Overheard During Police Standoff On Lark Street Last Night
Around the time of 8pm last night, I noticed an unusually high presence of police activity outside of the building I live off of Lark Street in Albany. I went downstairs to get a closer look and some of the conversations I overheard, left me scratching my head to say the least.
Most of the action was right outside my window as police officers and swat teams, guns drawn and heavily armored, shut down the portion of Lark street from Washington Avenue to State Street surrounding "a crazy man with a gun". By 815 pm, a small gathering had assembled. We traded stories about what we thought we knew. Most people had cell phones out, taking pictures and filming on Facebook Live; waiting for that moment where they could be the next to capture something viral. I couldn't help overhearing some of the conversations people were having as the police were working as efficiently, safely, and intelligently as possible. A couple of comments from bystanders really stood out to me:
"They out here tryin' to kill that mutha****r!"
Well no, actually! They're trying to safely diffuse a situation and apprehend the individual who may be a serious threat to a residential neighborhood. If they wanted to "kill that mutha****r" they could have done that in about 20 seconds. There were at least 30 men and women surrounding the building and securing the streets with assault rifles and body armor. What they wanted was peaceful resolve, and the Albany Police Dept did just that. Kudos to them!
"It figures there (aren't) any black cops out here. All white cops!!"
Huh? I seriously don't for the life of me understand the thought process of some people. What does his even mean? It's highly unlikely that the acting police chief sent his "whitest" cops to the scene of a crime. Did he literally say, "Ok, white cops head to Lark Street, black cops stay here"? My guess is, he probably sent the most highly trained and skilled officers who were WORKING last evening regardless of race, color, creed, nationality or religion.
At 11 pm last night, cameras were shut off, Facebook streams ended, everyone went home and a crazed man was apprehended and sent for a psych evaluation. Most of us in the Lark Street neighborhood were relieved, while a few were probably annoyed that they spent hours Facebooking an event that didn't turn out to be all that exciting.
We sure do live in interesting times, even when the moment ends up being not so interesting after all....