Ever took a really, really good beatin’?
From the police?
I have. Here’s the story.
Several years ago, I was working as a clerk in a law firm in Washington, D.C. The Washington Redskins were going to the Super Bowl that year.
The city was excited. Everyone was partying like it was… well, 1999 or something. I know that you can forgive the Prince reference.
So, my roommates and I went to a friend’s to attend a Super Bowl party in Georgetown. All of my roomies and my roomies friends quickly went from completely sober, to mind-bendingly, stunningly, shockingly sloshed. We were young, and the Redskins were winning. But, as I recall, I was just as shockingly sober, as I didn’t feel particularly well.
The game ended. The ‘Skins won.
On the streets of Washington, chaos ensued.
The world is full of tremendous parties. I understand very few gatherings are like (former) New Orleans, or Rio, during Marti Gras. I remember being in Mexico during Spring Break in 1989, and in some ways, I think that I *still* haven’t recover from the massive throng of humanity. And I know that everyone can think of other examples.
However, all that being said, those were NOTHING like the streets of Georgetown the day the the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl.
The street were all roped off. TV stations were on rooftops with cameras, which will be important later in the story. There was almost a full-blown riot going on underneath this woman’s ritzy Georgetown apartment. So, naturally, she wanted to go down and join the revelry.
Of course, I volunteered to go down with her. What can I say? She was embarrassingly drunk, and completely attractive. It was my duty.
Down we went. It was an amazing sight, indeed, made even more amazing by the fact that we were in the thick of it. The Washington D.C. police were out in force. There weren’t going to be cars on fire THIS year. I had no problem with this. Unfortunately, my female buddy wasn’t so pleased with the showing of Washington’s Finest, and said something to one of the officers. This would be defined as Major Mistake No. 1, as she was almost immediately singled out and dragged over the rope partition in the middle of the street.
Major Mistake No. 2: In response to the affront, I asked the officer for his badge number. Three times. Angrily.
You can guess the response. Pulled over the rope partition, into the middle of the street, and the full-blown beating by at least two policemen commenced.
Time now for an important Public Service Announcement: if you are being beaten in the middle of the streets by cops, BE SURE TO COVER YOUR HEAD. I cannot stress how important this is. I fought back, but I did cover my head as I laid there on the ground in the middle of M Street, being beaten to a pulp by two of the District’s Finest (or Worst, as the case may be), and I strongly suspect this action saved me serious, serious injury. As it was, though, was not good. I was definitively and thoroughly beat up as I was dragged into a police car and accused of assaulting a police officer. I told them, “Not only did you beat me in the street, and not only were there thousands of witnesses and TV cameras all over the place, but I work for a law firm. I’m going to sue the hell out of you.”
Several hours later, I was released.
I went home, sat in the bathtub for an hour and plotted my revenge.
And the final response?
I went to my firm and made some inquiries. They told me this, which I will never forget:
“You have no way of winning a case in this city, at this time, and if you try to file administrative actions with anyone against those cops, then the D.C. police department will harass you until the day you die. Move out of the District and to Virginia or Maryland as soon as you possibly can.”
So I moved.
But that has haunted me ever since.