On Friday evening the police were everywhere in the hotel lobby...standing there at parade rest, arms crossed or on hips...guns and batons polished and waiting. It was intimidating to say the least...intimidating and irritating. Maybe irritating enough to encourage some younger people with an "oh Yeah???" attitude, as if daring them to do something anyway.
Saturday night they were re-deployed by Comandante Jackie to a room off to the side, awaiting developments...ready to issue out and "strike" strategically. That night my mother and I bought a couple of latte's ( This IS California) and strolled the lobby. She sat down on a chair against the wall by the double doors leading outside and I stood next to her, sipping my coffee.
Of a sudden one of our bigger Assyrian youths came into the hotel traling two lesser ones, his friends. Almost immediately the chief of Hotel Security himself darted in after him, grabbed his arm and wheeled him around. Now, this security chief fellow is not a stable man. I had ocassion to watch him in action a couple of times and he was more hot-headed and liable to snap than most of us were. He too apparently had been given an earful by Jackie. I recall now her comment to me about how she'd insisted on registering guests because as she told Atour...if you think I'm having a bunch of donkeys come here to "my" city and shit all over the place then leave us with the ruined reputation, you're sadly mistaken.
The security chief told the big Assyrian to get out, right now...that he wasn't registered and they were tired of chasing him in and out of the lobby...this time he was to leave and not return. This whole thing took place two feet from where I and my mother were, in fact the guy had stepped back into me, we were so close. At no time during what transpired did the Assyrian fellow raise his hands or offer any resistance. He asked why he had to leave, they explained the registration thingie, he said he hadn't known, it wasn't fair etc, but he didn't "resist"...just didn't move fast enough. The security guy punched him in the back, but he bounced off without making much of a dent...this only angered him the more and soon another security guy appeared but he was even smaller. By this time the Assyrian had made it to the first set of glass doors and walked through only to have two San Jose City Policemen arrive from hiding with batons drawn, and guns on hip. At no time did this big Assyrian offer the least resistance, he just seemed to be moving too slow, maybe because he moves that way, or maybe because he didn't like being punched and yelled at in front of his friends and the others in the lobby.
When the police arrived, the Assyrian's other two friends made a move to rush to his defense. It was as clear as it could be that they would have walked into what the Police would have later called a "riot" and all hell would have broken loose...the cops, so well primed by Jackie, would have beaten them all senseless. In the interim, the Police had hit the Assyrian a few times with their nightsticks across the back...it hurt. He never fought back or resisted.
I rushed out quickly and got in front of his two friends in the doorway...while I could see the Police following the Assyrian into the dark parking lot. That was his mistake...it would have been better to have remained in the light where we could have seen what they did. I'm afraid they gave him a good drubbing once he was far enough away. By then other Police had arrived and security people and they were standing in a ring outside, facing the hotel doors...kind of waiting for the two friends to come out and get theirs too.
I stood between these two guys and tried to calm them down...told them they couldn't help their friend at all now, that the best thing for them was to leave by another exit and not come back. One of them, a young fellow kept saying, "but Mister, sir...it is not right...it is not right." Apparently he had gone up to the wild eyed Security chief to ask what the problem was only to get a straight arm to the chest and get knocked back. I agreed with him that it wasn't right...adding that there is seldom justice in the world etc. But that the Police...once called for, had every right to do whatever they thought best at the time...which could easily include shooting him in the head...after which we'd only have more martyrs and they would face a hearing at most at which Jackie would testify to all the hard work she'd done for US...and what an impossible and ungrateful people we were etc.
They finally calmed down enough and left. I went back to my cold coffe where my mother sat. Some under security chief came up, introduced himself, shook my hand and thanked me for helping THEM! I wasn't helping them at all...I helped those two friends avoid a beating and who knows what else.
On the next day, when we waited to see the Hotel Manager so I could ask him if it really was their policy to remove anyone Jackie pointed a finger to...and after we'd been inside to speak with him once...we were waiting outside when the same under security chief came to the office as well. He smiled warmly at us before going in. We were waiting to get some confirmation from the manager that I could indeed remain in the hotel...he was calling Jackie. This manager had already told me he'd "heard" about me...guess from whom. He emerged from his office with the under security chief who looked uncomfortable now...to say we could indeed remain, as long as I asked no further questions. I have a feeling the under secusity chief mentioned the part I'd played "helping" them the night before, only to be waved off...probably some plot I'd hatched.
On Monday when the general manager gave me five minutes to do three hours work or "get out"...I reminded him that far from being a trouble maker, as Jackie had made me out to be, I had helped avoid what could have been a far worse confrontation....he shrugged it off.
I wish I could find that Assyrian kid...I'd go with him to the Police and file a complaint against the cops and Hotel management. At no time did he offer any resistance...the security chief was the one out of control...so distressed by his own impotence. He'd come across much too belligerant and dismissive himself...he only made it worse...and the Police, also acting on Jackie's charms...were ready to assume the worst. The Assyrian could have been threatened with immediate arrest if he didn't stay away...the presence of the Police would have convinced him. There was no need to punch him or hit him with nightsticks, in front of us all. That was Jackie's doing plain and simple. I'm not absolving the Assyrian for his part...but the reaction he was met with was in no way called for by his actions. But then at a convention where two security people are assigned to stand next to me so I don't ask John Nimrod a simple question...is a convention where these kinds of things can happen.
Jackie got what she wanted. She showed the Hotel people and others who "count" how she can run an event. Any failures or lapses will be made out to be our fault...we the unruly Assyrians who wont bend to a woman whose one half Assyrian side allows her the "edge" on dealing with us pure bred jackasses...and that we tolerate this sort of thing only proves what jackasses we are...that's what she thinks anyway.
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