'I've Had So Much Fun With Cops'

NOT showing at NBFF: Pray for Me: The Jason Jessee Movie

It makes him think of San Francisco years ago, when the feds pulled him over outside where a United Nations palaver would take place the next day. His mufflers were rapping—lowriders are notoriously loud—and they said it sounded like machine-gun fire. And so the homeless African-American guy on the sidewalk stood up—he was an agent—and the Asian street racer dude in the Honda pulled in for backup—he was an agent—and when they were done, they both melted back into the pavement. San Jose was part two of that story arc: an ending he didn’t see coming until it was upon him.

“Did you see that police car go by?” he asks, as we stand around outside his warehouse unit in Watsonville. When I leave, a highway patrol car and a police motorcycle are parked at the Chevron a half-mile down. They look like they’re getting gas, but are they? Jessee wonders: “Don’t they get gas at [their own] place?” he asks when I tell him about it later.

“‘You can’t win,’ they told me—this Georgia cop, when I was 19—‘You can’t win,’” he says—another story of another run-in. “And I was like, ‘I could blow my head off, and then I’d win.’ And he was like, ‘No, you can’t win.’”

A date with destiny. Photo by John Gilhooley
A date with destiny. Photo by John Gilhooley
In Watsonville. Photo by Theo Douglas
In Watsonville. Photo by Theo Douglas

Now he wonders about that too.

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