*will edit later*
“Hello Ma’am I’m Sheriff ____ from the ____ county, you have just failed a sting operation and sold alcohol to a minor. I have to give you a citation, you might want to close down your register. Is there a store manager I can talk to?”
-“Yes sir hold on one second”
walks away from the register to the aisle to get our second in command
Passses Gabs, my best bud on the way, looking her in her fear filled eyes and saying “gabs I’m in big trouble”
Finds the 2nd in command all the managers are gone for the day
“Ashley can you take over my register for me?… deep breath… I am in big trouble”
the Sheriff meets me before I can even get back around the register
“This is my partner___ ,is there a private room we can talk in?”
I lead the pair of them into the break room. My heart beating a mile a minute, chest tightness from acid reflux, scared out of my mind. I don’t trust the police.
-PLEASE OFFICE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT
The male office, mid forties white male and his white female mid forties partner, share a look together and then the male partner Mr. Sheriff takes the lead
He explains to me that the Sheriff in this county is doing sting operations to certain stores with liquor licenses. He explains that he planted a young white male, who was 18 with a wire and video connection to come into the store and buy alcohol to see if the store I worked is knowingly selling alcohol to minors. He said he stood right behind the boy in line watched him place the beer on the counter, watched me take the money, and finalize the transaction without once asking for ID. He explained that I would be getting a citation and he would try his best to get me the earliest court date and help me in any way that he could. He apologized and said that sometimes bad things happen to good people. As I sat on two boxes of soda mix and cried my eyes out and pleaded my case, told the pair of them that the boy looked older, and that I must have thought he was a regular customer, I told them my dreams of going to entering a JD/MSW program next fall, I told them that I am not even from here, that I only followed my girl friend here to hangout and get my life together before I started real life, I told them my fears of not being able to vote in the upcoming election, me fears of how this would affect my future, with federal loans, and background checks that job requires, I told them it was an honest mistake. I explained to them that it was a really busy Friday, slammed and that me and Gabby were the only cashiers and that I had been working there for less than a month, I was new employee this was unfair. I freaked the fuck out and was in my most vulnerable state of migraine and tears and they looked at me unrepentant with no fucks to give.
The male partner made a call and got me a court date for Tuesday, told me that is not the end of the world and that I am not a criminal. To which I replied “this is going to be on my record, I’m going to have a record does that not make me criminal?”
The female partner said no you just made a mistake. Both tried to comfort me by saying that I would probably still be able to keep my job, while they asked for my driver’s license an wrote me a citation that was wrecking havoc on my spirit. I did not believe I deserved this. They would not budge, “there is nothing we can do ma’am, you seem to be a sweet girl,but we have a wire and video”
He handed me the citation, looked me in the eyes and said “now I don’t want to leave here if you still have questions, is there anything else you want to ask us” “No have a nice day they got up and leaved and cracked the fragile hold that I thought I had on my life, heart, and mind. Now after I tell you the pieces of this puzzle that the good ole Sheriffs forget to mention, you might think that I shouldn’t let these acts affect me so much. I am hesitant to name this as an act of racism because I just don’t wont to believe it as such but I’ll let you decide.
Anyways in that moment I felt so bad about myself. How could I be so careless and let these folks catch me slippin in fuckn Fostoria, Ohio. After my 22nd birthday and living a life as a mostly law abiding citizen I am cited for a mistake, a set up, I felt so low. I sat in that break room and cried for a good 5 minutes just sobbed in my hands thinking silently too myself that my parents are going to be so disappointed. I just had to get my head together before I called my Daddy.
My Daddy is a hard man, and has lived a hard knock life and whenever I am afraid and as distraught as I was in this situation, I need to get my Dad’s help and even if we have not spoken in weeks as we had in this case, he would still slay dragons for me. However, my farther expects a lot of me, he expects me to not fall for shit like that. I could here his lectures in my head, “De’Garrica listen to Daddy people are cruel you can’t be so trusting of everybody”… “De’Garrica you know Daddy will never lead you wrong this world is a cruel place, you got to be more alert, you have to pay attention to your surroundings…” “De’Garrica you need to take some self defense classes and I don’t know how you feel about guns but you need to learn how to shoot and get you a piece” “Barney, baby, you can’t be so green!!!!!!”
Green!!!!! GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN !!!!!
“You are still so innocent, young woman, I always tried to shelter you, but you can’t be so green, I’m not always going to be around” “ You are really book smart, very intelligent young lady, I expect that from you, you go me in you so you got that in you, but you need to be life smart too, take your life more seriously” “ I don’t have to have a degree or no accolades for you to listen to me, listen to me about LIFE!
-With all this in my head I was hesitant to call my father but, I felt so green, I felt like I allowed this people to set me up, and because of that mistake they now have a say in my future. My father has so many felonies that it is almost impossible for him to have a “regular” job, my mother has even been to jail. I did not want to have a freakn record, I’ve never even got a speeding ticket. I just felt so low and disappointed in myself. Still feeling it. All my life I have tried my best to follow my father’s advice and not be so green, not let people mistake my kindness for weakness. But somehow I always get played. Man I still feel kind of low. Anyways, I called my folks they helped me to wise up and stop beating myself up a bit, after talking to them and getting advice and comfort, I now know they have my back and I’m anxious to go to court on Tuesday and see how I can get this situation resolved real quick and then I’m getting the fuck away from this town.
-I called my bosses, they wouldn’t answer, I couldn’t leave Gabby as the only Cashier from 6-10pm on a Friday night so I stayed and finished the job until the relief came. I was all shook up, feeling disappointed and down about myself and I couldn’t even leave! I was so afraid that the next person in line was trying to set me up.
-When Gabs and I got home to her Mama, and we were all discussing what happened. I described the boy to Gabs, white, 5’8, beard, dark hair and she found him on Facebook, he is one of her FB friends we almost went to his high school graduation party 2 weeks ago. This boys has a full beard and looks like he is in his early 20s, Gabs older cousin came over she informed us that the boy is a troubled teen. He got busted with alcohol under age and struck a plea deal, he sets folks up, is the “plant” in exchange for a lesser punishment. It was also confirmed that he is a REGULAR in the store!! I deduced myself that these cops, came with the intention of setting someone up, this boy deliberately chose my line, the line of the tall, Afro sporting, dark skinned black woman, clearly not from this town. Of course he didn’t want to tamper with the life of one of his acquaintances, I learned the Feds are always watching and unlike 2Chainz , I was not Fresh as Hell when they got me in their sight, I was wearing a red polo with the Circle K logo on it, and black slacks that I found from the Goodwill. I was wearing my naïveté on my face, my trusting look, my I believe in humanity and my Daddy is just paranoid look, my I’m just trying to make this check an go home get-up, my Do The Right Thing Green. And just like that I feel like I became a statistic, another Young Black face, so they think they got to chase. Fuck the Police.