I wrote and then removed an article involving paganism & authority figures, which used a recent incident in my life as an example. Despite the story being true, I feel like I had written it with the focus being on the religion they encountered and not about why they were even there in the first place. I also want to point out the incident I illustrated for the article I wrote is not the same that xnite wrote about here. There were many of them a few days in a row. After the initial interaction with a handful of officers, the event xnite spoke of occurred. The incident he had written about could have been much worse- we were temporarily detained “for our own safety”, and the cuffs were removed after dialogue was established with a familiar face- an officer who recognized me before I recognized her. After some laughter (she and I had actually had a conversation regarding how SWATing works a few months prior), both mine and xnite’s cuffs came right off upon request. I think the most uncomfortable part was turning my wrists to give the officer room to unlock the cuffs.
We were still “detained” albeit without cuffs; they wanted to find out what on earth happened. We walked them through the series of events, explained as best one can 15 minutes after you wake up, and answered all the questions that were asked. The officers were satisfied- but we were still in the backseat of two cop cars.
We were given an option; wait for the tactical team to finish their sweep of the home outside (in our pajamas), or wait in the nice, warm cars.
We waited in the cars.
So xnite’s version is a little bit fantastic (though I will admit, I did get the nicer officer of the two. The officer xnite sat with was VERY cranky), but still true.
The incident I originally wrote about occured the night prior and was the only reason I has been home for the next morning’s tactical team extravaganza; I had called off of my saturday shift, exhausted and craving peace (that worked out well, didn’t it?), so I happened to be there when the calls from dispatch came in. It was a good thing though- I was recognized, xnite was not.
However, the night before we had many harassing phone calls and blatant threats – we were unamused but not perturbed. Threats come and go, and had become background noise, really. We were watching a movie on netflix and having a quiet evening together, door cracked open (a bad habit of mine. usually after cooking or cleaning, I prop the front door open for circulation. My home gets really warm when the oven is on). I heard a door slam outside, and knew my neighbors were home- so I stepped up to the door and tuned the porch light on. We had five officers at the base of our porch steps.
“Hello! Can I help you?” I remember asking. They asked for xnite to come outside. I know I must have given them a bemused look when I offered for them to come in instead- I mean, it was cold outside. It’s February for pete’s sake. They insisted xnite come outside. I shrugged and told xnite they wanted him. He went outisde to talk to them while the officers divided up, two with him (pulling him down the stairs, though I couldn’t quite see it at that point), and three coming up the stairs, saying there has been a call- could they come inside and search the home? I remember laughing and telling them they were welcome to take a look around.
After a while of dealing with clarifying the situation, explaining the chain of events we’ve experienced and issues we’ve dealt with. One officer from outside stepped in.
“Hey [Kamonra],” He said, catching my attention. It was Blue-Eyes, the officer who dealt with my ex-boyfriend 16 months before, that knew I had an active no-contact order. “Is this the same guy from last year?”
It dawned on me; they reacted to strangely to xnite because of the situation I had been in 16 months before. They had similar first names, both had dark hair (though they look and act nothing alike). The false call came in and they assumed it was my ex!
“No! No no no, TOTALLY different guy!” I remember saying, laughing as I realized what was going through Blue-Eye’s head. He relaxed in stance, and took the coat I had been insisting they take out to xnite.
The officer who had been sweeping my home came back into the living room, relieved that the only weapon I had was a ritual blade by my altar and a few utility knives I kept in the kitchen drawer. There were no weapons or nukes or crazy hostage taking sociopaths hiding in my closet.
The ritual blade became a point of discussion- why would one use a knife during religious ceremonies? Especially one so large, heavy and adorned with skulls?
The knife itself was a gift from my mother- an auction buy for her quirky goth daughter. I explained I didn’t use it any more- it was too heavy and unwieldy. It hung by the altar as a reminder, and it did make for pretty good decor.
From there we killed time discussing wicca and paganism as they finished taking xnite’s statement. One officer went about pointing at jars and asking what was inside, very amused by the answers he recieved (graveyard dirt isn’t a standard item in the average american pantry, it seems). Another was concerned about the Santa Muerte candle recently gifted to me- noting it’s usually “the patron saint of drug dealers”, I told him Santa Muerte is actually more about loyalty and fidelty- a saint a scorned lover would pray to and ask for justice, or a woman with a husband away on business would pray to to ensure his fidelity while he is away. Drug dealers need their workers and partners to be loyal, too- but they’re not the only ones. It’s very interesting how pagan religions are portrayed by the police department’s reading material and how it garners suspicion to non-christian religions.
There were a lot of factors that were occurring during this call; one of the officers assumed that the call was due to an escalated domestic dispute, remembering the previous issue I had with my ex, and didn’t know what to expect from the call. Another was concerned about the 6 foot tall altar in the living room, and the jars filled with organs, bones and limbs (apparently xnite isn’t the only one creeped out by chicken feet). Within the confusion of both parties that didn’t know what to expect, suspicion and fear had arisen, but was quickly quelled by honesty and openness by both sides.
At the end of the visit, we had exchanged contact information so if this happened again we’d know officers were on their way- that was our door’s saving grace the next morning. Even now, with one telephone number “doxed”, two other contact numbers are not, meaning we’ll always have plenty of forewarning so we can put pants on and let them in without sacrificing the integrity of the door.
The officers we’ve dealt with have all been wonderful, laid back and very good at their jobs. They know what they’re dealing with now, and respond appropriately. One late night a call came in, and dispatch rang us, asking to meet the officers at the door. “What is it this time?” I remember asking sleepily, putting on a hoodie and shaking xnite awake. I laughed when she told me the supposed situation, and opened up the door to three officers; two nondescript younger officers, and the spitting image of commissioner Gordon from Batman. They did a quick walkthru at 1:30 a.m. and one officer asked me about my didgeridoo. Then I went back to sleep. Sure, the calls are a nuisance, but no more than telemarketers or Jehovah’s Witnesses. In fact, I got to meet a lot of family friends I hadn’t seen since I was no taller than a beansprout. Kinda awesome, really.
So there you go. A little more detail on the issues we had a bit more than a month ago, and the reason it didn’t blow up as much as all the what’s-their-faces online hoped it would.
Don’t think I haven’t ensured their comeuppance, however. I’ve done nothing wrong, nothing illegal at least- but this IS a pagan blog.