Sunday, February 22, 2009

“It is an Unjust World”

“It is an unjust world,” the woman sitting at the table next to me at Starbucks said, once the incident was over.

It is an unjust world indeed.

While I was sitting outside at Starbucks this morning, drinking a coffee and reading for school, there was a homeless man wandering around the outside area. He was mumbling incoherent words, leading me to believe that he was mentally ill. For a while he sat down at my table, while I read, just talking to himself. Some people were bothered by him, and left the area. Others let him be. And another called the cops.

There was a white middle aged man reading the Holy Bible sitting at one of the tables, and after the homeless man came up to him, he moved inside. After sitting outside for a while, the homeless man went inside too. Apparently the man reading the Holy Bible didn’t like what the homeless man had to say, so he went outside, stood on the corner of the street, and made a phone call.

About ten minutes later, the homeless man was sitting outside on a chair, and the cops showed up. The white Bible reader told the cops that this man had threatened to kill him while he was sitting inside Starbucks.

The cops said they would assess the situation. They went up to the homeless man and asked him his name, and he replied, “Jesus Christ.” And maybe he was.

The cops asked him for identification, which he didn’t have, so one of the cops went to his car and got some rubber gloves. Each cop put on a pair of gloves, handcuffed the man, and searched him. In his pockets, he had a comb, a lighter, and some folded up papers.

I tried to tell the cops that I didn’t think this man did anything wrong, that he was just a little different, and that he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. Another man with an African accent tried to tell them the same thing. But the cops proceeded to put this handcuffed homeless man into the back of the cop car and drive off.

It is an unjust world indeed.

Then I cried on my walk home.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Brooke thanks for sharing your experience! It is SO unfortunate to see the way people can view and treat another individual just because they seem "different". Even more upsetting, that someone would occupy the police officer's time for something so silly as this. There are accidents and tragedies happening everywhere...and we call police for THIS? I commend you for accepting this man for who he was and not being disturbed by his "different" behavior. I'm sure you were a glimpse of inspiration for someone at that Starbucks.