CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Police Ride-Along Poetry

I ask my first year CrimPro students (it is a first year course at Arizona) to do a ride-along with the Tucson Police Department, so they can see how the doctrines we study in class really work.  They write a short paper about their experiences.  Some of them chose to write poetry, which, I think you will agree, is so beautiful that it is liable to make a strong person weep.  Here, some excerpts:

Excerpt from Saturday, April 1, 8:40 am:, by Andrew Barbour

Officer Jones, with his gun, ‘cuffs and shield
Cited a driver for failure to yield.
He pulled from his driveway without lookin’ or carin’
And rammed his truck into a passing LeBaron.
Truck driver had no license, nor proof of insurance.
But instead proffered his most solemn assurance
That he was indeed covered by policies Allstate or AFLAC
So he cell-phoned his wife to bring such proof, ASAP.
The wife then showed up with wallet and coverage
But this guy still got a ticket, much to his umbrage.
Fined one hundred and sixty two dollars, for real!
Jones explained his rights to dispute or appeal.

Full Andrew Barbour Poem

Excerpt from THE MAIN STREET WHORE, by Jeff Kerr

Once upon a midnight dreary, while we drove, bored and weary,
Past many a shady and sleazy motel of urban eyesore
While we drove, nearly napping, suddenly we saw two people rapping,
As of someone negotiating, rapping for the price to score.
“Tis a John,” I muttered, “picking up a Main Street whore;
Offering her some rock to score.”

Ah, distinctly, I felt spurned, when they disappeared as we turned,
Eagerly I wished to know, where they went and why they’d go.
To find PC to ease my sorrow, sorrow for the lost Main Street whore,
To lock her up forever more.

Full Jeff Kerr Poem

Excerpt from My Ride-Along, by Nick Salazar

It was a dark and stormy night, but not in Tucson, nay!
Arizona skies were clear; it was a lovely day.
I got myself to the station house and waited for my ride.
Up pulled Ed Boyen, in his car, and motioned me inside.

The night's first quest was pretty tame; a level 4, I think.
The bad guys: two pedestrians who'd had too much to drink.
The call proved unsuccessful, but probably routine;
When we arrived, the two drunk peds had long since left the scene.

Unable to uncover them, we took a different call.
Another drunken, wayward guy was walking 'round the mall.
Now this guy was an easy catch, he'd sat down on the ground.
He had no thoughts of quick escape; he wanted to be found.

When asked how much he’d had to drink, this guy just shrugged and said,
“None. But sir, I’m pretty tired; I wanna go to bed.”
Before we even got the chance to scold the blatant liar,
We noticed that across the street, there burned a gas-station fire!

Full Nick Salazar Poem

Is this high-class legal education or what???? [Jack Chin]

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