Cops and Sikhs

March 9th, 2016

Yesterday, the Oak Creek police decided that they needed to talk to me about my book signing. (I published a book about our son and his experiences in Iraq). We had an interesting discussion.


It is as follows:



I came home from church this morning, and there was an orange sticker on our front door. I figured it was something from UPS or Fedex. I read the sticker and it’s from the Oak Creek Police Dept. In particular, it’s from an Oak Creek detective who wanted me to call him. So I did.


The detective wanted to know about the book signing that I am doing at the Islamic Resource Center on Wednesday evening. He asked if he could come over to the house to talk to me about it. Sure…why not?


The detective and his sidekick show up a little while later. We sat around the kitchen table and he started asking me questions. He asked me about going to the Sikh temple. I told him that I have been going there for the past several years, and that a week or two ago I asked the people there if they would be interested in attending my book talk. The detective showed me a copy of the hand-written note that I had given the president of the Sikh temple explaining the book talk. Apparently, the president of the temple, who doesn’t really know me, forwarded the note to the Oak Creek cops so they could investigate me.


Now, I can understand the Sikhs being a little paranoid. If somebody shot up my church, I would be that way too. I go to the temple a lot, but I don’t schmooze with anybody. I go there to pray and meditate, and then I leave. There are a couple priests there who know me by sight, but we don’t talk much.


The cop wanted to know if I cause trouble at the temple.


C’mon, really?


I mentioned to the detective that I had written a letter to the Milwaukee Journal after the shooting at the temple.


He asked, “Did you write defending the actions of the white guy (the shooter)?”


“Say what? Uhhhh, no. Actually, I wrote about how the killings harmed our entire community.”


“Oh, good.”


After half an hour of explaining the contents of the book and Hans’ PTSD and how the attitudes of returning vets affect the Muslim and Sikh communities, the detective concluded that the book talk was a good thing. He no longer thinks I am a white supremacist, or whatever. Actually, the detective was a pretty decent guy. He was just doing his job. But it felt surreal.


I couldn’t make up this shit.



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