“I am not a crook”

By January 20th, 2014

Family & Friends,

I’m assembling my portfolio for the Rwandan government to receive a long-term visa.  I found myself in the position of former president Richard Milhous “Watergate” Nixon claiming, “I am not a crook.” I need official evidence that I don’t have a police record.  At the nearest police precinct, the sign said, “Our front desk is closed because of budget cuts.”  I felt a tinge of guilt for voting down the last tax increase, but moved on to the next police station.  Here I learned that I had to appear in person at the downtown Portland justice center.  My GPS got me through the maze of one-way streets into a parking garage.  I stood in the police line until I spoke through a microphone to a police officer behind a thick barrier.  He checked the records, printed out a my police dossier and told me to wait until a notary public signed it.

I sat next to a door that was for police only.  An officer came through the door looked at me like I was a suspect, but made no arrests.  A second person came through the door with my official signed and notarized document that said, “You are not a crook.”  She said, “Sorry for the wait, so we will waive the $5 fee.”  I darted to the door before they changed their mind.  My 30 minute foray ended at the parking garage where they said, “$5 for the 30 min.”  I remembered the words of my beloved stepmother Alice, “highway robbery.”  I was going to report them to the police, but instead took my $5 returned by the police to pay my way out of the parking prison.  “I am not a crook.”  If you don’t believe me, you can ask John Brooks, Captain, Records Division, Portland Bureau of Police.


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