De-escalation

Thursday Share Day
Writers LOVE words. Can the right words change the nation? Yes.
The other day a friend sent this news article over to me, and I’m letting you all in on it. This is not the first time I’ve read about the Bellingham Police using their Crisis Negotiator Team to de-escalate a situation. In an era of bullets being used to de-escalate violence, it’s refreshing to find a place on this planet that really, actually, uses words. Let me know what you think.

“On May 18, 2021 Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) passenger LaKisha A. Bolden, 44, apparently upset the bus on which she was riding was not headed downtown, got sufficiently angry with the bus driver that he needed to make an unscheduled stop. Bolden looked like she was walking off the bus when, completely unprovoked, pulled out a 4-inch knife and attacked another rider, stabbing her four times. After Bellingham Police arrived on scene and de-escalated the situation, Bolden was subsequently arrested, without further incident, for assault in the first degree and booked into the Whatcom County Jail.

Bolden and several other riders were on a WTA bus travelling on Old Fairhaven Parkway, when she realized they were not heading downtown and got angry about that. The driver safely pulled the bus over to let Bolden off. It appeared Bolden was leaving, but instead pulled out a knife and stabbed another rider. The injured rider fought back and was able to get distance from Bolden and flee the bus to safety. The rest of the riders and bus driver also safely made it off the bus. Bolden remained alone on the bus, still armed with the knife.

Bellingham Police (BPD) arrived and established a safety perimeter around the bus and shut down traffic on Old Fairhaven Parkway for the safety of motorists. The bus was disabled to prevent Bolden from being able to create a further crisis and danger to the public by driving it away. While the patrol officers maintained a safe distance, members of the BPD Crisis Negotiator Team (CNT) were called to establish contact with Bolden, engage in conversation to de-escalate the situation and have Bolden surrender.

Shortly after starting the conversation with Bolden, crisis negotiators were able to convince Bolden to step off the bus and surrender peacefully. Bolden was handcuffed and arrested for assault 1st degree and taken to the Whatcom County Jail.

The victim of the stabbing went to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Emergency Department for treatment for non-life-threatening stab wounds to her hand and leg.”

https://cob.org/news/2021/suspect-stabs-another-passenger-four-times-on-wta-bus-in-unprovoked-attack

Here is my current mood expressed in a meme. Take care of yourself and those you love. -Shannon

Rant: Judged Conversation Overheard on the Bus in August

 

Judged Conversation Overheard on the Bus in August

by Shannon P. Laws

 

The sidewalk on Magnolia sticks to my shoes
Maple Tree sap bleeds from the high branches
It’s not enough to stop me
I have a bus to catch

It’s early morning-cold. Crisp air flies in from open slit of bus windows in position for the promised afternoon heat. Wednesday morning in August and downtown is quiet.  Half the town seems closed. Most are somewhere enjoying the last days of summer.  Anywhere else but downtown Bellingham. Only the sounds of a traffic light clicking green and a seagull. The gull stands like a superhero on the top southeast corner of Mount Baker Apartments
barking orders
waking us up
sounding reveille
few listen

Two ladies get on the bus.
They don’t live here.
I know it.

They are the only known tourist on the 3

Oh good, they are sitting behind me
She must be a grandmother
“Are you warm enough?”
The other perhaps a daughter
“Yes, I have my LL Bean on”
They don’t know
what’s coming

Then, it starts—

For 25 years I’ve been getting a mammogram every two years because my mother had breast cancer.

She continues to talk about cancer the way old people talk about cancer
the same way middle-aged people talk about the weather
the same way younger people talk about nothing in particular

The list of what’s wrong with grandma’s body rattles off like the description of a 2001 Dodge Durango I am forced to read:

There’s a new growth of cataract in my left eye, arthritis in the knees effecting my suspension, my liver is having problems, might be backed up.  Recent scans show no blockage in the arteries.  Hips replaced.  Doctor recommends a colon flush.  Hypertension makes me jerk to the left from time to time.  Engine still strong. Overall I’m in good shape

“For sale $500 obo”

 

 

 

Poem: Bus Girl

"Reflection on a Bus" by pavboq, Shropshire England 2014
“Reflection on a Bus” by pavboq, Shropshire England 2014

Bus Girl

She looks in the glass again
to check if the image has changed

New headphones, new hair
She’s still the same

LOOK

Eyeliner of lines drawn in the sand
Streaks of blonde scream in her hair
Lips moist with gloss, pink as a newborn

LOOK, again

Everything’s the same.
She smiles.