Cop Watch Plumas County Begins

They said equality was solved. They said there was no more need for women’s studies. That’s bogus. That’s wrong. That’s what’s holding back Plumas County. Oh we have plenty of male identified females that uphold the patriarchy (I’d say ‘you know who you are, but by definition they DON’T know who they are).

In PLumas County women who are threatened by the men in their lives sometimes call the cops. The cops respond by telling women that they shouldn’t file complaints. You don’t want your husband/ex-husband/boyfriend’s gun taken from them during hunting season do you? It’s a tough thing to be a woman in this county. Way tougher than it has to be.

When gender roles are so blatantly defined and exploited inequalities and sexism will prevail. That’s what we often have here.

It’s an odd thing. If you’re like me, you don’t call the cops because cops don’t tend to listen to racial minorities much–especially in a county where there are very few racial minorities in law enforcement. I’ve instructed my children unfortunately, that cops are not to be trusted any more than criminals unless you are in a diverse area in which case, yes, do go to police for help. But in the mountains? In the country side? You have to fend for yourself.

A few years back a cop came by our old house accusing of us dumping trash in the woods and empty keystone beer cans and diapers in the woods. “Your name’s Garcia, isn’t it?” The cop accused. Yes. I have a Spanish surname. That’s a crime? So he accused microbrew drinking metrosexuals with children way beyond diaper age of leaving trash in the woods. Am I expecting too much in the way of critical thinking skills of police in Plumas County? The cop in question put my husband in a patrol car and took him into the woods to clean up someone else’s garbage and recycling. My kids watched confused. I was terrified. My husband was stoic. We all knew that he’d never have treated a white man the way he did my husband. Later the cop realized his error. But no apology was forthcoming. That officer is still employed despite numerous complaints by numerous minorities. It’s are little bit of KKK up in the mountains.

It’s something I’ve never understood. Why are the beautiful places made uncomfortable for minorities and women? Why can’t the mountains be a safe haven for women identified women and minorities? We deserve clean air too.

Women and minorities need to take back Plumas County. It’s our county too and we deserve to be treated with respect. It’s the 21st century. We aren’t Mississippi. We are in California. Native Americans should be able to drive through the county without fear of being pulled over for BEING NATIVE AMERICAN. Restraining orders should be served on redneck ex-husbands when they threaten their ex-wives. We should demand that instead of relying on racial stereotypes that cops be made to learn critical thinking skills.

What gets to me the most is when I file a complaint against racism or sexism and the officers in charge look at me blankly as if they really know what racism or sexism is and they say “Oh. Officer X is a great guy. He’s not a racist. He’s not a sexist.” As if they KNOW in their privileged skin, in their privileged sex what discrimination is.

I’m calling bullshit on this. Right. Now.

I’m starting a Cop Watch in Plumas County. Someone needs to watch the cops. In just one week I’ve had tons of responses of people wanting to share their stories of discrimination and ill-treatment by our policing force. If you have an incident that happened in Plumas County, let me know. Cop Watch is compiling stories and incidents of bad behavior perpetrated against LAW ABIDING citizens. Send them to us. There is strength in numbers.

About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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