance not involving violent physical altercations (except those involving racist whites, which should also be considered illegitimate) then he cannot truly be free. And that’s what Fred and his adopted family of mestizos are all about, man. Freedom.

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    That would only work (and not very well) if neighborhoods were segregated. Utopian thinking.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    There is nothing negroes like less than law enforcement (unless perhaps it’s work). That we persist with it is yet one more from of welfare. Negroes should be confined to their neighborhoods and should police themselves, as they see fit. Win-win.

  12. @Achmed E. Newman

    When my daughter was born, she was 9 weeks early. Before her actual birth, the local hospital decided my wife just had to go to a more advanced about 2 hours away by car. So they called in the helicopter. The charge sent to the insurance company was in the high 5 figures. Enough that I could have bought two Cadillacs and had enough money left over to pay for the hotel for the 2 weeks we had to stay at the nic-u.

  13. Read it all before. Years ago on Freds website.

    Fine writing, Mr. Reed. Fine writing.

  14. @Father O'Hara

    he is implying that the muscular black transvestite was all he could think of after reading the article.

  15. Truth says:

    Hey, Federico, your fans need a ride-along in Guadalajara and a comparison!

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