Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Welcome to My Lockdown

Am I free to go? No? Um. Okay.Welcome to My Lockdown:
I woke up this morning at about 4:30
a.m. here in West Los Angeles with the sound of a helicopter
hovering overhead. This is not unusual. I am a couple of blocks
from a police station and about a mile from Interstate 10. Police
and traffic helicopters are a common occurrence. But unlike what I
usually hear, they didn’t disappear after a few minutes.
When I got out of bed an hour later they were still around and
surprisingly loud. I took my dog, Xander, for a walk and saw five
of them hovering overhead. Then I discovered my neighborhood was
blocked by police cars on all sides, about an eight block radius
I’d estimate. (It turns out the total blockade is much, much
bigger)
I encountered my first officers while walking Xander. They told
me I had to go home. A police officer was shot and the neighborhood
was on lockdown. I asked if I would be allowed to leave to go to
work. He said no. I asked if this was legal. He said it was.
So I decided to see what would happen if I tried to leave. I
took a different route out and came across another blockade. This
police officer told me that three officers were shot and I was not
allowed to leave. I again asked if this was legal and by what
grounds they could keep me from leaving. Again they insisted it
was. He turned me around. I thought I’d try one more time at
another intersection. This third officer was remarkably rude,
acting on the assumption that I already knew there was a lockdown
(which I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t tried to leave already). This
officer said there was an active shooter in the neighborhood. When
I asked if I wouldn’t be safer then if I were allowed to leave, the
officer became very agitated and ordered me to turn around. I’m
fairly sure I was about five seconds from being arrested.
So I went home and called the local police station, which is
within walking distance from my house (not that I could actually
walk there now because it’s on the other side of the blockade). The
officer I talked to was polite, explained that an officer was shot
early this morning and that the shooter is still active and
believed to be in the neighborhood. I was supposed to remain at
home for my own safety and the lockdown was supposed to protect me
to keep me from encountering this shooter. I pointed out to him
that I didn’t even know there was a shooter or a lockdown until I
reached the border and wouldn’t it be safer for me (and the police)
if I were allowed to leave. Apparently not.
So I’m trapped in my apartment in my neighborhood where somebody
here shot a police officer. Or three. Or two, which is what the
local Fox station just reported. This is for my own safety. I am
not allowed to leave. This is also, somehow, for my own safety.
Here’s some
local reporting
on the incident. Fox news just reported another
arrest, so hopefully the lockdown will end soon. Apparently it was
right outside my local police station. Fortunately nobody was
killed. I’d probably be hiding Xander in a closet in the event the
police come knocking had anybody been killed.