I was trying to think of something to write about, part of me was like, “no one reads my shit, so no one cares.” The other part of me said, “someone might care.” I could not really think of anything, especially a story that was related to my disability, at the last second a light bulb went off in my head.
For a few of you that already follow my blog that seem to have a point to it this might end up being a repeat story, but I’m going to try to shorten it and not bring up useless information.
Cops…police, whatever you want to call them we should look up to them, but a lot of us don’t. This is not a story about cops and how they may or may not doing their job. This is about one of those bad apples and how it affected me.
It was around the year of 2000 and I think I was a sophomore in high school, either way I went to my friends house on this day.
I lived in Puyallup, Washington at the time. If you’re from that general area it was actually South Hill, if you’re from anywhere else it was about 50 miles south of Seattle.
My friend who moved from Kent had a childhood friend over at his house that day when I showed up. He (not his friend) was into larping, if you don’t know what that is it is when you make weapons out of PVC pipe, foam, and duct tape (or similar objects.)
He needed to go to Home Depot to get more supplies. For those of you that feel that weird connection because you live there too, it was the one next to Walmart… the one that apparently is not there anymore because it moved across the street.
Anyhow, his friend Aaron drove a blue 1984 Pontiac Firebird, at that time I drove a 1988 Mazda 323; so we took his car to the store. I was also walked at that age with little need of assistance, but it was getting worse over time; I used my wheelchair when I would otherwise be walking a large distance over a long period of time.
I got out of his car and stood in the parking lot staring at the front of Walmart while I was thinking, “dammit, my wheelchair is still in my car.” My car was now about a mile or two away.
“I got you man, it’s cool,” Aaron shouted as he ran over to the nearest shopping cart storage place things. I don’t know what they’re called, the places in the parking lots with bars on both sides with two rows of shopping carts in between them.
He came up behind me with a Home Depot shopping cart, leans it forward while he tells me to lean back. So I do, I didn’t see anything wrong with this. I forgot my wheelchair, I was using what I had to do what I could.
The automatic doors open and Aaron is pushing the cart while he is talking to Jason, this whole time my eyes are focused on this Washington State Patrol Officer standing a few feet inside of the front door.
“What are you doing,” the police officer said while looking at me with his arms crossed over his upper torso. I didn’t want to really explain that I was in a shopping cart, he could see that I was, he was not that stupid. I looked at him with a mix of a terrified feeling and also a feeling that I was in the right because of my disability.
There I was with the bottom half of my legs hanging outside of the cart as I said, “I’m handicapped.”
From there he wondered why I was not in my wheelchair, which is a justifiable question so I politely answered him by saying, “I forgot my chair in my car.” This then goes into further detail because he was under the impression I was not that forgetful, but I was. I go onto to tell him that we took Aaron’s car and my wheelchair was still in the back on my car that was parked in Jason’s driveway.
At some point in this conversation I repeated myself by saying, “I’m handicapped.” He then had the nerve to say, “no you’re not.”
“Yes I am”
“No you’re not”
“Do you want to see my medical papers?”
“No, because you’re not disabled”
“If you say so, but I’m not lying to you.”
“Yes you are”
I look to my right so I could talk to Aaron who was standing behind me, “dude, lean the fucking cart forward.” A pause in our conversation goes on while the police officer is saying something that I’m not paying attention to anymore. Nothing is said between Aaron and I until I say, “I want to prove to this fine member of society that I’m not handicapped.” At this point I was pissed and the last thing that came out of my mouth reflected that.
I get up out of the cart and walk in circles about two or three times. When I stop I could see that my friend Jason was looking at the cop saying, “if you do not call that handicapped I don’t know what you call it.”
The cops looks at my red face that is filled with so much anger that I could be mistaken for a firetruck and he said, “I don’t care, you’re walking.”
This was at the same time I was thinking, “I’m in the right motherfucker, I’ll argue with you until you lose your fucking job.” Of course I did not say that. This conversation continued and I can not remember what was actually said, I just remember the next thing I was going to do was ask for his badge number.
This was after he said that he would take me down to the station if I didn’t walk.
Jason and Aaron convinced me to shut up and walk. Not that I couldn’t walk, but that far…for that long. It was not a pleasurable experience for me ever since I saw this fine upstanding member of authority.
Why he thought he was an employee at Home Depot was beyond me. Writing this story is actually making me mad. If he didn’t want me to ride in the cart, fine; but I’m fucking handicapped, show me another way to do it. He did not write the Home Depot policy, and I’m pretty sure that a cop does not have authority on private property unless told do by said owner of that property.
Man…Washington State, I love it; but you really fucked up when you hired that ass hat.
Of course that night when I told my dad he was just as pissed as I was.
“You should have got his fucking badge number.”
“I wanted to.”
“Why didn’t you.”
“Jason convinced me to drop it.”
“Why the fuck did you do that?”
My mom is in the family room watching King 5 news while my dad is talking at a loud volume. From the family room we can hear my mom yelling, “Bill, watch your language.”
Before I could give him an answer my dad was quick to yell, “you know you could have stayed there and called me, I would have showed up and I would of hired the best fucking lawyer in this whole state.”
A pause before he continues to yell, “you know how much money you’d have?”
It ended…as pissed as we were my dad and I both know that when something is over, it’s more or less done.
So yea, there you go. There is my story about discrimination form a police office. Fun times indeed.
I hope this guy doesn’t work there anymore.