Friday, February 2, 2018
As I write three people are allegedly holed up in a room at the University's Hotel, currently known as The Graduate Hotel. A large swath of the area, near the center of the Campus, is shut down, and SWAT teams and a significant police operation appears to be operating in the area. I say "appears to be" because although some kind of stand-off in this situation is well over 12 hours old, the local media seems lightly interested, or maybe not having their best day, and details are as yet far and few between.
Because this is an area much involved in the life of my wife and me I am interested in how it develops. By the time you read this it will surely have long ago resolved and you will probably either know some full enough version of the story or, I suppose, you will have heard nothing about it at all. It certainly shows no signs of shaping up into any kind of a national story.
But from where I am, four miles away, at a library, we are left with little more than speculation, rumors, and wild conjecture.
At the front desk discussing the situation we imagined a Dog Day Afternoon-like scenario. My partner at the desk was something of a Dog Day Afternoon aficionado, and after hearing recitations of so many of the best parts from that movie it is hard for me not to picture an increasingly frantic Al Pacino trying to manage a desperate situation with an unstable partner and hostages. Unlike the movie though we apparently don't have much of a media circus. Hostage standoffs are just so quaint and Seventies-ish. Nowadays only massive gun shootings warrant real attention.
Later, my colleague Dan reported that he heard the police were just waiting for some disturbed guy on drugs to "come down". This immediately made me think the main subject was white because I assume that for a black guy the door would be dynamited down in the first ten minutes and the man promptly beaten unconscious. But who knows, maybe it's just the opposite and the Minneapolis Police are trying to prove they've turned over a new leaf in response to past incidents. It's not like that would be a bad thing.
For today though, we just wait, with part of the U closed down, a local media that seems to have no informants in the police department and nothing to tell us, and the strange sense that this should all be a much bigger story than it is, or a smaller story than it is, but definitely not both at the same time.