Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Awful Bumping Into You Like This

Three items of various importance:

Snowballs in Hell
Up by U Street, people twittered themselves a massive snowball fight meeting. Apparently all was ducky--the young adults had also helped cars floundering in the snow--even a police car! until they threw snowballs at an off-duty detective's car. He took exception and got out with gun drawn. (Perhaps 'unholstered' conveys it best.)

Well, he's crazy. This town is full of politically active people with a good poli sci education and cameras, Blackberries, and aspirations to make a statement (or a documentary). They didn't know he was a detective: car unmarked, plain clothes, heavy jacket--until he radioed in for backup. Then the 'pig' comments started. I hate that too.

Police backup came with guns out (and quickly re-holstered) because they saw it was stupid stuff. They were apparently misled by the detective. Then the uniforms sought to quell the disturbance with the detective still screaming behind them.

This is not going to go away. It's going to radiate outward, in millions of future interactions with our PD. The investigation is ongoing. The uniforms referred it up to supervisors. But you know, the City Paper has it now.

We don't know how that off-duty detective was circumstanced prior (grisly investigation, prior argument, was he drinking? what?). The problem is, whatever was prior, that's what teamwork is for. To gain support for tough times. Not to make more crap for everybody else on your side.

I have no way of knowing how good the fellowship would have been, before. I do know the fellowship after puts a strain on an already strained department. I don't have to be in law enforcement to understand that.

But this is an isolated incident. We have a bigger problem with city services, and it's potentially even more lethal in impact--but--not on the same emotional register.

Mass Transit Mismanagement:
WMATA has lots of headaches. People throwing themselves on the track, that's one. Can't fully operate during snow periods, that's two.  The potential for terrorist incidents that must be dealt with. That's big, but the big one? Those cute Metro cars keep having (or narrowly avoiding) accidents. Nine people died in a June crash. Two Metro workers were struck and killed in two separate accidents, and safety inspections were not scheduled afterward. In November, another crash. The entire transit authority is broke.  And we narrowly missed another crash due to equipment error last week.

I've decided that this disparity in tone and type of coverage is due to location. One stupid thing happened on the street. Bad decisions for Metro happened in an office. But more people are affected by crammed commutes. Especially if the safety equipment doesn't work.

Strange Diets:
In other civic news, the capital of the United States is out of broccoli, because the stores have not brought in new shipments due to snow. We are also mostly out of salad and coffeecake, too. However, there's still plenty of jelly and soft drinks. I noticed the liquor store is fully stocked, although, almost out of Perrier, which was what I wanted. We're going to be okay. Maybe a little hyperactive. So watch it with the drinking, the snowballs, the weapons, and the words, people.

Photos: city paper, washington post


The Observer said...

Oh, no. Out of broccoli! Next, there will be a gas shortage!

Oh, never mind, it's Washington DC, no shortage of hot air there.

Sorry, couldn't resist a little word play (-:

The Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
Yes, they just keep talking and talking around here, and the Hot Winds do blow.

Currently they are watering my street? To melt snow? This makes no sense?

Ann T.
P.S. Do you have any green beans at your house that I can borrow? Be right over.

Slamdunk said...

Yes, the snowball story did receive quite the national press.

With the storm and grocery store rushes, I think the guy who had prepared for the end of the world and stocked his secret closet with lots of food and water won the day--he just had to dig into his stockpile a little to fix a few meals.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
I am so naive--I thought it would be only a local story. Duh!! and still--isn't the transit story more important?

Anyway, I have water and canned stuff in case of a disaster, but . . . you can't really Store salad. And the store was there, so . . .

Thanks for commenting!
Ann T.

Christopher said...

I have many thoughts on the incident, yet I am also loathe to criticize another officer without having personal knowledge of the situation. Still, it does not reflect well on those of us in blue.

Ann T. said...

Dear Christopher,
I'm sure it's public relations nightmare. And nobody acted well once it started. I've read some comments about the snow activists that were spot-on--no street sense, rude, continued to escalate the situation.

Perhaps he'd already dealt with a lot of spoiled people that day.

Thanks for commenting,
Ann T.