Day 71, June 13, 2012

share and show love
 I heard someone yell "hey!! Get up!!"...... I looked up and saw a cop about 20 feet in front of me in the parking lot. He yelled again "get over here! Right now!!" and he was using aggressive and angry gestures.
        I sat up and then stood. I still didn't say a word. I walked over there. When I got close he grabbed my arm tightly and pushed me to the front of his car. Another cop pulled up. He yelled "put your hands on the hood and spread your legs!". So I did. Then the two cops started patting me down. They reached in my pockets and pulled them inside out. All the gift cards with $5 wrapped around them fell out and onto the ground. I saw them spread out on the floor next to me feet. The cop yelled "what are these!?!" so I softly said, "those are for the homless". The cop said "what?!?! What homeless??". I said "any homeless I come across".
          After patting me 2 other cars had pulled up. They said to keep my hands on the hood. I glanced back, turning my head a little. And saw two cops going through my backpack and cart. They were throwing things out and onto the ground. Then a cop grabbed my sleeping bag and shoes. And my iPod and Internet device were inside the heel of my shoe. He threw the stuff about 10 feet onto the parking lot asphalt. I saw my iPod fly out of my shoe and crash against the concrete!!!
          I was a little crushed at the thought of it being broken. I hoped it wasn't. That iPod allows me to share my journey the best I can and because of that thing there have been homeless around the country who have been helped through me sharing a perspective of how much it means.
         I stayed put and then they started asking questions.... Why am I there? Where am I from or going to? Why an I sleeping at a church? Why am I homeless?... So I answered all their questions calmly even though I felt like decking the cop who threw my stuff and may have busted my only source of communication. Finally after telling them, it seemed like they were still on a power rage, but we're frustrated because not only was I innocent, but I was doing good in their community. It was a weird mood.
        I sensed that they felt guilty but were still for some reason revved up and using powerful body language and action. So finally they let me go. They all looked so confused as they talked about it. It was kind of funny.
        They said to pack up my stuff and leave. So I cleaned up the mess they made and replaced my backpack. After that I recorded a video and they looked very uncomfortable as I described what happened. Oh, and before anything I checked my iPod. It had a crack on the bottom of the screen but it was small. It still seemed to work fine.
         The cop then came over and said he was gonna give me a ride to the next town. I told him no thanks, then he said (in a frustrated manner) to move along if I would and hustle up to get my things packed. I for sure was upset about how they handled it. I understand them coming to kick me out, but their approach was overly aggressive and extreme. Someone had called them as they dropped their kids off at the day care next door. And I had no problem leaving and understood. So I moved along.
          Then right across the street from the church I saw a homeless man sitting there. And as the cops were parked there watching me leave, I crossed the street and went to give one of the cards to help out the man. He was so happy and said I made his day! The cops watched from their cars. Man that felt good!
        So I headed towards downtown Shreveport. I crossed over the bridge and when I came to the other side I had to roll my cart down 2 sets of stairs. Then I was in the downtown area. I found a few people right there to help out. One man in a wheel chair who was picking through garbage cans to collect recyclables. Another man sitting on a bench along the street. Then another walking down the sidewalk. All very grateful and I was very thankful to share my blessings.
       I stopped at a little cafe and ordered a little breakfast sandwich. I sat there and charged my stuff and took some time to upload videos from helping the poor/homeless. Then I mapped out a route for the day and got together a little game-plan. Then before I left I filled up my water jugs in the bathroom sink, and brushed my teeth there too.
        I walked west from there to head out to the west suburbs of Shreveport before leaving town and getting close to Texas. I ran into another couple of people to help on the end of town. I stopped to treat myself to a good sized meal at burger king. After a day full of helping others and being roughed around by the police, I felt like I deserved it. So I sat there and enjoyed it. I charged my stuff while I ate.
       I left there and headed out. I made my way out of town about 7 miles as the sunset. I had a church near the state line I was heading to. Just as I was making good ground after dark it started raining a little.  The rain got heavier and heavier. Then it was getting so heavy I had to pull off and pull the tarp out in a hurry! I covered my cart and myself just in time! The lightning struck all around me and the rain poured down hard! I was stranded there until it let up. I sat there as the wind blew and it was very stormy. As I sat there the lightening struck and bang!!! It sounded like a rifle went off in my ear! It was really close.
         I sat there about an hour when the rain and wind let up a little. I got up and halfway packed my tarp in. I hurried up and just ahead there was an old closed down gas station. I went up and under an overhang. The rain was picking back up so I covered up again! The overhang was not wide enough and the wind blew the rain right under it and onto my tarp. So I laid down and thought this might have to be my spot for the night. I pulled out my sleeping bag and laid down halfway on a step on a concrete patio right in front of the closed store.
       I ended up staying up from the storm most of the night and slept on the concrete. Not to mention the bugs all over me biting me all night. It was for sure a rough night. But the thought of helping those people in need that day for sure put me at ease. I halfway slept on and off that night never really getting good sleep.



Steve Black said...


I know a couple of months have passed since your stay in Shreveport, but I was so appalled of your treatment by the police force their that I emailed the Shreveport police commander to make her aware of how you were treated. I gave her a link to (day 71) and told her that it concerns me if those men treat the other homeless in Shreveport like they are a crime waiting to happen.

Don't worry. I was still very polite and told her that I'm sure they have some very fine officers on their force. I just asked her to show the officers (who dealt with you) your blog, so that they can see their actions from a different point of view and possibly learn something about dialing down the hostility when it's unneeded.

Hannah said...

I completely agree with you. I was totally going to say something about those cops, I wanted to do something about it. But you are a fine sir and already did so. It's not like he was trying to break in, or staring at the little kids like a creeper. He was just sleeping. It is not illegal to sleep at a church, I don't think. Well, you can't get arrested for it I don't think. Either way, they handled it in a completely unnessesary manner, they should be ashamed. Just my point of view, though.