On Sunday my husband and I went out to support the PhCare Patient Support Group at a pool party. Because we attended another event in Brush, CO from 3 pm to 5:45 pm we arrived around 6:50 pm while the event was being cleaned up and kids were wrapping up their pool and party fun. It was great at first, speaking with other women who have survived cancer made me feel like my mother was near to me. Being the daughter of a breast cancer survivor that no longer lives in the state where my family resides, it’s comforting to be around women that are in some way like my mom. While I was standing around talking to some of these amazing women and supportive men I noticed a Longmont Police Officer walk up to my car. I watched him walk around my car and look inside the windows at the front & back seat for a about a minute before I said anything and then he finally looked up at our group and asked if we knew who the car belonged to, I responded by telling him it was my car and he asked me to step away from the group.
When I walked over the police officer (who’s name I wish I would have obtained but I was entirely too upset by the end of our interaction) proceeded to ask me, again, who the car belongs to, who the car is registered to, was this my car? A little background on me is that I’ve grown up around police officers as well as people who were thrown in jail for completely made up reasons. With that being said, I know the reason why police officers ask the same questions in 20 different ways, to try to see if you will change your story. At this point there was no story to tell so I answered his repetitive questions with as much patience I could muster until I finally asked him “What are all these questions about? Was there a call or complaint made? What is the reason for this line of questioning?” He proceeded to inform me that they received an “anonymous call” that provided my license plate number and said that there were two men sitting in the car with a sign that said “NEED MONEY FOR MARIJUANA”. HILARIOUS! He then proceeded to explain that the person that called said that the two men were smoking inside the car.
My response to this accusation was clear and simple, I explained to the officer that we hadn’t been in that parking lot for more than 10 minutes at the maximum and that my husband and I were the only people who have been in the car. I also told him that since we parked the car we haven’t been in it because we were walking around networking and helping to clean up after the event. I then asked him if the person provided my license plate or just a description of the car and he said that he was provided with the license plate number. The officer then asked me why we were at the park. I explained to him that we were there to support the event that was going on, at which point he asked if it was a marijuana event. I told him that it was an event for people who have gone through or are going through cannabis treatment for their cancer, from what I understood. I was clear with him that I wasn’t clear on the purpose of the event but that we came out to show support. At this point he asked where I was from, I replied Aurora. He then proceeded to ask me “Wow so what are you doing all the way out here?” Which was completely redundant because I had just answered that question. I then asked him “What is this really about because you just asked me that and I just answered?” His response, “Oh well I’m just trying to figure out what is going on around here.”
Since this conversation was getting ready to hit the 5 minute mark my husband decided to walk over. For this next part I’d like to share a picture of how my husband and I had our hair yesterday when this all happened.
The reason I chose this picture is because my husband and I look different with our dreadlocks down. The other reason is because my husband and I have experienced increased attention from Denver and Aurora police officers when we don’t have our hair up in wraps. We’ve found that when we have our dreadlocks wrapped up the police don’t pay us much mind but when we have them down and out we’ve found that more police officers will slow down and run our plates or follow us home. Below is pictures of us with our hair up so you can see the difference.
Now to continue on with the story. My husband pulled up the camera on his phone and proceeded to film what he could from the front end of our 2007 Scion TC, the officer and I were standing at the back end of the car so you can’t really hear what we’re saying in the video clip. What’s funny is the way I knew my husband was standing behind me. The officer got very uncomfortable then asked my husband if he would come over to join the discussion. When my husband got over he asked me “Do you know this guy?” SERIOUSLY? I sort of chuckled and said “Yes he’s my husband.” I then turned to my husband and said “I’m sure it was the dreadlocks.” The officer was pretty uncomfortable when I made the comment then sort of stammered and said “Um, well, they didn’t say anything about dreadlocks so I’m pretty sure that didn’t have anything to do with it.” I responded “They may not have said that but it’s pretty obvious to look around and see that we’re the only brown people with dreadlocks in this whole area so someone obviously has a racial problem with us.” To which he didn’t respond. Five minutes later he asks (in the middle of a completely different question) “How do you two know each other again?” Absolutely ridiculous, is what went through my head. He proceeded to ask all of the following questions:
“Who does this car belong to again?”, “Where did you say you live again?”, “Who’s name comes up on the registration?”, “Whats the reason for you two being here again?” At which point my physical and verbal demeanor became very frustrated. At this point I asked the officer if he was issuing a citation or gathering information and what exactly the point of all this questioning was, AGAIN. He stated that no report was being made but that he was just following up because when he ran my license plate it comes up to someone in Estes Park. My husband and I both outwardly laughed! I told him just like this “I’m not sure what plate you were running but it couldn’t have been mine because, again, this car belongs to me, is registered to me and is registered to the home that I OWN in Aurora. My husband and I have never had a residence in Estes Park so maybe you didn’t run the right plate.” He insisted that the registration to my car was coming up to an address in Estes Park and asked if we would know anything about that. Because I’m the DMV right? So I told him that the only reason I could see if that he ran the wrong plate, which he would, of course, not admit to doing. The officer continued to insist that the plate came up to an Estes Park address.
The officer then proceeded to ask if there were any illegal weapons, contraband or any other types of drugs in the car. At this point I couldn’t hold back my anger, I told the officer that if he was going to write a ticket to write it. He proceeded to say “Well you know I have to just ask you know, just to be sure.” I cut him off and told him that we were there, again, with friends, supporting a good cause and hoping to get some marketing and advertising done for our own business. At which point the officer said “Oh so you sell marijuana products then?” No! When did I ever say that? So I calmed down enough to tell him about our business, Zion Glory Herbal Healing, and how all the products are natural and infused with herbs… At which point he cut me off, yet again, to ask if the products were infused with marijuana. Again, I told him no.
At this point my husband pulled out a business card. The officer took it, looked at the front and back then tried to hand it back to my husband. My husband told him “No you go ahead and keep that it has all my information on it with our website that clearly says none of our products have cannabis in them.” The officer insisted that didn’t want the card so my husband took it back. As soon as my husband took it the officer then pulled out a small notepad and now wanted to get down my name, address, phone number, etc. Luckily we had a great friend who is heavily involved in the political arena who stepped in to lighten the mood a bit. But that didn’t change anything! This officer was insistent that he obtain my information. I told him that I was frustrated because I offered him my FULL name multiple times and my husband offered to provide his business card and he didn’t want it so I asked “What are you doing with my information? Am I getting a ticket? Am I being given a warning? WHAT?!” He said that he just wanted to have some information to take back then he said very sarcastically “What are you offended that I didn’t want to take your husbands business card? I can take it if you want I just don’t see the purpose in me having it because I’m never going to use it.” My husband’s response was “Well we make natural pain rubs that our father in California uses when he works in the jails…” but the officer cut off my husband and said “well I mean everyone has pain but I don’t need it.”
Our friend proceeded to tell the officer that unless we’re being cited we were needed to help clean up the event. At this point the officer started repeating questions like “Well what is this event for?”, our friend explained, again, “What are they doing here?” At this point our friend took control and said “OK THAT’S IT! YOUR NEEDED DOWN BY THE TABLES GET OVER THERE AND HELP!” And we walked away, fuming! I watched while we cleaned up and moved tables up the hill and noticed that the officer stayed in his parked car for about 4-5 minutes then left.