Returning to the 17th District, after being absent a few years, I was driving down Irving Park near Central Ave. I looked to my right and observed a man sitting in a Lazyboy chair, fully extended, in the middle of the empty parking lot, sipping on a cold beer. I pulled a u-turn and drove into the parking lot. As I pulled alongside Louie, I was met with “Get the fuck out of my front room.” I backed my squad car up and got out and reintroduced myself to Louie. I explained to him that he should not yell at the police and to validate my point, I took the remaining four cans of beer and I placed them in a straight line in front of my tire. I returned to my squad car and proceeded to run them over, watching Louie’s reaction as they burst, beer and foam sprayed in all directions. Louie’s expression was equal to that of a mother deer watching a wolf tear the life out of her new born faun. I explained to Louie that with a little mutual respect, we could both exist on the same streets. After that one disagreement, Louie and I went on to have a symbiotic relationship. Although Louie would never become a snitch, a casual conversation with him provided you with the pulse of the neighborhood. On occasion, I would throw him a bone, like lunch or beer money. This was why I was probably the only police officer in the District who never had to fight with Louie.
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