Monday, May 21, 2012

Nomar

Seen patrolling the streets of downtown Chicago at about 3:30 p.m., May 20th, 2012 

On the one hand, there’ll be things I miss when it’s over. There’s the strong sense of purpose—we’ve been training for this for months. And a lot of the guys they’ve sent in from other parts of the country are great. I don’t really want ‘em to leave. Last night after my shift, I went and had a few beers with two new guys: Carlos from Philly and Patrick from Milwaukee. I have to say, it was a lot of fun. It makes me feel like we’re all connected, like a real brotherhood.

On the other hand, there’s something spooky about it. Yesterday Daley Plaza was packed to the brim with protesters. Today this whole part of the city is dead. Except for us, patrolling the street corners with our billy clubs. I dunno, it feels like we’re running a police state or something. And as proud as I am to protect and serve, this isn’t exactly how I imagined I’d do it. It just feels wrong.

I’ll tell you one thing, though. I’m glad I’m not down by McCormick Place. I’ve only had to wear the riot gear a few times, but I don’t like it. Makes me feel less like a human. I think maybe it’s better that I get to watch over an empty city, so I don’t have to see their young, angry faces. So I don’t have to stop them. At least for now. 

Nomar is, of course, a Chicago police officer. I went for a walk yesterday, and went all the way from Lincoln Park to Jackson & Michigan (almost 5 miles!). I didn't see a single protester--I guess they were marching closer to McCormick Place and had an ugly clash with police (see these photos). But I did see TONS of police officers. They were just walking around with practically nothing to do, since the whole area was pretty dead. There were tourists on Michigan, but that was it. Here's a creepy picture I took of empty Daley Plaza: 


Totally bizarre. Anyway, I felt like had to write SOMETHING about the NATO summit, since it's such a big historic event going on in my own city. 

In other news, you only have until Thursday to vote for PTKY in the Chicago Reader's Best of Chicago 2012 Contest! Every time someone votes for my blog, a puppy is born. Okay, that's probably not true, but let's pretend like it's true. A world with more puppies is always a better world.  

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