Until quite recently I wasn’t aware of how close I came to being shot by police. Last week, I binged watched, on Amazon Prime, ‘Armed and Deadly: Police UK’ which is a docu-series showing operations armed police in the UK have carried out. It had such a profound effect on me. By the end of the binge watch I physically felt grateful to be alive. It would’ve only taken one trigger happy police officer and I may not have been around to tell the tale. It’s hard for me to provide an argument as to how it wouldn’t have been justified had it had happened. Being dead would’ve made it impossible.
Not only did I feel a sense of gratitude wash over me, by the end, I was also overwhelmed by a real sense of shame and embarrassment.
I was known by police from a young age, I was also known by police to have carried and used weapons over the years. A problem with that, especially in my later years, was the police did not take any chances when coming to arrest me. You soon lose the option of going quietly without a fuss, my fault not theirs. The other problem with that, especially with being a dickhead at the time, is it became a challenge. Not so much a case of expecting the unexpected and more preparing for the inevitable stand off. Told you I was a dickhead. I knew what was coming and instead of doing what should be done in those circumstances I’d be screaming out the window how armed to the teeth I was (lie) and how the first one to come through the door would get it. See, total dickhead.
Out of 17 convictions for violence, 9 of them were for violence against the police. A statistic I am not proud of and quoted merely to highlight why I can’t place the blame at the door of any police station. In their eyes, I was high-risk and they treated me accordingly.
To this day I still do not know why I acted the way I did against the police. Then again, until I watched Armed and Deadly, it was a part of my history I’d not given much thought to. I may have been shitting myself behind the bravado at the time but I didn’t feel there was any lasting damage caused. Clearly, the programme changed all that.
What made the series that little more profound was hearing what the officers were saying about the people they were having to face down. I was slightly thrown back by how understanding they were. Let’s be honest, if you’re having a stand off with armed police and more than once, something isn’t right in the engine room on the top of the person’s shoulders. Being arrested and carted off to prison wasn’t the issue for me, and there have been many decent police officers I’ve met over the years, so it couldn’t have been the simple fact of them being police, I’d have hated any police officer if that was the case.
One reason I believe as to why I can’t understand I acted the way I did is because I’m seeing it through the lens of a rational person and to a rational person I doubt very much if they could understand the mind of an irrational person who appears to have his own reasoning. A reasoning I can’t understand either these days. I’m just grateful to be here.
Police officers get a lot of stick but without their professionalism and understanding, there’s a good chance I’d not be here now, and that is a very sobering thought.