Warning: This article contains anti-crime rhetoric and views from the perspective of a police officer. It was all constructed from an interview with the officer and the Department of Public Safety (DPS)’s actual statement about a black man who was pulled over on Saturday night.
Officer Eliot Ness, a veteran officer of the Stanford Police Department, was patrolling near EVGR, listening to his favorite artist: Kendrick Lamar. But, for Officer Ness, this Saturday was no ordinary night — it was one of the only times in a decade that he would pull a gun. He began to hum the words of the Kendrick Lamar song “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” as he patrolled Neighborhood T.
Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he saw it. As a Cadillac Escalade with illegally tinted windows sat parked, he immediately saw what appeared to be a pile of trash nearby — strange, he thought. As he walked up to the vehicle and shined a light through the pitch-black windows, there sat a person reclined in the front seat and a large pile of cardboard boxes all labeled “not stolen,” written in barely legible sharpie. The driver claimed he was a delivery driver, but seeing no indication that this was the case the officer decided to run his plates.
One particular question ran through the officer’s mind: “why would a delivery driver be reclined in the front seat of a car with dozens of undelivered packages at almost midnight on a Saturday?” When running the car’s plates, it was discovered the owner had a warrant out for his arrest. As Officer Ness advised the passenger to exit the vehicle — and he refused — more squad cars arrived. The officers shouted, “put your hands up!” Their words penetrated through one student’s AirPod Max headset, Ms. Jessica Stovall (as the Daily originally reported). She decided to follow the “piercing” sound, running towards a heated police interaction (as any reasonable person would) and tweeted about the entire incident.
Eventually, when the officers got the man out of the car and realized he was not the vehicle’s owner, he was released. Stovall tweeted that as the man drove away, “he started cursing out the officers, all of them white and looking dazed, especially the one who aimed his gun at him. I have never heard b**ch used so much and so appropriately.” Some, such as Officer Ness disagree, “as much as they’d like to call me derogatory names, I’m just as untouchable as my namesake.”
Officer Ness said that he is having trouble sleeping and completing his duties as a police officer given the rise in campus anti-police sentiment. Ms. Stovall on the other hand, according to the Daily, said “walking is my typical form of stress relief, but I have not wanted to walk ever since I witnessed that.” When we told Officer Ness this he said, “You know what? I have something to tell her: driving is my typical form of stress relief, but I have not wanted to drive ever since I witnessed that.” A Stanford psychiatrist who examined him yesterday said because of “how traumatic this incident was for him,” it could take months for the officer to regain his driving skills and he may require extensive paid medical leave.
Reactions to the incident were mixed. One anonymous student commented, “no university campus should have to fear for a black man’s life every time he steals a package.” An unnamed Professor in the Department of Political Science said, “I’m not shocked at this officer's reaction at all — in fact, I’d truly be surprised if the officer in question ever went to work again. He might even quit, move to Florida, and become a police officer there, and not have to deal with this crap. You know many did that after the George Floyd riots in 2020, they get a bonus down there too…”
This isn’t even the first time in the past week that Officer Ness was involved in an incident that received campus-wide attention. Last week, he was patrolling West campus when he recognized a golf cart that had been reported stolen. When he tried to pull over the two girls who had been involved in a series of grand auto golf cart thefts, they almost crashed and ran from the cart into Yost (the foreign languages theme house). Officer Ness’ actions also received widespread condemnation then as well, with ire and complaints from residents. Some students even remarked, “that’s f*cked” and “I hope no one was physically hurt by today’s incident.” When we asked the officer for further comment, he only remarked “70% of that house is foreign-born, what in the hell do they know about American police being violent?”
A veteran police officer of over a decade, Officer Ness began to conclude this interview with the following comment: “we got the packages.” We actually thought he was done until he turned back and said, “I hate the way they portray us in the media, if you see a group of police officers, it says, ‘they’re committing brutality.’ And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite — because I’ve tried to turn away from the media because it’s too hard to watch.” He ended with “Marc Tessier-Lavigne doesn’t care about police officers.”