Help Me Exhume/Aurora Ave/Fri Aug 25/5 pm: Officer Nguyen reports: "A woman came into the Evergreen Cemetery's office and gave witness one and two shovels and $10 [$5 each] to assist her digging up graves. She said she was looking for her relatives. When they declined, she walked out to the cemetery and started mumbling to herself. She went to the bus stop and started waving shovels at passing cars. When I arrived, I saw her waving shovels at passing cars. When she saw me, she started running away from me. I followed her to a muffler shop. She ran into the business and refused to come out and put down her shovels. After numerous orders, she finally complied and I handcuffed her. [As we waited for AMR to arrive] she mumbled about her dead friends, reuniting with her dead ancestors, wanting to see her family, needing to dig up dead people's graves. She did not stop saying these things for nearly the entire 30 minutes while we waited for AMR."

Rap and Reality/Pioneer Square/Sat Aug 26/2:04 am: Officer Sideris reports: "I was flagged down by a transient at Second and Washington, who said that he heard shots fired a block away. We did an area check. Another witness said he heard several shots fired a few blocks away from Third and Washington. An area check for victims and for suspects was negative. Several units responded to this incident."

I happened to be sleeping in this part of town when these shots were fired. They woke me up and from outside the open window I heard what can only be described as the end of the world. People who had left a club called Aristocrats were in a parking lot "going insane in the membrane." The screaming, the fistfights, the cars burning rubber and hurtling down packed streets at murderous speeds—it was as if I'd gone to sleep in Seattle and woken up in Escape from New York.

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Apparently, this is the state of things every Saturday and Sunday after the doors of Aristocrats close. And those who live nearby are kept up during the course of the disturbance, which lasts about an hour. Inevitably the club, which plays Top 40 rap on weekend nights, will be hassled by the city, and, as a consequence, the race issue will be raised. But what in the world are the public and police supposed to do? The question is not this: Why can't white people stand to see black people having a good time? (The disturbance in the parking lot has nothing to do with having a good time.) The question should be this: Why is it impossible for some of our brothers and sisters to leave a club in a cheerful mood, a mood of laughter and conviviality? Indeed, it's not the noise that is bad, but the intense cloud of violence and flashes of anger that settles between the late hours of 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. "I'm nigga, I'm nigga. You know that? I'm motherfucking nigga," said a man with terrific force. What a different world this would be if brothers like him directed that kind of energy toward the fight for global human rights.

charles@thestranger.com

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