Trigger Warnings: This blog is being written to highlight what Minneapolis first responders are up against and my gratitude for that.
I’m not writing this to antagonize families such as of those of Justine Damond or Philando Castile. Their stories have been told, will and should continue to be told and have made global headlines.
What hasn’t made headlines, is the dangers that our Minneapolis Police, Fire and HCMC paramedics face everyday and their stories aren’t told.
I don’t for second, believe that there isn’t a need for BLM and other advocacy groups but they have voices that best represent them, that it’s not necessary that I advocate for them, too.
The expectations of what put on our first responders, everday not just locally but NATIONALLY, is NOT being acknowledged and that’s the reason for this blog.
I’m concentrating ONLY on Minneapolis first responders because I live in Downtown Minneapolis.
So my boyfriend and I went to Davanni’s in Downtown Minneapolis, on Saturday, it’s a local chain of pizza/italian restaurants and I see a member of , actually he was a ranked member of the MFD and I thank him for his service and he humbly says it’s not necessary, which when I tell him where I live, while he remains gracious, but he understands better.
It happens to be and I’ve mentioned it before, in previous blogs, I live 2 blocks away from Hennepin County Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center and county hospital.
It also happens to be, and I don’t mean any ill will for the non profit that owns my housing, that where I live, happens to be a “mixed bag” of sorts, when it comes to people who reside in my building.
While about over 1/2 the people who live where I do, are like me, grateful for their housing, good neighbors and are law abiding citizens whether they work or disabled, like I am, there are a lot of people who engage in really scary behaviors of illegal drug dealing and usage and other criminal acts both on the property and near it.
There’s both a lot of wealth and poverty on this particular block of mine. And while I’m 99.5 % positive, that there’s criminal type of activity in the wealthy properties, it’s just way more blatant, on my side of the block.
While the non profit I reside in, does it’s best to ensure our safety, such as one can’t have a felony and live here, and they do comprehensive backround checks, that doesn’t mean that some residents and their friends who come on to the property don’t engage in illegal felonious behavior that makes quite a few of us feel extremely unsafe.
Even though the non profit goes out of their way for that to not happen, such as cameras in the building and security patrols at night and on weekends, which is truthfully NOT much of a deterrent for that kind of behavior.
Since I moved to Downtown Minneapolis, there is NOT an instance where I’m not bothered by being asked for cigarettes, drugs, sex and money or dealers wondering if I’m looking to buy, everytime I leave my house.
So it’s not that we just have the criminal aspect, but the STUPID criminal aspect, to be honest. But it’s the stupid criminal aspect that has the propensity to be violent, that makes this so scary.
Usually when I get asked that, I just say sorry, don’t have any money and am super broke. If I get asked for sex by a male, I tell them I have a jealous girfriend who just got out of prison. If it’s a female, I tell them I have a jealous boyfriend who got out of prison. If I’m asked for drugs, I tell them I’m on probation and jokingly say that I’m not willing to go back to jail again, so sorry I don’t have any illegal drugs, such as Heroin, Meth and Marijuana, to name of few, but wish them well on their search.
Now, NONE of what I said, above is actually true. The reason why I operate that way, is because, the LAST thing that you want to do, is operate on the defensive, to someone who has barriers are being inappropriate, and are showing that they are operating with irration, that’s criminal in nature, or could potentially lead to a crime, that could be a REAL and MAJOR safety threat to oneself and their loved ones.
But in no way am I labeling people just because their poor, have mental illness issues or homeless, as lot of people like that are not only vulnerable to crime, but would NEVER be a threat to another human being and that’s the last type of prejudice that I’d want to project, due to the stigmitaztion already, that exists with those populations, which I fall into 2 of them, right now and am an activist for all 3 of them, in addition to the other activism I do.
So when I’m harrassed though, I’m courteous, apologetic and concise to them, then I move on. After this happening for several years now, I don’t leave my house without looking REALLY MAD about something, to try and deter this kind of behavior, so I get less bothered.
And truthfully I do feel bad if it’s possible that I might scare someone, being someone who’s scared but now could be considered a threat, just cause I’m a chick who looks mad enough to want to kill someone, but would never would hurt someone.
The ONLY time that I try to scare people, somewhat on purpose, is when I’m walking around in Downtown Minneapolis, people have young children running around, who they aren’t paying attention to, and I looking like a crazy smoking chubby disabled chick, will kinda move closer to the kid (like within 5 feet, not super close), in hopes that the parent will look up from their cell phones before their kid runs into incoming traffic, otherwise I’m paying enough attention, that should that child be at risk for that, I’d throw the cigarette down and grab them, before they get ran over, but luckily I’ve never had to do that.
Usually when a parent sees me, they grab their kid, which is the outcome that I want. If they don’t like me, it ain’t my problem. I’d rather do that, then have on my head, that an innocent kid gets ran over because they have a parent who can’t look away from their smartphones and that I didn’t do anything.
As I have enough bad things that I’ve blogged about, to feel bad about myself for, which are justified. Doing what I do, stated above, isn’t one of them.
I will write a separate blog on public safety, another time. Because I’m digressing, but it’s worth the digression, to put on here, what NOT to do when one is harassed by someone with barriers but have inappropriate behaviors that could be a safety threat to someone.
BUT this is the point I’m trying to make. As this blog isn’t about ME. It’s about what I see that our first responders, being police, fire and HCMC paramedics, I’m overly observant in what I see they are up against, everytime I leave my home, which is necessary to try and not become a victim of some sort. Whether it’s someone who has violent tendancies or someone who is behind the wheel and is texting and driving.
And again, I’m not trying to disrespect or degrade the residents or the city of Minneapolis, that’s not my intent, either.
There is no profession, other than being a peace officer, where we expect them to not make a mistake in judgement, even though we expect them to risk their lives EVERY SINGLE DAY, to protect ours.
And the STIGMATIZATION of all law enforcement now, especially in Minneapolis, I find nothing short of horrifying.
Even doctors, have much more leeway, when their actions, lead to a death, in not being demonized than our police officers, have risk for. I’m not trying to be anti -physician, with that statement, just saying there’s an expectation of a ZERO error rate in law enforcement, when in our society really don’t have that expectation on ANY OTHER profession, other than medicine, and physicians aren’t up against the safety issues that police officers are up against.
Well, sort of. As in the case of physicians and staff , at our local major medical centers like Hennepin County Medical Center, Fairview Medical Center and Abbott Northwestern have both security and police presence to protect patients providers, staff and visitors.
Which sadly, is definitely needed.
12 days ago, there was a gas explosion at Minnehaha Academy, that sadly left 2 fatalities. That also made national headlines.
What didn’t make headlines, of course, is our first responders who are the first to show up when tragedies like this happen and they show up EVERYDAY, in life and death situations, here on our city.
It happens to be, that since I’ve moved to Downtown Minneapolis, 4 1/2 years ago, I thank a police officer or a member of the fire department, as well as HCMC paramedics, everytime that I see one.
I also thank other officers such as when I’m in St. Paul, especially Downtown and the Midway area.
If those officers, fire department and paramedics think I’m odd, being a chubby smoking (if the encounter is outdoors) old and odd chick with unruly red hair, who is thanking them, they don’t let on.
They are always beyond gracious that someone is taking their time to show gratitude.
I’ve seen others thank first responders, too, even when out and about, so I’m not the only one.
BUT, what I haven’t seen is anyone, other than law enforcement initiatives, like pro-leo initiatives on social media, that where members of the public, in Minneapolis is taking the time to show gratitude and acknowledge the enormous responsibility that we’ve put on our police, fire and first responders and their profession now is constantly scrutinized, stigmatized and condemned (again, not necessary to bring up what I said in my trigger warning), but we have the expectation that they’ll put their lives on the line, to save ours.
And not only that, if they aren’t at risk for DYING for what they do, they are unduly burdened now, everytime they respond to a call, of potentially having civil and criminal ramifcations.
So this wordy blog is to hopefully make it safer as well as show ENORMOUS GRATITUDE for those of us who do feel safer because of the MPD. And MFD and HCMC paramedics. All of them who we rely on, day in and day out to protect our lives, at risk of theirs.
So I will NEVER have enough words to THANK our Minneapolis first responders, but I’ve tried my best to do that, with this blog.
The only complaint that I have, is that I wish Downtown Minneapolis, especially Downtown East (I’m not calling it, East Town, I think that’s silly) Downtown West and the Cetntral Business District, as well as the North Loop, had MORE police presence, NOT less.
I just probably should’ve said that I wish ALL of Downtown Minneapolis, had more of a police presence, all the time.
But, I’m not apologizing for feeling safer when I see police officers around, given my circumstances, which is why this blog was so long.
I couldn’t whole heartedly thank them, the impact wouldn’t be the same, without mentioning personally what I am up against as a private citizen, as well as what I see what they’re up against, in threat to their own safety and the stigma now put upon them.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAMN. DAY.
Note: Above reference to inital trigger warning. No need to reference any type of police misconduct. There are many places on and off the interent to do that.
This blog is being created by myself and for others who feel the same way that I do, about gratitude for our local first responders, for them to have a safe space to have their feelings acknowledged, that are outside of social media.
Where we don’t have to face threats or untrue hurtful opinions, that we are pro-police brutality or racist, which I’m not and I know many who feel the same way, aren’t. But we don’t have a safe space on the internet, as a citizens, to express their gratitude to our Minneapolis Police, Fire and HCMC First Responders (and Minneapolis 911 operators, which I should’ve mentioned earlier).
Responses that are inappropriate for this blog, will NOT published. My response I’ll give you now, before you try. IF you think you can do a better job than a MPD officer, feel free to go to school and then, become a police officer.
Also comments that mock my writing skills as a really wordy disabled blogger will NOT published.
I’d rather try to show my gratitude for something that’s I’m so grateful for and vital to not just my safety, then to just keeping thanking police officers, fire department, 911 operators and HCMC first responders with anonymity, which is what I’ve done so far, but in my opinion hasn’t been enough, and feel strongly enough to attach my identity to it.
And hopefully by saying something that shouldn’t be controversial, people can also show their gratitude for law enforcement officers, everywhere and they probably will do a better and more effective job, then I did.
But I had to try………
Additional note: I’m ALSO so grateful to Minneapolis 911 operators, who work so hard, are kind and calm, also and in such an extraordinarily charged and stressful circumstances and I should’ve thanked them better , in the above body of the blog.
With the my disability sets, I can’t edit without adding words that would make this even more wordy and potentially comatose inducing.
I apologize for not originally giving them, their due, as well….