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Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's The Little Things

"...from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded."~ Jesus, Luke 12:48

It was 7:00 a.m. and the streets of Capitol Hill were quieter than Christmas morning.  I was out for an early morning walk/jog on Memorial Day and walking up 8th Street SE, the section known as Barracks Row. The usually bustling street, even at 7:00 a.m., was empty.  At the intersection of 8th and D a police cruiser pulled in front of the only car on D St. that was parked in the last space before the "no parking" sign.  The police car was on the no parking side of the sign, partially blocking the crosswalk.  A lone officer put on his cap, got out of the car and strolled toward the Dunkin Donuts across the street. 

A simple question that I wish I had stopped and asked him began to turn in my craw and began to ask more questions like: "How many times have I seen the exact or similar thing happen in our neighborhood?  On another morning I saw an officer turn on the blue lights of his car, stop traffic while another police car u-turned, then followed the u-turning car to park (illegally) in front of a popular breakfast spot.  

So, here I am the epitome of priviledge (a comfortable, middle class, white guy) peeved at the arrogance of this and other police officers and I muse - no wonder in many places respect for those who are supposed to "serve and protect" has disintergrated into suspicion, fear, and in some cases violence.   

I know the disconnect and discord between law enforcememt and some communities is far more serious than little things like parking places and u-turns, but it had to start somewhere and most likely it was with little things.  Maybe this is where some rebuilding of trust and re-earning of respect might begin.

I wish I had asked that officer on Memorial Day morning,  "Why didn't you park in one of the many "legal" available parking spaces?"  I wish I had asked, not to confront him, show him up, or dress him down, but to simply let him know that someone noticed, and it didn't look or feel very good.

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