I walked out of my apartment this morning to see a Chicago police car double parked beside my neighbor's car? "You live by these ignorant people?" a female police officer asked me with a snarl.
"Excuse me?" I replied.
"Do you live above these ignorant people?"
I know my neighbors and they are not ignorant. I felt my temper rising. "Why are you calling them ignorant?" I asked.
"Well we are writing him a ticket for an expired licence plate and he went off."
I felt my neighbor's pain. When you struggle to make rent with no margin for anything extra, when you can't even afford the $78 to renew your licence plate sticker, getting a ticket is not a good way to start the day. And then to be treated with such disrespect, to have your neighbor told you are ignorant. Please, is that necessary?
"We need to do a lot of work on police relationships in this neighborhood," I said. "My neighbors are not ignorant".
"I'm sorry you have to live by them." She growled.
"I love living here. And I like my neighbors." I replied. I am beginning to understand more personally why there is such animosity toward the police in my community. It's the unnecessary roughness.