Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

Cop or not

Yesterday around 7pm, I decided to take a break from my drawing table in Gowanus and bike around Prospect Park (my only exercise). There is an inner circle of the park where people jog, walk, bike, scoot, drive, etc. At one point, there is long, ascending hill that makes you pick up speed. It's as thrilling as it can be terrifying. At the end of the hill is a crosswalk that isn't the best place to allow foot traffic but it forces folks on wheels to brake and slow their descent, cutting off their momentum.

As I was slowing down and turning the corner of this fast hill, I saw a few people (some on bikes) waving their hands and shouting for everyone to "SLOW DOWN!" I slowed down. As did most others. A few zoomed by like the cocky speed racers they are. But the reason we were being asked to slow our roll was because there were two people who collided into each other. A man on a bike and a woman on a scooter. She was bleeding from a knot in her forehead and he was bleeding from his elbows, legs, and the back of his head. She was already on her phone crying to her daughter and he could barely stand up. He was dizzy. Slumping over. His bike helmet cracked in half. I immediately turned around towards the fast hill and waved my hands yelling "SLOW DOWN!" to oncoming bikers. Most complied while the speed racers serpentined around the accident, forfeiting compassion for training.

Someone had already called 911 and requested an ambulance but I noticed a cop car sitting idle by the crosswalk 30-yards back from the accident. So, I rode over to the two cops sitting and eating sandwiches. I alerted them to the situation and they gave me a blank stare. I pointed towards the accident where people were clearly waving their hands and the cops bit into their food. A few other people came over to the cops to echo my plea for help and they just looked at each other. So, I rode in front of their car and pointed towards the people who needed assistance, waving at them to drive over. They just sat there. Idle.

I rode back over to the accident and now the hurt people were sitting on the side of the road as people biked and jogged by. There was a group of good samaritans handing over tissues and napkins to help stop the bleeding. We helped calm them down and waited a good 8-10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. And, THAT'S when the cops decided to mosey on over in their vehicle and stare at the scene. Saying nothing. Doing nothing while the masked paramedics helped the injured woman and man.

A witness asked the cops if they needed a statement. An account of what happened. The cops nodded "No."

To add insult to injury? The cops didn't wear masks.

As I biked away, I tried to understand why the cops were behaving with such indifference. And, it hit me like a medicine ball to the crown. They were fed up. Probably pissed off and feeling down because of all the protests against their profession. And, even though the cops were both people of color, maybe they were making a silent protest of their own. Which doesn't make their apathy right. They have a job to do despite criticism and change.

Cop or not, it's human to help people who are suffering.

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