November 30 & December 1: Conversations with Police Officers
The characters can be anyone. Two of three should be women. Two of three should be non-white.
Conversations with Police Officers
A, B, & C sit on the edge of the stage as though it is a sidewalk. Each has their hands zip-cuffed together. They watch something going on in the distance.
A: You think he’s wearing a body cam?
B: No way. You saw the way he took down that guy with the bandana. No way he kicks him like that if he’s on the record.
A: Might still be some footage. The girl with the cell? Ruby?
B: Yeah. If she’s got like cloud back-up or something. He smashed it pretty good though.
A: That’s the thing I don’t get man- like, seriously- if you have to smash a camera so there won’t be evidence of what you did- how is that not an indication that maybe you’re doing something shitty? Like- you’re a cop. You deal in evidence. Like those guys at the G20 who took off their name tags. How do you not realize you’re the bad guy and like fucking stop?
C: No one wants to relinquish power. We are hierarchy machines.
A and B pause for a moment to look over at C. Then their eyes are drawn back to what they were watching before.
A: Christ. I wish he’d stop hitting that guy. I mean. (Raising their voice:) He’s down man, cut it out.
Something happens that makes A, B, & C flinch and drop their faces.
B: Don’t do that! He’ll just come over here and beat the crap out of us instead.
A: I know, I know. But seriously. We were just standing in a place where an oil company didn’t want us, and for that they get to arrest us and treat us like we don’t have rights? (Beat.) You know, when I was little, I wanted to be a cop. (Off B & C’s looks:) I thought it was the single best thing you could do. In your own community you stood up, you protected the weak from the strong. I thought that meant you had to be freaking brave, right? That if they were going to give you a gun you had to be that much better, that much more careful and compassionate- because if you weren’t you didn’t deserve it.
B: Yeah. And when I was little I thought the tooth-fairy was real.
A: You think he thought that was what he’d be like when he started? And then the job just warped him? Or you think he was always just a creepy little power-junkie looking to jack up people because he decided he didn’t like them?
C: The purpose of any body is always to protect its own existence and well-being before the existence and well-being of others. Equality under the law is, at best, hypocrisy. We are equal to the degree that we are strong.
A: You mean that the strong prey on the weak.
C: (Holding up their zip-tagged wrists.) Manifestly.
Again, something in the distance makes all three of them wince.
A: Yeah. Well. I reject that premise.
A tries to stand up. B yanks them down.
B: What the hell are you doing?
A: Somebody is supposed to be standing between people and the kind of people who beat them up just because they don’t like them doing something like non-violent protest. Somebody is supposed to be doing that.
B: That psycho is going to come over here and knock all your teeth out. And it will change exactly nothing.
C: In the face of the universe, all human action is futile.
A looks over at the distance.
A: No. Sorry guys. But no. Either we’re better than this, or we don’t deserve to freaking even exist. (A struggles to their feet. They keep their eyes on the distance.)
B: You cannot be serious.
A moment. Then C struggles to his feet. Another moment. B sighs and stands up.
B: He goes for my face and I’m using you as a human shield.
A: Fair enough.
B: Oh man, here he comes.
All three brace for impact.