GC: Sgt. Ginger Charles
you tell me about the experience of collective resonance you had?
I was actually stopped. I had just picked up a cup of coffee and so
I was parked in a parking lot in what we call our older section of town.
We got a call, and it was interesting, the call came in at 9:11. It
was an emergency call where supposedly there was a large fight going
on outside of an apartment complex. I happened to be really, really
close to the area. So I responded. I was the first officer on the scene,
and as I pulled into the driveway of this apartment complex, the count-what
they call "toning it out", meaning it's a dire emergency call,
because the dispatcher said be advised that somebody had been stabbed.
So now I know that it's not just a fight, that it's somebody who's been
seriously injured as well.
So as I continued into the parking
lot, I went to the very edge of the parking lot, and behind the parking
lot is a fence, with dirt piles, and there was this large, bronze colored
Ford Expedition and in the Expedition I can see two males. The vehicle
was actually facing me and it was parked. There were two males inside
the car in the front passenger seat and the driver's seat and then on
the vehicle itself-hanging on the vehicle-were at least four additional
males beating on the two males inside the car. And there were two women
kind of running around the outside of the car. So that's one, two, three,
four, five, six, seven, eight, and then I think a couple of other males
just kind of hanging in the parking lot, walking around.
So as I pulled up. I jumped out
of the car and I ordered everybody out. One of the males ran to my left,
back into the apartment complex. So really this is a very, very poor
tactical position. There were seven left at that point. They were getting
out of the vehicle, and I was ordering them down on the ground. I had
my gun drawn and I was pointing it at this large group. Five of them
immediately got down on their knees with their hands in the air. But
there were two males who kept approaching me. And as they approached
me, I kept yelling at them, "Get down on the ground, get down on
the ground." And then the people behind them were yelling, "Listen
to her, get down on the ground. She's gonna-excuse my language-she's
gonna fuckin' shoot you. Get down on the ground." And these males
continued to stalk. So now they're probably, maybe twenty-one, twenty-five
feet from me. And they're either side of me so, again, a very, very
tactically poor positioning for an officer.
So I started to go through this
particular process with them of screaming, waving my gun from one suspect
to the other suspect and then the five in the background behind them.
It was very interesting listening. I mean I could actually hear the
people in the background saying, "She's gonna shoot you, just listen
to her, get down on the ground." And the two males-I could hear
the separate voices of each of them going, "You're not gonna fuckin'
shoot me" and me saying to them, "I'm gonna fuckin' kill you,
get on the ground. Do it now." And while those three separate conversations
were going on, I was actually processing which one I could shoot first
and where that bullet would go once it exited past his body, and that
I had a safe backstop in which to kill him.
So at that point I have two men
walking toward me, now closing the gap at about fifteen feet, and I
still don't have a backup because they're far enough away. And I know
I've got what they call a "good shoot." This is a very, very
good shoot. I would be justified in killing these two individuals. But
I had this experience. During the experience I lost track of time. I
completely lost track of any awareness outside of what was going on
in this situation. It was almost like being inside of this really strange
bubble with these particular seven individuals in this situation. And
I was very, very aware that we were all making this really interesting
choice together. And I knew that it was like this fragile gift, kind
of like an open hand being given to each of us that we could crush or
we could destroy at that moment. And someone could make one wrong move
and it would be done. And it would be a deadly situation. Either for
myself or for the two males or anybody on the ground at that point.
So, as I continued to give commands,
what immediately then flashed was the word "preclusion." I
mean, I could actually see it written in (chuckle) white in this black
cloud-meaning "Did I exhaust every other available tool prior to
using this weapon?" even though I had a justified shoot. And I
pulled out my pepper spray and held it underneath the gun and it was
like, at that point-this fragile gift-the males took the gift and immediately
dropped on the ground and said, "Don't fuckin' mace me. Don't mace
me, don't mace me." And at that point the bubble around us burst
and my backup arrived on scene and we continued to keep them on the
ground, and then, as I turned around, when I turned around the second
time, almost the entire day shift was behind me, like this huge wall
of blue was behind me. We took custody of all these individuals and
sorted through the mess and ended up arresting probably just three of
them out of the whole thing.
that what you wanted?
RAL: I'm so fascinated
by the bubble. Can you describe more about that?
guess the easiest way to describe it would be to say that it was an
experience of tunnel vision, like in a heightened state of stress, you're
going to lose that peripheral vision around you. But it seemed like
it was much clearer than that, like the bubble was just like this little
microcosm of a universe, a totally separate universe from anything in
that apartment complex. Because if you think about it, what I had going
on behind me was a suspect in the apartment that overlooked exactly
where we were at, so had that person had a gun, you know, it would have
been deadly. I had witnesses watching this whole thing as well, so nobody
was interfering, which was a really unusual situation. It was a very,
very condensed experience for just the seven of us. It reminds me of
the Wizard of Oz when the Witch of the North comes in-that kind of bubble-it
was all-inclusive. We were all inside that bubble working on this particular
situation, experiencing it together. And then the bubble broke and,
of course, that's when the other officers got on scene that, of course,
changes the flavor of everything I think (chuckle)...when you get others
in the soup.
RAL: Is that one
of the reasons for the bubble breaking?
sure it was. I'm sure it was. It was an experience that was just shared
by me and those seven people and then when we had somebody else come
in with maybe a different mind thought, or maybe not thinking in the
same direction. I was very aware that I was really not frightened. So
maybe they weren't, too, because most of them were very intoxicated.
So that might be a reason as well. And the other-it was almost like
G-d handing us this gift and saying, "This one is for you eight
to work through. This is your gift to work through this period of transcendence
together." And it ended where I actually had two of the males come
up to me once the situation had died down and we had not arrested them,
they came up and said, "Thank you for not killing me."
And then I was able to say, "You're welcome."
RAL: They were
RAL: A lot?
were. The rest of them had been drinking and probably, I would say,
RAL: The two you
were waving at?
that was charging me was, yes, he was intoxicated and the other one
was not. He'd actually been arrested for murder in Denver or had been
charged with murder in Denver three months prior and I had no idea why
he was out on the street. We had no warrant for his arrest.
RAL: Which, of
course, you didn't know at the time.
GC: No, uh-uh.
RAL: So, the bubble
tended to break, perhaps, because of the other people coming in and
their thought patterns, possibly fear, coming in where it really wasn't
GC: Right, exactly.
RAL: What made
you take out the pepper spray? It seems to me the pepper spray had something
to do with it.
to do with bubble-breaking? Or something to do with resolution?
RAL: With the
shift. You said you took out the pepper spray, which I can't even imagine
because you've got the gun in your hands, right? You got all these people
aligned, bad tactical position, but you take out the pepper spray.
GC: Right, right.
I don't know if they had a sense that they knew that I wouldn't shoot
them-which they were very wrong about because I had the trigger halfway
back-and it was more realistic when I pulled the pepper spray out because
as officers we're freer with that. I'm not sure, but when I pulled the
pepper spray out, I guess that was a little more realistic. Or maybe
the gun was just not something that they were-you can threaten to shoot
somebody, as a gang member, as a police officer, whatever, but to actually
do the act. that's the ultimate act. And so they probably had been pepper-sprayed
or had been around that and maybe that was more real. But it was (chuckle)
such an illogical reaction.
RAL: Yeah, a gun
versus pepper spray and then they get afraid of the pepper spray, right?
GC: Yeah. I actually
felt like-I should say felt and relieved-that it was probably more the
word preclusion coming up in my mind. It was almost like someone saying,
"Make sure you've exhausted everything before you use the gun.
Even though you're justified, make sure that you have gone through every
particular step-in other words, voice command, defensive tactics, you
know, hands-on, which of course you're not going to use on that, baton,
anything like that-that exhaust anything prior to going to the gun.
And that was one option (pepper spray) that I had not reasoned through
yet, so I pulled that out.
RAL: Do you remember
when you decided to pull it out? Do you remember why? Was it a rational
thought like you just described? Where did that come to you from? Again,
I'm imagining you being in this timeless state, right? So you're suspended
in a certain way. And yet the idea for the pepper spray comes up? Did
it come from a linear process, a rational process, or did it come as
an insight or a sort of message?
GC: It was definitely
a message. It was not, "okay I've exhausted this, I've exhausted
this" It was almost like all of a sudden you're blind, but the
only thing you see is this white word "preclusion." And the
recognition of pepper spray on your belt. So it was not linear thinking
at all. It certainly could be rationalized away by a police officer
as linear thinking, but it was not.
RAL: It's interesting
that you remember the coloring. The white letters and the...
GC: Yeah, black
RAL: In a cloud?
Did you say cloud?
GC: It was like
on a black chalkboard. That preclusion written in white chalk or something.
RAL: I wonder,
is that how you had first learned about it?
RAL: Well, I'm
thinking the white chalk on the blackboard. Was that how you first were
trained? Was it on a chalkboard?
GC: No, it was
not, actually. It was actually a white board with a black magic marker.
RAL: You remember
GC: Yeah, it was
a long time ago. It was 1992. It was probably one of the most powerful
experiences ever in my career, in recognizing the oneness of what I
the oneness of what you were doing?
GC: In my job,
in my calling. There's really no separation (chuckle) between me and
them. I have, right now describing it to you, I have what we call an
"adrenaline dump" where there's so much adrenaline surging
through you're shaking.
RAL: Are you now?
RAL: What are
you feeling right now?
GC: Excited, very
excited. Like, well, I could go out and run, you know, an easy five
RAL: Do you remember,
Ginger, what you felt like in that bubble moment, in those few moments.
Do you remember physically any sensations in your body or your self?
All over, energized. It's one of those special times when you know you
are in the moment. If you're not, you're dead. And, strangely, very
much at peace. Sometimes you can go on a call and you can be so incredibly
tense that you'll feel exhausted-like searching a building, sometimes
searching a building can be exhausting because you're holding yourself
in such a rigid, gun-at-attention type stance that is very, very difficult
to maintain and you're exhausted. This was energizing. This was one
where, you feel "gosh I'm not gonna sleep for a day, a full day."
So it feels like you're having this huge information dump right through
the seventh chakra.
RAL: Talk about
GC: I guess it
would be just back to that bubble experience and feeling like each,
every one of them, was getting the same kind of energy too, but whatever
they were feeling, which I certainly don't know, certainly could have
been either dampened or ignored with the alcohol, drugs on board, or
fear or stress, or whatever they were feeling. But if I have to look
back at it now and describe the bubble it certainly feels like everybody
kind of opening up that energy port on the top of their heads, and this
wonderful light going inside each one of our heads.
RAL: So you really
think, in some way, although you'll never be able to prove it, that
they were informed of your decision, kind of thing?
GC: I think they
were part of the decision.
GC: They were
literally between-they had to have been-they were less than ten feet
by the time that I got the mace, or the pepper spray, out and told them
I was gonna spray them, and that is really close. I mean, when we train,
usually the closest is twenty-one feet, and then-especially with somebody
who is armed with a knife-that's certainly where you want to shoot them.
So I had let these folks come in to ten feet and knew that there was
this invisible barrier. Had they come any closer, and I can't tell you
how close that would have been, I would have shot them without any hesitation
whatsoever. And I would have considered that an agreement between that
person and me. In other words, I can't kill that person unless he agrees
that I'm gonna kill him. So that agreement is, he decides, "Oh,
she's bringing the mace out. I agree to get down on the ground."
So, that's what I'm saying. It wasn't my decision, it was our decision
as a group that they were going to comply. Does that make sense?
RAL: It does make
sense. I'm just curious. You also said that it was like white light
was coming in from all of our seventh chakras.
RAL: Not just
RAL: So, your
sense is, again, while you couldn't ever prove it, that they were receiving.
Yes, it was your collective choice, so that's the you and them stuff,
but it sounds to me, and I might be wrong, I'm just putting it out there,
that there might have been another source of information coming in.
GC: Oh! Oh! Yeah,
I would say from, I guess, mass consciousness or the universal consciousness,
or whatever, that I guess I would consider all of us a part of. That
information coming from a higher source. So, yeah.
RAL: So you really
think so. I have chills because I'm imagining when you said ten feet,
and I didn't focus on that before, but you said ten feet and I'm sitting
here in my office and I'm imagining ten feet. That's really close.
GC: It's very
close. When you consider that you have a gun out and that they are both
forty-five degrees from your shoulder. One on one side, one on the other.
How easy would it have been for that one individual to grab me and then
I shoot one but the other gets me and shoots me? Really, its a horribly
poor tactical position and yet one that I think most officers find themselves
in many, many times. And, through the grace of G-d, its resolved. Or,
RAL: So, other
than tingling all over, energized, being in the moment, and kind of
strange sense of peace, do you recall at all, in your own body, any
particular areas that come to you at this point. You know, parts of
GC: A real lightness
in my chest, but the tingling in the arms and the feet, which I've been
told before, you know, that's when you know you're really walking your
path. When your arms and your legs are tingling, that's when you're
truly walking where you need to walk. And that was definitely the case.
That was probably the most amazing sense of awe and wonder about, okay,
I'm starting to get it-why this is so important to do law enforcement
RAL: So lightness
in your chest and tingling in arms and feet. Okay. Were you aware of
any color other than the preclusion sign, and did you describe the bubble
GC: No, uh-huh.
RAL: Okay. Was
there any color involved at all?
GC: The light,
uh, in the seventh chakra was certainly a golden color. The bubble was
certainly a whiter, I guess a real clear light. You know, I guess it
was just like-I don't know how to describe it-I guess, sharp. Everything
was very, very sharp. Nothing was dull or frayed at all. It was very
sunny, the sky was really blue. It was February, so of course that winter
blue sky. And no snow on the ground. I had no sensation as far as temperature.
As far as it being really cold or really hot.
RAL: What shifted
in the group and do you remember any precipitating events, actions,
GC: While the
seven of them and I were in the situation, what shifted in the group
was kind of this back and forth from behind them as well in front of
them, kind of this shift of them taking what I consider the better choice
of living another day. So that was a shift. In other words, the two
of them shifted to the rest of the group, myself as well as the five
that were on the ground.
RAL: Say that
again, the two of them?
GC: The two of
them, the two suspects that were coming at me, shifted their thought
processes or their consciousness, to the rest of the group, the more
positive outcome of the rest of the group, which is myself and the other
RAL: Ah, okay,
of the rest of us. So even you, huh? I guess, because they really kind
of made the decision, or they precipitated the shift that made the outcome.
GC: The group
shifted again when the other officers arrived. I mean that includes
me too because now I have this really funny-you know I haven't had a
chance to analyze this experience that I've gone through, knowing that
it was significant, and feeling kind of strange about it and yet having
the role that usually is imposed on me by my being a police officer.
The experience that I had with these other seven individuals was similar
to when you witness somebody giving birth or when you witness somebody
dying. It was that kind of significance. You feel like you're really
blessed to be with that particular person or persons when this is happening.
So then, when the other officers showed up and that bubble kind of breaks,
there's obviously that negative power that comes in between, the us-versus-them
thought process that officers in a group can usually carry. And so then
I'm in this really strange place of "where actually do I fit?"
I actually am in the blue suit too, so I should be over here, and yet
I've just experienced this really intimate connection with these seven
over here, knowing that they're human beings and the blue suits over
here are not seeing them as human beings. They're seeing them as suspects.
So, it was almost an uncomfortable spot to be in to stand there with
two other officers when the two suspects came over and apologized and
said, "Thank you for not killing me." I would have probably
been a little bit freer with my emotions but all I said was, "You're
welcome." I probably would have gone into much more detail with
them, or maybe would have solicited more information but couldn't because
I had my fellow officers there.
RAL: I completely
understand that. So, do you feel like that often? This is just an aside
question but that question of fit, is that sort of an ongoing question
for you that you hold?
GC: It's more
of a confirmation, that I would say, "Ginger, just remember that
you do not fit the typical mold in this profession." I think what
I'm here to do is to show another way to do the profession. And it's
not going to be well-received.
GC: By other officers.
RAL: Yeah, that's
true, but the rest of the world. it's going to be very well received.
And that's the purpose.
GC: Right. And
there certainly could be a larger group than I'm aware of that will
receive it very well, or maybe are feeling the same thing that I felt
at that time too when I'm not sure where I fit in.
RAL: You said
something really early on that I want to bring up one more time, which
is the voices. You talked about these three conversations going on.
That there were the people on the ground, that there were these two
voices and then there's the voice in your head, right? Did that have
anything to do with shift?
GC: It was certainly
part of it. It was, I guess, just paying attention. It's interesting,
when you go back and look at any kind of critical incident you think
about all the different parts that go on. I mean, I questioned, really
questioned, for, I would say, for a good month, "Why didn't I shoot
these guys?" I had every reason to shoot them, why didn't I shoot
them? Especially when I found out their history. And, of course the
answer for me is, is that we didn't have an agreement to do that, number
one, and number two, there was something far more valuable for me to
pick out of there, and hopefully for them as well. And that's the fun
part of law enforcement. You never know when you reach out and touch
somebody what kind of effect you'll have however many years down the
That's the very interesting part.
But you do pay attention to the different kind of information that you're
getting and I may personally pay attention to, I guess, more invisible
kind of information that I'm getting. And I don't know if other officers
do that or if they would ever admit that. We talk a lot about that cop
"sixth sense" that you develop just by all the training and
being involved in so many very, very strange situations. And you think,
well, this doesn't make sense or this is not accurate information, or
I'm getting something completely different from what I'm seeing here.
So there are subtle cues. But with the voices, that was probably the
clearest time that I had ever experienced such a separation. Usually
you kind of get all this stuff going on in your head and you're just
trying to sort things out. But this was very, very clear all the way
through. I could hear the group really encouraging and screaming and
yelling for these two to comply. It was almost like layers. I could
hear the middle layer which was the two guys who were coming at me,
and then my layer which is, "get down on the ground," and
then that very, very inner voice saying "preclusion."
RAL: So its four
GC: Yeah, it is
four. Cause it wasn't my voice that was flashing preclusion. And I don't
know whose it was. I really couldn't describe it to you but I know it
wasn't my voice.
RAL: So its almost
like a symphony.
GC: Yeah, excellent
RAL: And that
speaks to the resonance piece. There's a kind of voice resonance there,
not just thought, that you've talked about a lot. Because this is actually
RAL: What value,
Ginger, or significance has this experience of collective resonance
had for your life or work?
GC: This is probably
the first experience where I have been able to actually see, feel, and
understand what my purpose is in law enforcement as far as the oneness
of it, the state of grace that we've been given as police officers.
There are many, many times where we experience that state of grace,
when we're actually in the flow of our jobs, in what I call that flow
of higher consciousness or G-d power or whatever. And we have such a
tremendous ability to heal certain situations and we don't as officers.
So I guess I really realized the oneness of what I was doing, my calling
I guess I would say, and I am determined to be able to show that, or
tell it, or somehow express it to this law enforcement community-that
there's so much more beyond just picking up the radio, answering it,
and going to the call and leaving. There's so much more that an officer
can do beyond just responding to the call. There's a unique type of
healing that we can provide as officers that allow us to be healed as
well through the experience.
RAL: That's interesting,
isn't it. You just turned it right around?
RAL: Unique type
of healing we can offer that allows us-that's really important to me.
So, have you had any other experiences since then that maybe aren't
as powerful, but now that you became aware of it in a powerful way like
that, does it come up more often or not?
GC: Yeah, it does,
actually. It comes up all the time now and sometimes I get a little
bit overwhelmed by it because I feel somewhat embarrassed because I
get recognized for it so much now.
RAL: Oh, what
do you mean?
GC: I was awarded
the meritorious medal for all the work I did at Iris Street in bringing
a conclusion to the Safe Streets project over there. That took a year
but we do business differently as a city because of the work that we
did as a community over there in Iris Street. When you talk about an
organization letting you work for a year on your own in resolving something,
I mean that's incredible. That certainly is higher thinking. I'm presenting
it at the cop conference, and I just found out that I'm Employee of
the Month this month. So its almost embarrassing because I really don't
feel like I deserve it, I'm just that gardener planting the seeds and
then I walk away and hope that someone waters it, takes care of it,
and lets it grow.
But I guess the biggest one since
that particular seven was the Iris Street. But I'll have little ones
where I'll just happen to be in, and I'll help the officer search a
female suspect. One was arrested for prescription fraud and she was
higher than a kite when he arrested her and, I'll take down the information
and help the officer out, and she'll look at me and say, "I need
you to help me" and I can turn and present that back to her, say
to her something like, "You need to help yourself at this time.
I will point you toward resources." And feel like those aren't
even my words. That is completely higher consciousness coming through
me saying, "These are the resources and this is the reason for
the arrest is to get you those resources but you're gonna do it, not
us." I'll run into all kinds of different things where a casual
brush with somebody will bring out this absolutely wonderful experience.
But I would say the collective resonance really came out with the Iris
RAL: And what
was it, just briefly.
GC: Okay. They
had a drug dealer living in their neighborhood. It was a very, very
well-established neighborhood. In fact, most of those folks had lived
there since 1960. And then some of them had kids who had grown up on
the block and then moved to the other block and raised their families.
So, a very, very unique neighborhood, grounded, just a tremendous neighborhood.
And they had a neighbor that was actually a pretty good neighbor until
he had his girlfriend move in and they began to manufacture meth amphetamines
and sell it. They had an inordinate amount of calls on their block.
They were terrified, they were intimidated, and he was just terrorizing
and breaking windows and threatening.
So, as a community, I went in there
and we had a meeting and there were 34 neighbors. I've never seen anything
like that-34 neighbors that came together. Through the civil courts
as well as the criminal courts, we all worked together, and we ended
up getting both of them in jail. We ended up having the judge say they
were forbidden from being in a hundred block radius of that home for
five years. Like the old Wild West. And then they won in civil court,
the first time in the history of Colorado, They won a $60,000 judgment
against him. Not that they would ever see the money but it would freeze
him from ever buying a home again. So it was a huge, huge, tremendous
project. It created a problem property task force within the city. We
started to communicate better within the city, and it was just a huge
wave of education for all of us. And I ended up with 34 new friends.
RAL: This is your
purpose. This is your calling and that's amazing Let me ask you one
more time We did this before but, let me ask you one more time before
we finish, what are you feeling right now?
GC: Oh, the same
tingling in my hands and feet, so obviously I know I'm on my path. And
then, just very excited, really excited about telling you about the
situation and having somebody get it, because I find that there are
not a lot of folks that do get it. They love the rewards that they see
from it but they don't even know where to begin to - and I'm generalizing
- they don't even know where to begin a process of collective resonance
with somebody and all it really involves is connecting with another
human being or group of human beings.
GC: And taking
down the walls.
RAL: I'm sitting
here feeling quite emotional actually, because I'm hearing these stories
in different venues but this one feels really, really important to me,
I guess because of the extreme potential in it. It's so obviously life
Thank you, Ginger, for sharing
this incredible experience with me.
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