On August 5th I was maced in the face by two cops.I was visiting my hometown of Mechanicsburg, PA, for the first timein years. I was center city with some old friends from elementary,middle, and high school. A young woman, smaller than five foot, was beingarrested by over a dozen cops. I guess I got too closeto the other.
When my friends asked the cops whymace me in the face—it was a homecoming celebration—an officer said: "This ain't no hometownfor that homeboy." Then,they laughed.
Essay transcribed by i: witness that guy "maced directly in the face"
Exercise an anonymous Exegesis: Why did it take the baker's dozen to subdue Paola Flores-Gonzalez, 18 years old?
August 5th 2nd Street Harrisburg, PA [End Page 13] PennLive Headline: local cops use mace to control
"uncooperative and aggressive" crowd
while making arrest
Comments section with i's line break:
an/ad/vocate: immigration status needs / questionedwhen criminal / activity is / involved, unlessshe spoke / American / dialect English.
spar/hawk2002: If / the police would've / had updated riot gear like they've been / asking / for, they would've had more options / at their disposal, such / as nets, bean bag shotgun bullets, tasers. All of them would / hurt / like crazy
cost/ello: Did they call / ICE?
Still/Nunyabiznes: I love the stupidity / of some complaining that the police didn't need / to use mace … guess / they should have given / hugs and butterfly kisses
unROOly: Good !! / ! / !! I hope it burned like / heck.
Rangerider: Thank you / officers / for your fine work. It's a shamethere are some in the city / who would try / to interfere [End Page 14] in your great work and make good work / look bad. Don't / forget / to replenish your macefor the next bunch / of immigrants!
mburgsb Another illegal / taking / up taxpayer / resources
dratsablive From an eye / witness / who / was right there where / it happened: "There was no unruly crowd, the cops were blocking thesidewalk, which led to the sidewalk getting congested with pedestrians trying to walk around. Most of the 'crowd' didn't know or care what was going on. The cops literally only said 'move' 3 times, but gave nobody time to / move / before they maceda guy directly in the face, then the rest of the people trying to get around."
second1st (@dratsablive) I know that guy, he was the same/ eye / witness that told me / Michael Brown / was/ on his knees with his hands up / when that cop/ shot / him. [End Page 15]
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. He is the author of three books debuting in 2018, 2019, and 2020: Not Your Mama's Melting Pot (University of Nebraska Press), Colonize Me (Saturnalia Books), and Dēmos (Milkweed Editions). Ben is recipient of the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Kundiman, and Tickner Fellowships, among others. Check out his work from 2019 in Poetry, Poets.org, Kenyon Review, New England Review, the Southern Review, and Oxford American, among others. He is Assistant Professor of Poetry and Nonfiction in Old Dominion University's MFA program.