Don't Talk to Strangers in Cali

Life in Cali: Day 49

I’m sitting at the bus stop and I notice a cop on a motorcycle pulling people over for no good reason. He pulled four motorists over during the ten minutes that I say at that bus stop. One of the motorists was speeding a little but I could see no reason for the other three. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen. I called the Los Angeles police to ask if what he was doing was legal but no one picked up the phone.

So, I turned to this older brother and asked if he was seeing what I was seeing. I then asked him if this is the police's normal rountine. This dude yells in a loud stuttering voice, "Yeah, I’m tired of these popopoolice ffffffucking with me." He then goes on to tell me how he is the suspect in several armed robberies in the area. Last week the police bust into his house took in for questioning about a shooting in an Inglewood shopping center. He then tells me about some place called Twin Towers and how his girl had to come and get him out - he was afraid for her because she had a warrant. He then goes on to tell me about two armed robberies that he DID commit. At that point I’m thinking to myself, what the fuck is this. When he completes his "Crime Story" rant, he starts talking crazy about the police again.

This cat had to be about 45 years old. His eyes bucked and they were bloodshot red. He had a miniature Don King hairdo going. I’ve should have known something was up but I was real curious about the police. I’m not going to talk to anymore people on the bus.

Speaking of the bus. Los Angeles buses suck. The seats are hard and the drivers are rude. Twice I’ve said good morning to the bus driver and twice she’s looked at me like I’m a diseased toad. They’ll have to make some serious changes if they want people to leave their cars at home.

I still have to find out about that cop. I’m sure what he is doing is illegal. He is not running plates and most of the people were not doing anything wrong – as far as I can tell. But in the last two day I’ve seen this motorcycle cop pull over at least seven motorists. I’m never at that corner for more that 10 minutes at a time. There is something seriously wrong with that picture.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: On the way home from a poetry set, some guy drives past us and stares into the car. I stared back with that, "what the hell are you looking at" look on my face. My girl said I shouldn't do that considering that we were driving through Inglewood. But I would really like to know what he was look at or for.


3 Responses to Don't Talk to Strangers in Cali

  1. Cynthia Says:

    You are too funny. I guess if you don't act scared, they will back off. But, I probably would have said the same thing she said.

    I love your blog.
  2. James Manning Says:
    Thanks for supporting the Blog cynthia
  3. Cobb Says:
    OK. Cops are paramilitary out here sometimes for good reason, but mostly because they always feel outnumbered. They are of course, and we're too cheap to pay for more. The end result is aggressive hardhead cops that aren't about being neighborly, so don't even try it.

    Understand that whenever you talk to a LA cop, you have to remember that you are in a staredown contest that you are supposed to lose. Once you understand that much, chances are that you'll leave with your head intact. Simply being polite or reminding them of your rights doesn't necessarily help, unless you are obviously (and I mean very obviously) a spoiled rich civilian.

    As for the RTD or whatever they call the bus service these days... what? You're taking the bus? What part of the country are you from exactly? Don't you understand that riding the bus in Los Angeles is the equivalent of paying for your groceries with food stamps? Chatting with the bus driver is like trying to get a date with the fat lady behind the DMV counter. Everybody knows that the job of RTD bus driver is just like that of a prison guard, except the bus driver is unarmed.

    You might take the bus down here in the beach cities, or maybe in Santa Monica, but dayum. You're setting yourself up for drama. Have you not seen the 3 card monte game in the back of the bus yet? You will.