I thought I had seen just about every form of harassment until Monday night/ early Tuesday morning. I had posted an incident on this site this past summer. The cop that I had given the benefit of the doubt to, thinking maybe he just didn’t witness me being attacked, ended up being the worst harasser I have ever come across.
I came across him for the 3rd time two nights ago. I was on Bourbon street debating on whether or not I should go to work. I stopped at my one strip club which was empty. I spent time talking to the DJ and Doorman. Then I headed towards another club to see if anyone was there. Again it was dead. As I was turning around a group of people (both men and women) called me over. We got into a conversation. They were tourist so I gave them my usual advice – go to Frenchmen Street or any where but Bourbon. I was mid sentence talking to another girl when the Cop in a golf cart pulls up. He calls me over and tells me I have to get off of Bourbon Street.
WTF? I actually did a double take.
This time I knew I didn’t do anything wrong. Once before he had kicked me off the PUBLIC street because I didn’t have an ID (I again excused his behavior, “maybe he didn’t think I was 21” I reasoned). When I informed him that it was my right to be on the street especially, since I live and work there. He suggested I was a hooker. I was furious but kept my cool. I had to buy stripper shoes and I told him as much. He followed me to the shoe store in his little golf cart. His hostility actually scared me. I just knew that my challenging his authority was going to end badly.
I stopped back at my one club and told the doorman about the Cop. I was really mad but, also freaked out. I didn’t want him to follow me all the way down Bourbon where it gets more deserted and where I live. I asked if I could wait in the club until the Cop turned around and passed by again so I could walk home without the hassle. I had no such luck!
I was waiting at the bar in my club and the next thing I know the Cop is pushing past the door guy, bouncers and manager, demanding that I step outside. I went without a fuss and asked what I was in trouble for. The answer: prostitution. Mostly though he was pissed I didn’t get off of Bourbon St. I’m sorry I didn’t want to walk 10 blocks on a deserted street. On a weekend when streets are packed I avoid Bourbon like the plague – not on a Monday when things are dead. I try to stay safe.
Even worse, talking to other women I discovered this is the Cop’s MO – He kicks young women, some strippers some not, off of Bourbon Street on the pretense that we are all prostitutes. If you are not with a male he has no problem banishing you to a darkened side street. I felt like I walked into another dimension when I got arrested. I still prefer the day I spent in jail to risking my safety. I want to face him in court and prove that I’m innocent and he is a sexist bully unfit for NOPD.
– Megan Kelley
Location: New Orleans, LA