Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, May 25

Gapers Block

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Andrew / September 8, 2003 2:39 PM

Arrested, no, harrassed by police, sure. I don't know many people who haven't been.

Naz "Punk Rock" H. / September 8, 2003 2:41 PM

Skateboarding. Easily one of the most hassled, harassed and on occasion, an activity if done downtown will get you handcuffed thrown in a paddywagon, about this close to being thrown in jail but wait, there's nothing they can charge you with.

Ah, but I do love skateboarding. Despite all the hassles and harassment. It's oh so punk rock.

Wiz of Odds / September 8, 2003 5:14 PM

I've been cuffed a few times, but only arrested and booked and charged once. I was roughed up by a cop for skateboarding (including being forced to keep my hands on their piping hot hood for five minutes, until my hands blistered up). I was held in a squad car for a few hours once for coming out of what they called an "illicit party." That was weird.

christian / September 8, 2003 5:27 PM

I’ve never been arrested, of course I’ve been harassed, and I think everyone in the world has been harassed by the police. People have called the cops on me because there was a “suspicious person” over by the white hen that matched my description. Yeah I was kind of “oh-so-punk-rock” looking at the time, way back when in my teens, but hell, I was a freaking boy scout. Speaking of which, I took a ride in a squad car as a scout with a couple of other scouts, we were taking a short cut through a junk yard, and apparently we were trespassing. I think that’s the closest I’ve ever been to being arrested. All I really remember about the rest of the trip was not talking for the duration of the twenty mile hike we were taking part in.

On the flip side of cop stuff, I used to be a security guard/rover for my college in Baltimore. I never harassed anyone, I just witnessed funny things cops do, like this one day my friends got mugged be a guy on a bicycle, well of course we all were looking for this guy, and the cops caught him in mid mugging. While the suspect was in custody, (wow, cop talk) one of the cops got on the bike and rode around for awhile. Suddenly over the loud speaker of the squad car I heard “Ride Forest! Ride!” Ah, good times by all.

Oh and thank you Naz for bringing up the term “oh-so-punk-rock” my friends and I used to use the term all the time back in the day. Ah, rebellious suburban youth.

Dino / September 8, 2003 6:43 PM

I was once harassed by the Northbrook police after leaving my aunts house. They were looking for a brown Ford. I was driving a grey Buick.

Another time I was driving through a Dominicks parking lot the right way (I dutifully followed the painted arrows) and a squad was travelling rather fast towards me head on so I honked. He looks up from the dash and slams on his brakes. I told him that he was going the wrong way (ahhhh youth). He told me that he was going to beat the shit out of me and then "pinch me" and that just because he didn't have his lights on and was in a parking lot didn't mean he wasn't on call. He let me go only after he told me that his shift ends at 2am and if he sees me driving around the neighborhood he would find all kinds of violations on my car and put me in jail for DUI.
Unfortunately, I lived across the street so I parked my car several blocks away and walked back to the apartment.

Joe / September 8, 2003 10:37 PM

There are good cops out there, and bad ones. Most of my experiences have been with the good ones, or occasionally the dumb ones. Like when a Berkeley, CA cop pulled me and Lisa over for having an expired sticker on the plate. Only it wasn't -- it was out of state (perfectly legal), but it was current. He sort of dim-wittedly tried to get something else out of it, but ending up just letting us go.

Then there was this weekend, at Margie's, the ice cream and candy store at Armitage and Western. By the way, if you've never had a sundae there, you haven't ever had a sundae. A few of us were waiting to get in, and a police car drove up, let three stoners out, and drove off.

I'm not kidding.

I was on the phone at the time, so I didn't catch the whole thing, but apparently they said "That was SO weird! Chicago's finest!" and went in.

Was anyone else there Saturday around 8:00 or 8:30 PM?

A lex, x, x / September 9, 2003 9:07 AM

I had a cop hit on me once. Does that count?

When I was 19, he pulled me over for what he thought was a curfew violation. Once Occifer Friendly saw I was over 18, he then proceeded to lean against my car and chit-chat, much to his partner's chagrin. Then he gave me one of those "Get Out of Jail Free" cards, a fakey curfew violation sheet -- in which he wrote a cutesy fake name instead of my name -- and finally asked me out.

I didn't go out with him, but every now and then after that, he would drive by my house and shine his cop light into my living room.

Yeah, I don't think his chief would have looked too kindly upon that.

+mojan. / September 9, 2003 9:40 AM

Nope. But an on-duty cop asked me out once -- does that count?

dce / September 9, 2003 9:52 AM

I was 17 and spent far too much time listening to the Grateful Dead. You can more or less figure it all out from there. Thankfully, this was a phase I quickly grew out of.

But lest this turn into a cop bashing (that's too harsh - let's say "disparaging" instead) thread, I'd like to mention a good experience I had with the police a couple of weeks ago.

After hearing someone scream for help, I and a few neighbors rushed into the street and started looking through the alleys. Someone placed a 911 call, and the cops were there within minutes. While it turned out that no one was in any real danger, one of the officers thanked us for being good neighbors and for making an appropriate 911 call.

Kevin / September 9, 2003 10:04 AM

Public drunkeness, Public urination, possession of marijuana, Assault & battery, assault with a deadly weapon (charges dropped), blah blah blah. But this was all before 1980 and due in large part to my PCP, alcohol addiction. Since then, I've been a regular choir boy. Funny how that works.

Cinnamon / September 9, 2003 11:20 AM

Never been harrassed. I was even speeding once in Ohio, in a rain storm with a driver's license I'd had for less than two weeks when I passed a cop at 80 mph (when the speed limit was still 55). He suggested a stay in the right lane for the rest of my trip and I did. But, I've seen Chicago's not-s-finest harrass a guy running to catch a bus on a Friday on Michigan Ave. He said he was trying to get his kid out of daycare. They searched his pockets and found several hundred dollars in cash and decided to take him in. He said it was payday and he'd just cashed his check. They said, "Only drug dealers have that much money on them," and they told argumentative bystanders (one of whom was a lawyer) that it had nothing to do with him being black, just "suspicious."

jeffrey / September 9, 2003 12:44 PM

i live in an all black neighborhood. 27th and state. my neighbors are the dearborn homes and the hooker motel. we are literally the only white people for 5 blocks in any direction. so naturally everyone thinks we're buying drugs. i've been thrown on the hood of the cop cars just for being there. but odly enought after winning them over with proper sentence structure and a backpack full of textbooks and a laptop i felt safer about the neighborhood. the cops are always appolagetic and nice after they slap you around a little bit, and lets face it, that's kinda hot. they are doing their job and that's how they have to do it. i have more respect for the cops there than bullshit cops in lame safe neighborhoods, who just powertrip. there are some seriously insane people who put their life on the line every shift trying to make living in those hoods better. it sucks that they get little recognition for being so brave, or that they get associated with their crooked, powertripping asshole coworkers.

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