Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Midnight in the Garden of Goodman and Monroe

What. A. Weekend.
There is usually a nice viewing of debauchery when driving up Monroe Avenue at around 1:00 in the morning that makes the drive home from downtown somewhat of an urban safari, so as I drove my friend Mary toward her home, we took in the sights.
Oh look! There’s Bromo Sapien Nauseous, singing the solid song of his people onto the street.
There is a Britnee of barefoot Woo Girls. After midnight, they shed their 4-inch hind hoofs and carry them in their hands.
To the right is a herd of luminous wailing SquadCarus Enforcia; It seems they have cornered a…oh thank goodness. It’s not a brother*.
What is that idiot doing in the middle of the road up the block? That is a terrible way to hail a cab. That’s not even a cab he’s trying to hail! And why is his friend kicking that red bag?...Wait…that’s not a red bag. That’s a human! Those people are getting beat up! That “idiot” was trying to flag down people for help! Why the hell didn’t anyone stop?
So much for the safari; We must do something. In the 5 seconds it took me to park the car and put on hazard lights, the people doing the beating ran down the road into the night. The kid in red got up, slightly shaken, but it took more than 5 seconds for the blond woman to get up. Even when we helped her up, she was barely standing on her own.
Two of us called 911, and explained what happened, and also explained that a block up, there were three squad cars literally 100 feet from us administering a traffic stop, and any one of them could just drive down here and possibly chase down the assailants. Two cars pulled up, and after about five minutes of them trying to determine from our descriptions if the robbers were the same ones they were called about earlier, one decided he should patrol the street where they ran.
This left the officer to ask personal details, (we thought) for a report: names, age, what was taken, have they been drinking…The whole time, the woman (we’ll call her Lu Anne) was barely standing and swaying. She explicitly did not want to go to the hospital, so no one could force her to go. When the officer learned that the four victims were 19 and had been drinking, he found an opportunity to admonish them for breaking the law, especially Lu Anne. How dare they be college age kids and imbibe? You would think that the Long Island iced teas jumped them, knocked them out and left them on the street and ran off with their wallets and purses. Yes, Lu Anne and her friends were drunk, but why punish them instead of the people who took advantage of their hindered state of sobriety. He probably could have caught the assailants in the time it took to admonish them.
We volunteered to take them back to their campus since they were taking a bus. I now know that my car can fit 6 small people, if need be. The ride was only a little bit awkward. The first time was when Lu Anne squeezed my hand in pain, and the other when I noticed she hadn’t moved her other arm the entire time.
Oh, and there was also the fact that every few minutes, she would keep asking who I was, and she did not recognize any of her friends in the back seat. She also thought it was Thursday. We decided she should probably go to the ER. We’d figure out how to convince her of that when we got there, which is difficult, since she couldn’t remember much beyond a few minutes.
She got admitted easily, and Mary accompanied her in the examination area. Later, Mary told me that the doctor asked her a few standard questions: name, age, source of pain, and visible bruises, what does she think her mother would say to her right now about her drinking?
I’m pretty sure her mother would say, “Stop lecturing a child that is not yours and do your fucking job, doctor”, but I’m no expert. She was not in the ER for an overdose or alcohol poisoning. She was in the ER because someone knocked her out while she was minding her business, and she had an extremely short term memory and an immobile arm. Unless she deliberately smashed a glass of Bacardi over her head and robbed herself, there is no need for the victim blaming.
A few hours later, I taxied the people who were well enough to go home back to their campus and then picked up Mary and the other kid who got badly beaten from the ER. Lu Anne had to stay until 10:00am, and she got a ride. We will likely never hear from any of these people again.
I am quite certain that everyone will be fine, save for a little bit of bruised pride and some lost sentimental items in the stolen purse. What bothers me about this night are these things:
1.       Perhaps sometimes it is necessary, but does it always take 3 squad cars to stop one unarmed man? Had the other two been driving around, perhaps the assault and robbery would have never happened.
2.       What kind of asshole doesn’t stop when people obviously need help? The kid in the street flagging down cars was from Manchester, UK. Its nickname is Gunchester. He was as incredulous as I was that no one would stop and help people in distress. That is some serious apathy. This means that people in this town are worse than people in a town called Gunchester…GUNCHESTER.
3.       At what point of a crime report is it okay to admonish the victim of it? Women, gay people, trans people, and black people, and pretty much anyone who isn’t a straight white male will ALWAYS get blamed for crimes that are committed against them, but it was a bit surreal to watch it happen live, especially to a person who was just knocked out and in a lot of pain and likely wasn’t comprehending everything, since she was JUST KNOCKED OUT AND IN A LOT OF PAIN. Perhaps victim blaming is a new obligatory procedure, like you read the accused the Miranda Rights, and you read the victim the “This is partially your fault” rights.
4.       When did ER doctors get into the practice of victim blaming? She had a mother, and she didn’t need another. The time wasted trying to shame her for drinking could have been used prepping the CT Scan, the X-Ray machine, and whatever other equipment one might need to determine the a patient doesn’t have traumatic injuries from being slammed to concrete and out cold for several minutes. I had no idea the Hippocratic oath including a section where you say not only “Do no harm”, but also “You harmed yourself”.
All in all, at least everyone is safe. Best of luck, wherever you are, Lu Anne and friends. Hopefully the world will treat you a little bit better.
…Seriously guys. GUNCHESTER. You’re worse than people from GUNCHESTER. Get your shit together.
*I am quite certain that every time a brown person sees a herd of cop cars stopped on the street, they make a sigh of relief if the person being stopped is a white male.

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