Possibly the greatest insight I've received into American Policing in general, as opposed to what's happening just now, was - well actually, it was probably when I was on a student exchange to Milton Academy Massachusetts when I was seventeen and we were reading Going To Meet The Man by James Badwin and I asked the English teacher who "the man" was, and he answered "You're rooming with Lamont, aren't you? Ask Lamont," and so I asked Lamont, who slept in the bunk below me and was really into Kenny G and played waves to fall asleep, and he told me what had happened to him two weeks ago while I'd popped into the ninety-nine cents store and he had waited for me outside... but my second greatest insight into American Policing - well actually, that was probably from my gap year when I was nineteen - I know, amn't I lucky! -
And I was sharing a ride from Atlanta to Chicago because I had the deposit money but no American driving licence, and Jamal had a license but no deposit, and Doug joined us because he'd just fled New York with chicken-wired wrists because he didn't want to cook for the Mafia any more having received a message from the actual Devil while trapped in a crack den, and because he was good for morale, so we were all delivering a car and we'd stopped to get gas in Kentucky and a policeman turned up and asked us for ID because he'd received reports of "three strange-looking guys" and he said "put your hands where I can see 'em" and I'd heard it as "put your hands on the ceiling" and reached up and Doug gripped my hands and pulled them down and when I chuckled an English chuckle at the officer because he couldn't read Jamal's licence because he wasn't wearing his glasses Doug nearly drew blood from digging his fingers into my arm and vigorously shaking his head in silence and I could see that the silly man was fearing for his life... but my third greatest insight into American policing in general, as opposed to necessarily what's happening just now, definitely comes from the excellent circle of score-knowing slobs at RedLetterMedia whose great work randomly viewing old VHS tapes for Wheel of the Worst led them to the police training video from 1988, Surviving Edged Weapons. To quote this trutorial: "Adding to the threat are a host of improvised weapons - sunglasses that can be flicked to poke out your eyes..."
"Fish-hooks hidden in earrings are stuck through pant legs to rip your fingers on a pat down..."
"Boots with protruding spikes..."
"A baseball cap with razor blades sewn to the back..."
And to quote Mike Stoklasa and Rich Evans: "It's not a wonder that cops are paranoid motherfucks that shoot you to death! Because they show them videos like this!" A mouthful was said there. Doug saved my life. Here: