Kyle Freedman
4 min readMay 30, 2020

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Shortly after two AM on a chilly Thursday night in 2015, two men broke into my house and robbed me at knife-point. Over a ~thirty minute period I successfully pleaded that no, I did not have any massive pile of cash lying around, and please, please go away. Thankfully my other roommates locked their bedroom doors, or perhaps things would have escalated. Who knows. The worst of it is, I’d stopped streaming about twenty minutes previously or the encounter would have ended significantly faster. Just IMAGINE that sub train…

During the night in question, I never saw the second guy. He remained out of sight & silent behind the doorway; that was the man I’d have known. His accomplice was adamant that I was keeping the money somewhere. Regrettably, I didn’t act as many of my heroes of fiction would have; I was a cowardly, terrified mess. Hopefully in my next life threatening situation I’ll have the wherewithal to act with a bit more decorum, though I must say having someone threaten to kill you with an object up to the task isn’t something you can adequately prepare for without field experience. As Tyson said, “Everyone’s got a plan till they get punched in the mouth.”

In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Twenty-two, living in a lower middle class area with two compadres of similar age, no pay stubs, no recent employment record. An incident with unknown assailants early in the morning. People “don’t just get robbed”. They’re involved in something. They have enemies. Perhaps you, dear reader, don’t agree. If only you were investigators in the Baltimore County Police Department.

There’s a famous video on the internet from Professor James Duane titled “Don’t Talk to the Police”. I’ve watched it twice. It’s excellent. However, I never considered that this same idea had to be considered when you were a victim reporting a crime. I don’t want to be too hard on myself as I was a bit unsettled at the time, but it took me at least an hour to realize that what I thought was me giving a statement was actually the police conducting an investigation. The perps might be long gone you see, but they had a different offender dressed in gym shorts and mismatched socks sitting right in front of them.

Eventually I realized that the continuous circular questioning I was being subjected to, in combination with the number of deputies in my bedroom (seven) not-so-inconspicuously rifling through my stuff wasn’t for the purpose of apprehending the intruders. It was to investigate me. I was absolutely befuddled. I had a fresh and accurate description of suspect #1’s face/build, and they weren’t even willing to bring in a sketch artist. My response was to pull up photos, news articles proving the veracity of my identity; a gamer, not an arms or drug dealer. Unfortunately, as I was a pro HoN player at the time, most were from developer affiliated websites and not the contemporary press that a squad like modern day Liquid players could provide to prove their mettle.

Ultimately the fact that I was 3 days late on an electric bill and had also made the admittedly foolish mistake of providing the thieves my actual pin number (they’d threatened to kill my cousin if it didn’t check out) outweighed the photo of me and my four teammates holding a check with ฿900,000 on it, notwithstanding my total lack of criminal or arrest record.

About three hours in, they seemed to tire of my constant denials. To quote the lead investigative sergeant, “SHUT THE FUCK UP. Do you think I’m a moron, boy? Your story is so, fucking, RIDICULOUS. Tell us what really happened or we’re all fucking out of here.” He’d remarked numerous times throughout the night that he had a “bad feeling in his gut” about me.

I stood up in anger and was immediately restrained by two of his colleagues.

He left the house.

The rest of the officers followed within five minutes.

Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t asked in for a follow-up.

No one was apprehended.

I’ve had the above finished for a while but I never published it, because I didn’t see the point. Something shitty happened to me, so what? What was the moral of the story?

For a single evening I was treated unjustly. For just one night, the fraternity I’m taught to trust saw me not as a citizen in need of help, but a criminal in hiding.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to live my entire life viewed that way.

The Murder of George Floyd

Some sunny morning when I was eighteen, I was driving myself and some friends to work in my grandmothers beat-up 92 Subaru Impreza.

Pakistani Malik was in the passenger seat, Puerto Rican Efrain sat behind me, and the Argentinian Ariel next to him.

We got pulled over by a cop on our right while crossing through an intersection in Allentown, New Jersey. The county is upper-middle class, and 88.8% White.

The officer approached my window, looked at my face, said “Good Day”, and walked back to his squad car.

At the time, I wondered why he stopped us.

My friends knew why.

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Kyle Freedman

You don't have to do something with your life. Just do something with your day.