On a certain Sunday morning at eleven o’clock, Tracy G. called the police department and asked for officers to meet her at a certain location so they could review a restraining-order that had been served to her. Tracy was on her way to her husband’s funeral with her three small children. The day after her husband died, two police officers had served her with the restraining-order that had been obtained by her dead husband’s mother…her mother-in-law. Tracy told the operator that her husband’s funeral was supposed to start in half an hour and she wanted an officer to read the order to make sure that she was allowed to be there. She said that the last thing she wanted was for her children to see her get arrested and taken to jail while she was with them at their father’s funeral…the day was going to be hard enough as it was.
Tracy told the operator that she called her precinct yesterday and was told by one of the patrol sergeants that there shouldn’t be a problem. He told her to make sure she didn’t interact with or confront the other woman, “don’t cause any problems…don’t commit any crimes while you’re at the funeral…and there shouldn’t be a problem…but call for an officer to check the order just to be safe.” The operator asked Tracy several more questions to make sure the officers could find her at the location where she said she would wait. He asked for her full name, her birth date, phone number, vehicle description, and the name of the business whose parking lot she would be waiting in on the south-east corner of a given intersection. “How long will it take?” she asked. “I’m not sure,” the operator told her, “but I’ve entered it as a priority call, so hopefully it won’t take too long.”
Someone in dispatch asked a supervisor about the call because it was unusual in nature. They’re used to processing priority calls to serve the restraining orders, but it was strange to process one as a priority to just have the orders “reviewed.” As the supervisor came over to the operator and asked him about the call, another dispatcher/operator overheard the conversation and offered that she had coincidentally spoken with both Tracy and her dead husband’s mother yesterday. She had directed Tracy to the precinct to speak with the sergeant…and had later listened to her dead husband’s mother rant about how she just knew that her son’s wife was going to show-up at the funeral and cause problems. The witch’s voice still echoed in her ears, that other dispatcher/operator said, as she couldn’t imagine being caught-up in such a situation where the grieving family members couldn’t even gather together peaceably to remember a loved-one who had just passed.
On a bright almost-springtime morning, Tracy G. was taking her three little kids to their dad’s funeral…and she was hoping she wouldn’t get arrested for doing so…in a family divided…for whatever reason.