We have a problem couple in our apartment complex. They fight. A lot. The cops are regular visitors.
I suspect I must miss a lot of the messiness because I’m not set up to spy on the neighbors. My work area/office is right next to the front window and because seeing people is a distraction for me, I normally have the blinds closed on my end of the window so I can’t see anything out there unless I choose to peek out. My son has sensory processing disorder and sounds are an issue for him so we always have a white noise machine and usually some fans going. I can’t hear anything outside unless it is very loud or they are directly in front of my window.
Even with those restrictions, I’ve witnessed many temper tantrums by the male half of the couple. He yells and carries on regularly. He screams at his wife and his kids. I’ve never seen or heard him hit anyone, so I’m unsure if there is physical violence but the shouted threats are certainly emotional violence.
Normally I only hear the ones where he takes it outside and will go downstairs and scream up at his wife from the courtyard. Usually, those are the ones that warrant a police response. Only once have I heard him yelling in his house, but that was because my son was not home and I had the fans and white noise machine turned off. It was silent in my home so I could hear him shouting at her from across the courtyard.
I’ve lived here about 18 months and there were three times that I witnessed the police show up with what I consider regular responses. By regular, I mean a single car. If someone calls in a domestic situation, I assume they have to come to check it out. Two cops show up. They talk to him. They talk to her. They leave. That was the case every time.
I don’t know if the wife is calling these in or someone in the complex is. I have assumed it is the wife since I never see the cops talking to anyone else and I would have thought they would talk to whoever called it in.
Presumably, the wife is calling because she feels unsafe. But the cops never take the man away.
My personal theory was that they were playing favorites. This is a military town and a large percentage of our police are veterans. The screaming man is military. I assumed they were cutting him slack because of that.
I thought yesterday would be a turning point. It had been an unusually quiet weekend in the complex without even the normal children's noises. I was curled up on my couch reading when the shouting started. I figured it was him because angry yelling in the complex is always him so I didn’t even get up to look.
It went on so long that eventually my son went and looked out the window and said the cops were here and that the screaming man was grilling something.
My curiosity was triggered because that sounded odd so I went and looked out our kitchen window because it gives a full view of the grilling area in the courtyard.
Holy Shit. There were 6 cops down there surrounding him and one at his apartment door talking to his crying wife.
He was yelling at the cops. Something about how he was only trying to make shrimp for his family.
Suddenly he decided he wanted to go into his apartment, so he got on top of the grill and monkey climbed the side of the staircase. By the time he got to the top, the cops were on him. Five of them had him pinned down, one was downstairs with one of those orange rifles that I believe shoot rubber bullets pointed at him, and one that I had not seen earlier had a goddamn canine at the bottom of the steps. He must have been behind the man far enough back that I could not see him or the dog from my window. The one who had been talking to his wife had hustled her inside and had her close the door. He stationed himself in front of it.
I have no idea what the hell led up to this. I had seen the guy about two hours before this happened. He came out of his apartment with a trash bag and headed toward the dumpster. Nothing unusual at all.
I’ve got no idea what happened in those two hours that suddenly necessitated an 8 person call out.
Finally, we thought the cops would do their job and take this asshole to jail. If whatever got called in was serious enough they thought they needed 8 cops and a dog, it must have been something big.
Maybe some consequences would lead to him learning some damn self-control.
So the cops had him pinned down for maybe 5 minutes. I don’t know what was said during that time, but they got off him. Let him get up and go into the apartment. Then he and they all went out to the front of the complex.
During that time the wife left.
They did not take him in. In fact, he is currently sitting in front of his door reading a book as if nothing fucking happened.
When my son saw he was not getting arrested, a-fucking-gain, he was apoplectic. My son pretty much thinks that guy is a dirtbag for the way he treats his wife and kids.
My son is no fan of the cops and this just further solidified his hatred of them.
This white military guy got off again. If he was a person of color or a police brutality protestor, the rubber bullets would have been flying, the dog would have taken a chunk out of his face, and the cops would have hauled his bruised and battered ass in.
There is no way the behavior that resulted in them dogpiling him can be anything other than resisting arrest.
That does not even take into account whatever they were called for that made them think they needed such a show of force.
After things died down and we were talking through what had happened, my son point-blank asked me to explain it to him. He wanted me to find something that made this event make sense. Because I’m older, sometimes when shit happens, I can give him some historical background to explain why people are behaving as they are.
I felt so helpless when I could not do that. When I was little I thought the cops were the good guys. A cop nearby meant help was there. In my son’s world, the cops are villains to be avoided. I could not find anything to challenge that assessment.