but there’s one particular resident you can always be assured of noticing. even before he moved into the place he could often be found outside the building, hollering at the other tenants (at one point he said his boyfriend lived there, and that’s why he was always outside the building, even before he himself lived there). and now that he lives there? well, more of the same. this has been going on for at least 18 months. and we’re not talking about a quick “hey, come here”. we’re talking about extended tirades of 20-30 minutes or more, at all hours of the morning, day and night. loud. grating. non-stop.
a basic belief of mine is that you should be able to do whatever you want as long as that behavior doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others. this guy pushes, tears, and rips apart the envelope on that belief. the police have been called on more than one occasion, for no other reason than to quiet his ass down.
on this particular occasion (Friday, January 7, 2011, 9:30 pm), this guy was standing at the corner of the building and was off on one of his rants. not wanting to spend the night listening to him, i walked near his building and called the police. i went near his building because i wanted to speak with the cops when they arrived. when i initially saw the guy, he was ranting, and smoking something from a pipe, with a lighter flickering several times over the course of a minute or so. when i was near the building and on the phone with the police, i was across the street from him. he was still ranting, and still smoking something, from a pipe. when i was on the phone with the police i asked that they (once again) come to quiet his ass down. i described him to the dispatcher, and i said that he was smoking something, “probably crack”. he heard me and, well, the rest is in this video (6:18):
best in full screen and at the higher resolutions
a few salient points
- the video begins after i finished speaking for the first time with the sfpd dispatcher. at this point, the guy had walked back in to the lobby after hearing me calling the police. probably, in my opinion, to drop off his drugs and/or paraphernalia. which is why he could be so bold about being searched.
- i’m not the least bit worried about him smoking crack. or meth. or pot. or whatever was in the pipe he was hitting. and he was hitting a pipe. what i do care about is that he was loud, shrill, and obnoxious, and that’s why the police were called. it was a noise complaint; he was disturbing the peace.
- at 00:52 into the video, when the guy says “this peckerwood right here …”, there is a second guy who comes out behind him. you can see the metal bar he has behind his back.
- the guy who is holding the metal bar continuously yammers about “not having permission” and “put that camera away”. guess what, the camera never recorded you unless you walked into its field of view. and you were on a public street, with no expectation of privacy, so i did not need your permission to videotape you.
- the guy with the metal bar, “you need yo ass whupped”, “i got fifty on the black man”, “you need to take his ass over there on the corner” and “clang” all speak for themselves.
while i was on the phone for a second time with the sfpd (and thus not recording), the guy with the metal bar walked back inside the entrance gate to place the bar on the steps.
- at 04:18 into the video, a person walks up the steps and trips on the metal bar that had been placed there. he picks it up and puts it on the shelf on the door in the lobby. why did you put the metal bar back inside? were you afraid that the cops might think you had less-than-admirable intentions?
- at 05:07 into the video, the main character, who is adamant about not smoking crack, mentions someone who has an attitude because “he’s mad cuz he dropped his dope”. wtf? i am curious, by the way, who it is that dropped his dope.
when the officers arrived there were five or six residents of the building standing outside. i explained that i was calling about a noise complaint. the officer cautioned that for my own safety if i called again i should not come down to the building; that i should call from my apartment and wait until they arrived before showing up at the building. sorry, but i will not be intimidated by my neighbors.
i had to look up the term peckerwood. and i can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out had the roles been reversed and it was me who was hurling racial slurs and “faggot”.
these are your tax dollars at work: supporting the people who live in these hotels and enabling this behavior. maybe we need to take our ass somewhere else?
the people of san francisco deserve better.
(notes on the video: the quality is less than optimal because it was shot with a phone and because of the low-light; i believe the subtitles accurately represent what was being said but there are a few places where the audio is so low as to make it difficult, if not impossible, to hear, so if you think something is incorrect then please let me know; and, yes, i know about landscape mode … i’m learning :-))