Francis Meyrick

Cops and Robbers (9) “High Noon at the Butler Corral “

Posted on August 31, 2012

Cops and Robbers

(Part 9) High Noon at the Butler Corral

Often, I read about members of the public complaining bitterly about Police brutality.
It’s an emotional, inflammatory subject.
Sure, it happens. Cops are human too. They are not perfect. Hello? Is anybody? But I wish the complaining public could see sometimes the other side of the story. The unprovoked brutality of thugs. Towards the cops. And the way Police officers, all across the nation, quietly face up to the risks of their job, every day.
Cops are people, too. Most have families, friends, and the same worries as you and I. They don’t want to be faced with brutal thugs. But they do. Putting their personal safety on the line, time and time again. For very little thanks from the public, and often, very little pay.

I had an experience one day, where I had a strange, almost eerie, Eagle Eye view of good cops just doing their thing. Taken for granted. It never got into the papers. It was just a small thing. Routine, almost. I’m sure the three cops concerned have long since forgotten about it. I’m sure it’s buried under a mountain of much more recent, much bigger stuff.
But I saw it. I saw the whole thing. From the air. Alone, in my perch, looking down, I could follow it all, like a real life Western, unfolding like a High Noon shoot-out on the dusty streets below.
The title of this story could have equally have been: “Forgotten Heroes”.
Or “Three Good Men “.
This is how it happened…

* * * * *

It started with 9-1-1 calls about a big man standing in the middle of the street, waving an iron bar, shouting, cursing, and threatening to kill his neighbors. In the Sheriff’s hangar I heard it over the Police radio. My bird was already outside, as per usual, pre-flighted, fueled up, and ready to go. Hot to trot. I listened carefully. The patrol sergeant, once he heard the address, asked Dispatch:
“Is it (……) again?”
You could hear the undisguised groan in his voice.
There was a pause.
Dispatch told him to stand by. Her reply indicated that she thought so, from the description, but she couldn’t be sure. Then, a moment later, she said she had received some more phone calls, and, yes, it was indeed our friend (…..).
I’ll call him Goliath.
Goliath, well… Goliath had issues. He was, in technical parlance, “Known to Police”. In fact, to be precise, very well known to Police. Picture the body of a giant. Immensely strong. The mind of an immature, angry child. A dangerous combination. Especially when fueled with drugs…
Goliath had, at the best of times, some issues with Reality. Like figuring out that urinating in public was not really socially acceptable behavior. But when he descended into a PCP induced Killer Rage, he was off the planet. And out of the Galaxy. You had no idea what he was going to do. Except that you could rely on this: he would stand in the middle of the street, frightening his neighbors, and offering to fight anybody. Especially…
“Fuk’n PIGS…”
And now, having been paroled yet again by an overburdened and over wearied Legal System, here we were, Round Number Next, same movie score, same actors, same music.
Call up the Pigs…
The radio crackled: “Air One, Sam Three!”
I was already holding the radio. My reply was instant: “Air One, go!”
He sounded weary: “Air One, come on over…”
I was on my way.
Enter the fuk’n Pigs…

Soon I was circling around the fine township of Butler. It didn’t take me long to find the street, as I had taken the trouble to learn many of the names of the main cross streets off by heart. Sure enough, there was Goliath, standing shirtless in the middle of the street, waving his iron bar. Even as I watched, he flipped me the bird. I got that quite a bit. I looked upon it as the bad guys’ salute. A few minutes later, a neighbor, an older woman, innocently walked out of her front door, and stepped towards her car. I couldn’t hear obviously, but something must have been said (or yelled) by our friendly protagonist, because she suddenly looked towards him, and then fled back into the house. The shopping trip that wasn’t, I guess. Doubtless she knew Goliath. Doubtless the whole street and neighborhood knew Goliath. And if Buddy was having a bad day…
Stay inside…

It shouldn’t be that way. People shouldn’t be terrified in their own streets. Their own houses… Prisoners in their own homes. Today, at this time of writing, I run four rental properties. I get some sad phone calls. Recently, an elderly gentleman called me from Houston, about a house I had advertised in East Texas, near a great fishing lake, tucked away in the woods. A retirement paradise. When I asked him why he wanted to move from Houston into the middle of nowhere, he replied, after a hesitation:

“Well, Francis, it’s like this… we live in a gated community. It’s a nice, upscale neighborhood. It used to be really nice and peaceful. We felt so safe here. Then things changed, and we became frightened to go out at night. But in the day time we never had any worries. But in recent years… we’ve become frightened to go out during the day as well…”

And you shake your head. His thin, quavering voice down the telephone spoke untold volumes of fear. Fear of mugging, fear of violence, fear of burglary and robbery. Poor old boy…
It shouldn’t be like that. That’s why we have cops. But then you start persecuting cops. Holding them to Angelic Standards of Ideal Behavior, that YOU DON’T even remotely hold yourselves to, your kids, and your families. (Never mind your communities). Seems odd to me that the first people to scream:
…then often come out with the most astonishingly RACIST comments themselves. By any definition of the word. Eh, Jesse? But that doesn’t matter, because the so-called Liberal media ignore all that…
(A level playing field? Are you kidding me?)
All this political saber rattling, and swanking in front of the Cameras, is of course a sure fire recipe for tying up the hands of the Good Guys in bureaucratic knots…

And that all rolls downhill, ending up negatively impacting poor people like my caller, spending their retirement years, peering out fearfully from behind the curtains. Behind barred windows…

I orbited, slowed down, and watched the action unfold. Two cops in one car, slowly entering the street from one end. And one cop, on his own, slowly turning into the street from the other end. And above, orbiting slowly, a lone helicopter, with a bird’s eye view.
It was hot. Hot and dusty. No wind. I watched as Buddy, screaming, swearing and shouting, and waving his iron bar, motioned for the cops to “bring it on “. And now they started the long walk. Two young guys, early twenties, and one older dude, mid thirties. Two skinny cops. One reasonably built guy. Facing a drug crazed Goliath with the mind of a child. With an iron bar.
You shake your head. How many members of an ever complaining public, would relish freely walking down the road towards an inevitable and physically violent confrontation? Very few. How many members of an ever complaining public would have the courage to face down a super sized thug with a peanut sized brain? Not to mention the drug scarred tiny mind? Very few.
How many members of an ever complaining public will, at the first possible instant, yell “POLICE BRUTALITY!” at the top of their lungs? And run to their attorneys? You see them on Television sometimes, all puffed up in a veritable fire ball of righteous indignation. Some fed up cop, tired of a long night of bullshit and stress, slams somebody up against a car. Or takes them hard to the ground. Next thing, it’s on YouTube, and the hopelessly biased ghouls of the so-called Liberal Media plaster it all over the headlines. Never mind this inconvenient truth:

ALL those complainants, if they were running for their lives some night, being chased by a demented, tattooed madman with a very big machete, and they saw a cop car… Where would they run to? As fast as their little legs could peddle them? And DEMAND protection? Yeah, right. To that exact same, nasty, brutal, thuggish cop… Oh, the irony.

(Hey, brother! Take a dusty walk in that young cop’s shoes…)

The three cops arrived at Goliath, and attempted a dialogue. It got nowhere. The night sticks were out in a flash, as the iron bar came flying murderously at the skinny young cop’s head. It would have split his skull and probably killed him. He ducked it, expertly, and the fight was on. I winced as a particularly powerful swing of the iron bar was half deflected off a cop’s shoulder. Then a skillful whack of a night stick across Buddy’s knees caused him to stagger. Within seconds, four bodies were rolling on the ground, in a cloud of dust and fists, fighting. I held my breath, my eyes probably like saucers. In the next installment, a handcuffed, still kicking and spitting Goliath was dragged, hauled, pushed, and, finally, dumped unceremoniously into the back of cruiser. There he was free to rant and rave, bluster and spit. And urinate in his trousers, if he so wished… The cops briefly touched knuckles with one another, a quick “High Five”, and the Show was officially over. Until the next time…

The two cop cars departed the scene in opposite directions, and the many curtains stopped twitching. The helicopter too, orbited just one more time, and then departed. The lady who wanted to go shopping, hurried out her front door to her car.

I landed back on the dolly behind the ATV, cooled down, and shut down. Then I got out, and thoughtfully, I walked away…
From yet another brief, forgotten, unimportant, trivial Law Enforcement detail.

In the lives of three good, gutsy cops.

Francis Meyrick

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on August 31, 2012, 9:51 pm

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