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William Bonilla

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A Stain For Heroes
By William Bonilla
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2005
Last edited: Friday, January 28, 2005
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.
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Recent stories by William Bonilla
· A Journey To The Other Side
· Ambrosio (Fiction)
· The Shortest Story Ever Told
· Teddy The Horse
· The Unforgiving
· Have You Ever Seen A Ghost?
· Still Searching
           >> View all 8
A true story, sad situation, but true
For all those who don't know me
I am a retired Police Officer
from the city of New York, The Big Apple, La cream de La Cream, City Of all cities, If it happened here, It can happen anywhere, I am presently disable
depending totally on my cane, and I don't mean "COKE" (a joke).

So there I was, Staying at the Staten Island Hotel, why?, because my wife just went through a knee surgical procedure, by some of the best doctors in the east coast, last year we moved out of town, so I figured she can recover at a hotel, rather then stay with family, we hate imposing on others, I left my lovely wife, waiting for me at our room, As I left to buy a few snacks, I kissed her, whispered in her ear a soft loving croon, smiling as I exit the room, slowly closing the door, saying see you soon.

I stopped at a local super market, that is opened late, Approximately 18"
Of pure white snow, covered the cold streets of New York, so I drove the one block, I purchased whatever snack we desired and agreed upon, Exiting the parking lot, I slowly came to a stop, at a red traffic signal, icy conditions caused me, to stop closer to the curb.

An RMP (Radio Motor Patrol), was parked at the curb, to my left side, I knew he was there, I saw him as plain as day light,
The Police Officer on the driving side,
Was waring an Emergency Service Unit Patch, he send a chill up and down my spine with a look, that saw no further then my racial origin.

I'll lie not to you, I too shot a stare of equal caliber, right back towards his direction, sending a message, "I'll not be intimidated," I observed him on my side mirror, As he entered the shopping center's parking lot, Making A u-turn, now I knew where he was coming from.

The traffic light turned green, I made a right turn, Onto Richmond Ave., Towards my hotel of choice, Which was only a block away, I made another right turn, into the hotel, as I expected, The Patrol car also made a right turn, into the hotel, stopping behind me, waiting for me to park my vehicle at a designated disable parking space.

I had placed my groceries in my truck,
As I walked towards the rear of my car,
the police officer behind the wheel, pointed his left hand at me, wiggling his index finger, back and forth, indicating he wanted my attention, As I walked towards him, He opened his window, uttering whithout a good evening, a sir, an excuse me, nor anything pleasant, just blurred out, "Why did you stop at the curb, for the red light?" I replied are you not supposed to stop for a red light?
Yeah, he said, you stopped at the curb,
My answer, was that I skidded on ice,
answering his questions, he now demanded to know, why I wasn't waring my seat belt.

I recognized his line of questioning, was getting a bit ugly, so I asked him if he wanted to see my ID, pointing to my right rear trouser pocket, I pull out my ID holder, ready to show him my
license, registration, insurance ID and my retired Police ID, not that I was trying to weasel out of any summons, there were no known violations, to be issued a summons, in the first place, he yelled Yeah! let me see your Id, who the hell are you?
Now he was beginning to know where I was coming from, when I offered him my ID, I told him I was a retired police officer, his line of questioning changed.

Now he was curious to know why I disrespected him?
Why I didn't refer to him as a police officer?
Tic for Tack
I responded, you started this conversation.

So now it was my turn to lecture, I started to lecture him, on the ways some situation were handled in the old days, with arrogance, he dismissed me with a wave of his left hand, uttering I don't have to listen to your shit, I replied, nor I yours, he disappeared into the dark cold night, just as myterious as he appeared, Like a vampire, running away from a holy cross.

He left me baffled standing in the ice cold parking lot, with a bad taste in my mouth and a tear at the corner of my eyes,
Asking myself, how can a minor non-criminal infraction get so ugly, as my wife waited for me at our hotel room, to return.

This whole nightmare, made me wonder, What if I was not a retired police officer, how far would this situation, have gone,
What could have happened to me? because one police officer, lurking in a cold miserable night, couldn't see past my racial origin.

By: William Bonilla


Reader Reviews for "A Stain For Heroes"

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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/13/2007

A powerful, heartbreaking write: shouldn't be. I try to treat people the way I want to be treated; my best friend growing up was Black; my Gramma would tell me, "Stop playing with that little N----- girl." I was like, "Why? Her skin color don't come off." My oldest sister married a Black man; that went over REAL big in my prejudiced family. Didn't bother me or twin sis: as long as he treated her right, all that mattered. Well, he wound up being a jerk, not because he was Black, because he was a jerk. (Know plenty of white jerks, Hispanic jerks, etc, etc.) Stirred up some hurtful memories of this one: pretty damn sad.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla. :(
Reviewed by Mary Coe 9/17/2007
An excellent write. Very interesting reading. I can relate to this article. Prejudice may never go away.
Reviewed by Walt Hardester 8/16/2007
A friend of mine said he was ticketed and almost arrested. I asked why and he said DWB. Naive me asked him what that was, he said "Driving While Black."
Profiling is wrong no matter who does it. Unfortunately it happens everywhere, not just here in the south. A La Rodney King. Yes he broke the law, but from the video it seemed like he was just the target de jours for a LOT of policemen to take out their frustrations...and a lot of them they must have had that day.

Reviewed by Joyce Devenish 6/1/2007
Good story. Full of interesting information. Thank you my friend ...JDM
Reviewed by Mary Grace Patterson 12/30/2006
Dear William,, Your story is outstanding!. Maybe the officer was having "a bad hair day" and was taking his frustrations out on you , or any civillian that might have come along. Thanks for sharing this !.....M
Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks 10/6/2006
So utterly sad to realize that prejudice still exists so blatantly in our the world! I'll not soon forget your story, William...

Reviewed by Gwendolyn Thomas Gath 9/10/2006

"A Stain For Heroes"

I enjoyed this narrative, thank you for sharing it, William!

Best regards to you and positivity to your work!
Take care, Gwendolyn
Reviewed by Edgar Blythe 5/8/2006
In our lifetimes, there is always predjudice. The real story is the way we deal with it. Thanks for writing this and sharing it.
Reviewed by Joy Leftow 10/30/2005
Prejudice is everywhere and goes all ways, no one is exempt.
I too, have encountered prejudice my entire life.
Being different makes one vulnerable.
Reviewed by Shoma Mittra 10/27/2005
I know what you mean . And loved the title of this piece. Somehow William , I got the impression that this would read as very good poetry if yu rearranged some lines and skipped others. :-) shoma
Reviewed by Pier Tyler 9/11/2005
An outer-limit experience but, so real for some. I love the flavor of your stories. I'm waiting for the book and/or movie script.
Reviewed by M. B. 3/17/2005
The title of this story is excellent. You're right, it is sad.

Unfortunately, I've had exact similar situations with cops who're power hungry and it did get ugly. I don't think it's about race, it's about power. These kind of people are bullies with a badge.
I've got that same bad taste in my mouth, William. Officers who are fairminded, such as yourself seems to be, are in the rare these days.

Cynical? Yep.
Reviewed by Nila Jamier 1/30/2005
William for a first this is excellent and the storyu is a powerful one. So well done.
Reviewed by Chanti Niven 1/30/2005
I shiver to think. It boggles my mind what the power of a badge can do to those who have an ego and little compassion for others. It seems to me that you were one of the better police officers and took your duties seriously. Thank you for opening my eyes with such an enlightening story.
I hope your wife is better.
Love Chanti
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 1/29/2005
William, I am so glad that you wrote about this, since you and I both have knowledge of how a good officer handles a non-violent situation...this is disgraceful behavior for anyone...let alone an officer of the law....sorry you ran into one of the bad ones.
Peace and love, Carole
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 1/29/2005

I'm so glad that you have made it to post this in the open. You should have gotten this officer's badge number and reported him. He has no business in talking in that demeaning manner no matter what uniform he was wearing. You were right to lecture him, but he seemed to be just one of those idiots who cannot be trained. How he got the job is beyond me.

Good for you to stand up for your rights.

Sandie May Angel a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 1/29/2005
so sorry you had to endure this, william; such a shame! but still, a very good write about a not so pleasant situation; well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in tx., karen lynn. :(
Reviewed by Danielle Mundy 1/29/2005
I'm sorry that this happened to you, William, but it seem that there a lot of police officers out there this way. I got pulled over when I was 18, had my daughter in the car with me, and every question the officer asked me, I answered then he would disbelievingly repeat my own answer back to me (he didn't want to believe me that the car was mine and tht the child riding with me was also mine) It can happen for any reason, race, age, gender, sexual orientation...we just have to remember that people who are like this are ignorant and should be pitied (if you can get over wanting to plant a fist in their face LOL) I enjoyed this story.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 1/29/2005
Sorry to hear William...!!

Thank God you handled it well!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 1/29/2005
A truly sad scenario, William, and even sadder, one which many face every day in our chaotic violent world. And I would guess things may have gotten even worse since 9-11, where it seems these days, hardly anyone trusts anyone else. And I'm glad to hear things eventually turned out all right on both sides.
Reviewed by Judy Lloyd (Reader) 1/28/2005
Because William it does and it does not change from being a state officer retired and some of the newer ones todays. As we found out in 2001.

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