Hate to sound heard-hearted, but I had my first hard-boiled moment in a long time. I've rarely seen violence in the Tenderloin, and it's usually nothing more than a couple of drunks taking swings at each other, or two OGs going at it with sharps. This was a coordinated and managed jumping, with 5-0 watch hanging to the side. I feel bad for the guy, but he walks away with his life and a bit of education, his most grievous injuries being bruises to his pride, his face, and his wallet. He should count his lucky stars. By contrast, anyone who would target the likes of me would be a killer of a far more nightmarish sort. What I saw was a tool of street-level business; the only violence I need fear is the stray bullet meant for another or what would come from nothing less than a total perversion of humanity itself.
I'm not insulted if you think it's cowardice that stayed me from attempting to intervene in what was none of my concern. For one thing, it was black-on-black, and only once in my life in the TL did poverty drive me to the very edge of violating code -- and I got away with what I did only because white people can be trusted to act senselessly crazy enough to scare many a black person. For another, there's shit I just don't mix in. I don't press my luck, and I keep my nose clean. Three years ago, I did scare the shit out of some punk blood who was fast enough to snatch some sad old man's welfare money and get away with it (I called him out later as he was boarding the 19 -- you should have seen the look on his face.) Today, I merely rubbernecked long enough to almost immediately grok the situation, and moved on with a rather callous "them's the breaks."
Surprise, I'm only human.
(Edited to add: Yes, a black and white did pass by right as that shit went down, and yes, the officer in question was either totally clueless or apathetic. Damn tough, here in the 'sco.)