The Ajar Door

Let me tell you a story.


Officer Smith was off-duty, and it had been a long day. He’d been up for 17+ hours, and — hopefully, this time — he’d be awake a bit longer. He escorted his lady guest to his apartment door, got his key out and…

The door was slightly ajar; closed, but not enough to latch. “What the hell?” he muttered. “Why’s the door open?” His hackles rose. He glanced up at the number nailed to the door; yep, right apartment.

He turned to his guest and said, “Seems silly, but I know I locked my door. Could you wait out here a bit?” She agreed, if a bit dubiously.

Smith listened at the door. When he heard nothing, he opened it slightly and listened again. Nada. He opened it more and looked in; the slight outdoor ambient light left the interior a mess of shadows, but nothing seemed out of place. He again reminded his lady friend to wait, released the flap on his holster and stepped inside, eyes and ears observing for anything.

He slowly entered and swept corners, and under the desk. Nothing. Kitchen clear. He approached the bedroom in the same fashion, then the bathroom. Back to the bedroom, he listened again, and opened the closet. Clear.

Feeling quite relieved, he turned on some lights and looked around again. On a kitchen counter, he found it.

A business card from the apartment complex’s regular pest control service explaining that they’d been spraying again. The dumbasses had left the door unlocked; that was all.

Smith went back to the front door and escorted the woman inside, feeling rather stupid. He apologized profusely for the drama queen performance, and told her that finding the door open was not merely unusual, but unique, so he wanted to be extra careful for her.

He thought it best — particularly for the chance of further extracurricular activities — not to mention that he takes this shit seriously because, in the course of his work, he’d picked up a few death threats from violent felons.

This time was just a false alarm.


Punchline: That isn’t fiction. It’s a true story to the best of my recollection. “Officer ‘Smith'” was me, and this happened back in the ’90s. Note that while my weapon was ready, I never drew it, though my hand was on the grip (why the holster had a flap rather than strap is another story; but there was a reason for it). I really did sweep the apartment as described. I really did verify the apartment number before entering.

Unlike Amber Guyger, I had neither direct access to police backup via two-way radio, nor a cell phone. But I exercised reasonable caution, also unlike Guyger.

I could also tell a –also  true — story about unexpectedly encountering a person while on duty, in a time and place that person shouldn’t be, and who disregarded verbal instructions. I didn’t shoot that person, because — after calling for backup — I de-escalated and handled it non-lethally; no one got hurt.

If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in my tip jar. I could really use the money, what with ISP and web host bills, and general life expenses. And the rabbits need feed. Click here to donate via PayPal.
(More Tip Jar Options)

[UPDATE; more inconsistencies] Good thing for Guyger I won’t be on her jury

A TV station got hold of the audio of killer Amber Guyger’s 911 call, which she placed after shooting Botham Jean in his own apartment.

Steady your nerves and listen to it.

Note that her first concern was to repeatedly set up her alibi that “I thought it was my apartment.”

Her second concern was being fired.

Please note that she appears to be talking to her victim, telling him, “I didn’t mean to,” and “Stay with me, bud.” Seemingly Jean was still alive at that point, bleeding out, else why would she be telling him to hang in there?

The problem with Guyger “reassuring” Jean is that… She wasn’t in the apartment, as she told 911.

You may recall that a witness recorded Guyger that night.

The video showed the uniformed, off-duty officer as she frantically paced the hallway outside Jean’s apartment while talking on the phone, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The hallway. Not inside the apartment as she told 911.

The hallway. Where she couldn’t possibly be talking to her victim inside the apartment.

She set up a semi-believable scenario in the 911 call which make it all look like a horrible misunderstanding. But she was unaware that a witness was recording actions inconsistent with what she was saying on the phone.

According to the video, she wasn’t in the apartment reassuring her victim. She wasn’t in the apartment putting pressure on the wounds she inflicted.

According to the video, she was out in the hallway, seemingly feeding 911 pure BS.

Added: I had to go look this up to be sure I recalled it correctly. According to the arrest warrant for Guyger:

Guyger then entered the apartment, immediately called 911, requesting Police and EMS, and provided first aid to Complainant. Due to the interior darkness of the apartment, Guyger turned on the lights while on the phone with 911. Upon being asked where she was located by emergenct dispatchers, Guyger returned to the front door to observe the address and discovered she was at the wrong apartment (#1478).

But the 911 audio shows she already knew the actual address without pause. 18 seconds into the call, as soon as asked the address, she begins, “I’m in number…” and is interrupted by the dispatcher. Guyger then states, “I;m at apartment number 1478. I’m in 1478”

No pause. No confusion. No, “Hey, this isn’t my apartment. What is the number?” None of that. Yet the warrant, supposedly based on her questioning by law enforcement claims she didn’t know where she was until asked. The call shows she already knew.