Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Avoiding Profiling While Trying to Stop A Rapist

Is it possible to do? I dunno.
I’ve had numerous conversations in the past 36 hours, on the phone, in person, over email, with women who are horrified and terrified. One person told me that this suspect has been ‘known’ to the police for some time – that his history of assaults started on the East side of Hwy 71, against black women. Now that he’s crossed into a more dominantly white neighborhood, the police have stepped up their game. I pray that that is just a rumor, because rape is rape, no matter what your skin color is, where you live, or how much money you make.

I heard that a man matching the police sketch was spotted walking down Gregory – and someone phoned the police to check it out. It made me think how much it must suck to be a BMW these days – Black Man Walking – or driving, and it caused me to examine where the line inside my brain and heart lies, between social right-ness and a desire for justice. Do you start pulling over any black men who are driving in Waldo after dark? What about just the ones in the car model people have been reporting they’ve seen? What if that results in catching the guy and stopping the list of victims? It’s the definition of profiling, and the ends don’t justify the means…. Intellectually, I know this. Viscerally, my gut wants to cut this guy’s dick off. Part of me thinks, hell, ok, if some serial fat white chick was terrorizing South KC (targeting restaurants and snack shops), I guess I’d put up with being pulled over and checked out. I would, however, like to get some sort of “Cleared by the KCPD” pass that I could produce for future stops, do those exist?

I imagine that anyone even in the ballpark of resembling this guy is drawing longer looks, closer scrutiny, at the grocery store, the QuikTrip, the local bar. (A tweep of mine said they haven’t been to a bar in Waldo in months b/c even though he doesn’t resemble the sketch, he doesn’t want the hassle.) That’s rough. It’s also rough feeling like you can’t be safe in your own home, no matter what side of 71 you live on.
In the email conversations, different types of self-defense came up. Mace, tasers, guns. I am not here to say they don’t work. I am telling you, though, should you head down that road, to think long and hard about it. Self-defense items like mace and tasers require you have calm control and the ability to not only use them properly, but not have them taken from you and used against you. Handguns require the ability to be a damned good shot. This is why I have a shotgun: I can take your ass out from a comfortable distance, and if you’re still coming when you hear me rack it, I’m prepared to kill you. That reads really scary, typed out? But it’s the truth. And I know how to use it. That is crucial. James had a family friend who lost her life because she didn’t know how to use the shotgun, but got it out anyway, was overpowered and it was used against her.

But if I were surprised, in close quarters? I’d rip that motherfucker’s face off, right after I collapsed his windpipe and broke his nose. (Actually, at that point, I’d be creating distance between us, but it’s a vengeful fantasy to think I could cause him just a fraction of the pain he’s dumped on these survivors.)  I have taken a couple of self-defense courses, and I have already coached myself, in my head, as to what I would do. Feeling vulnerable and scared is no way to live. Because I think it’s always good to refresh – I’ve registered for a T.A.K.E. Defense course that’s being held in Lenexa the evening of March 9th. Suggested donation is $12; this is put on by the Ali Kemp Foundation. My friends have registered as well – I encourage any woman who is feeling fearful to do the same. I can tell you, firsthand, these things give you great information and a sense of control. I averted who-knows-what when I lived in Minneapolis and was being followed, late at night, and I credit the self-defense class 100%.

See you there. Let’s hope he’s been caught by then.


  1. Tony


    Some of your ideas we need to implement NOW!

    Seriously, good stuff.

  2. rubigimlet

    I also lived in Mpls from my late teens through early twenties and I have a similar story or two to tell. I also felt that conflicting inner voice of profiling fighting with my sense of justice and my need to always have a good situational awareness going on. One thing those years utterly alone in the city taught me is that self-preservation depends a lot on keeping you antenna up and believing your gut feeling — even when that means starting the limitations of my liberal value system dead in the eyes. Great post.

  3. Christy

    I’d just like to add: Women, LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS. Seriously.

  4. Chelle

    Great topic – I’ve been trying to get my teen daughter to one of these classes and this gives me the perfect link to send her. We should probably ALL take this class.

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