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Monday, November 14, 2016

Bad Apples

I sat in my window and I watched them...Thousands of angry Blacks and a few Latinos and Asians and Whites who had joined with them to say that Black Lives Matter..

They were protesting all over the city today..They had been for the past two weeks...I couldn't blame them...
They protested in the rain , they protested in the sunshine... They were angry....In the past two weeks there had been two officer involved shootings...of Black men...both men were unarmed.. neither man had a criminal record or a charge against them and both shootings were by police officers...white police officers...

I hated this...but as a Black man myself, I more than understood...That's why I became a lawyer..To help, to balance things out...

I'm Assistant District Attorney Keith Wallace... I prosecute major crimes...I put together a unit of elite detectives and with help from the FBI and DEA, we rid the neighborhoods of Drug Dealers and other parasites who pray on the weak...

But who protects people when those preying on them are cops??

It makes me sick on my stomach to have to prosecute cops...I work with many fine police officers of every race everyday..Brave men and women who take their jobs seriously, who protect and serve and want to go home alive every night just like anyone else..

I'm not just talking about the elite detectives of whom I am the closest...My wife,Carlotta  being amongst them..I'm talking about uniformed officers and plain clothes cops who support us...but amongst them are some bad apples...just like in any other profession...

The Bad apples are the ones who make it bad for every police officer out there..The Bad Apples are the ones who endanger the lives of law abiding citizens out there...And just like the criminals I lock up..I have to occassionally lock up a rotten cop..Whether he be the type that's on the take to some gangster or the type who is rogue...a cowboy who is judge ,jury and sometimes executioner..

These Bad Apples have to be weeded out...This is a story of two of them.....The reason for these protests...Before this case was over..My detectives and I would find ourselves embroiled in a conspiracy more frightening than any we'd ever dealt with...but first things first!

II-
TWO WEEKS AGO-

I got the call ,from my wife, Detective Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace early in the day...A Tuesday Morning..It looked and sounded bad....

I caught a ride with Sissy.When we arrived at the scene we saw Jimmy, questioning a group of uniformed policemen that witnessed the event...All were male and all were white...

 Upon seeing us...He waved us over...

" Lieutenant...ADA Wallace..." he said.   If Jimmy was being this formal..Something was definitely up...

Sissy sensed it and immediately got into formal mode.

''What Happened here Detective?" she asked...

"It's bad....a civillian has been shot and killed..Carlotta and Rico and the uniforms we brought are over there by the body...These seven guys came on the scene...I can't get the same story out of any two of em...One of em is the shooting officer's husband." said Jimmy, who pointed to a pretty, shapely and attractive blonde woman sitting on the curb, crying her eyes out...

''She shot this guy?" I asked.
"Yeah...Her husband and those two guys right there were in a helicopter...Her partner and these other five guys were on the street...except for her partner...these four guys were off duty..." said Jimmy...

"Keep them here...Let me go talk to Carlotta." said Sissy...

My wife, detective Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace was standing by the body of 37 year old Lydell Jenkins...a father of four...he was lying near the SUV, face down in a pool of blood...Several uniformed officers were already keeping an angry crowd back as Carlotta and her other partner , Detective Tyriq Pile did his investigation..

"Hey sis...this is bad...Victim is 37, father of four, employed at Community College...No priors...not even juvenile and wasn't wanted for anything.."said Tyriq.

''So what happened?"asked Sissy...

"His car stalled...He apparently just bought it...He kicked it...and was cursing... Two cops rolled up on him and from what I heard, they asked him to put his hands up...He asked why....An argument ensued...Eventually he did put his hands up...One of the cops tasered him and his partner shot him..!" said Tyriq.."She said he was reaching inside the window of this car..

''Why was he tasered? Why did they draw weapons and why so many cops for this one man...??" asked Sissy..

"I'm trying to find that out Boss Lady...Eye Witnesses say he had his hands up and was tasered and then shot.." said Carlotta.

"Looking at this van...He couldn't have been reaching inside....The window is up and there is blood splatter on the window....See...So that isn't true." said Hazel pointing to the window..

"Oh My God..This could get bad..real bad...This crowd is getting restless..."I said.. There were angry shouts of "Murderer" , "Killer cops" and the "whole world is watching.."coming from the crowd...but it was still surprisingly peaceful...
"He has no record, was employed and was on his way home...He wasn't the subject of any warrant or investigation..." said Carlotta..

"The car check is complete...No weapon of any kind..No drugs.."said Tyriq...
"I need to talk to the cop that shot her." said Sissy...

Sissy walked over to the police officer, Betsy Callahan, who shot and killed the man...

"I'm Lieutenant Sissy Van Buren...What happened here?" she asked softly...

"Oh Lieutenant..I'm so glad you're here...He was acting ..well you know threatening...Like he was on something." she said.

"His car stalled..He was angry..He kicked his car..."said Sissy softly...

"But I didn't know that...He's six feet, four..he's big and ..and scary looking...That's exactly what my husband said in the Helicopter...He said ,that dude looks like he's on PCP.." she said.

Tyriq walked over..

"And your husband ascertained all of that from his helicopter?" asked Tyriq..."He was what , 500 feet above the ground?" he asked..

She ignored his question...

"Anyway..My partner and I drew our weapons...I told him to put his hands up...He asked me why...He said he hadn't done anything...I was sooo angry...I told him to get his damn hands up and not to give me any lip.."she screamed..

"Do you always talk to people like that? Aim a gun at them when they don't do what you say?" asked Carlotta..

She stomped her feet in anger..

"Were you even born in this country?" she asked in anger...

"Sure was...Right here in Philadelphia PA.  "said Carlotta..

"Officer, Answer my detectives questions and lose the attitude.."said Sissy..

"Hey..HEYYY, YOU LOSE THE ATTITUDE...MY WIFE WAS AFRAID FOR HER DAMN LIFE." said her husband...a Helicopter pilot..

Sissy turned around and cut him a look-

"EXCUSE ME OFFICER?" she said.

"Oh...Oh...I-I-I uh beg your pardon Lieutenant..." he said and walked away...

"Look, he wasn't complying and he reached inside his window for what I thought was a gun.." she said.

''He was unarmed...and there was no gun in his vehicle.."said Tyriq..

''We didn't find any drugs either and his window was up and his blood is all over it...He wasn't reaching for anything..."said Carlotta.

"Oh...My Bad.." she said.

"Your bad? A man is dead...You just killed a man!!" said Jimmy..

"It was a mistake...I didn't mean it!" she said.

Jimmy turned to one of the officers...

"Hook her up... Badge and gun..." he said.

"Heyyy what gives?  What is wrong with you??? Showin off in front of your black friends huh?" she spat...

"BADGE AND GUN!" said Jimmy again....

"Hold up Jimmy..As of now Officer Callahan..You're on paid leave....We are going to investigate this further..." said Sissy...

"Get all seven of those guys ....including the off duty cops...I want them at headquarters...and I want a team on all of the Street Cams, ATM Cams, Business Cams and Traffic cams in the area..." said Sissy..

"Rico and I have hundreds of Witness statements.." said Carlotta.

"Yeah and several of them took photos and videos on their smartphones...I'm bringing them down to the station with me." said Tyriq.

"Good we want complete transparency on this..We will co-operate fully with the press and the community..."I said.

What a Mess! I thought...

III-

So while Carlotta, Tyriq and Jimmy were thoroughly investigating the shooting of Lydell Jenkins...Just two nights later...in another part of Philadelphia there was another officer involved shooting..

Once again Sissy and I were riding to a crime scene...

28 year old Bernard Butler lay dead on the street...with eight gunshot wounds to the back....

This crowd was not so forgiving..They were angry and a few bottles were being thrown at police...Tactical squads were deployed to keep the crowd at bay....

"You know Siss...I'd rather be chasing a drug lord or a serial killer right about now." I said.

"Tell me about it..." said Sissy...

"How is my wife's case going? She's been coming home pretty late at night.." I said.

"Well Jimmy has been up all night watching footage from the Street Cams, Traffic Cams, Business Cams and ATM Camera footage..
And Tyriq has been watching the footage from the smartphones that many witnesses volunteered and making sure they got their phones back after he had copied the footage..
Your wifey has been talking to eye witnesses, especially those off duty cops and Callahan's partner..and finally piecing together just what happened..
When she's not doing that...She's with Hazel, going over the forensic evidence..

He was shot once in the chest, causing his death...He was unarmed...and no drugs were found in his system...."said Sissy..

We saw Hop in a distance talking to eye witnesses...

 Upon seeing us...He waved us over...

" Lieutenant...ADA Wallace..." he said...

This was the second time Sissy and I had received such a greeting...

 I sighed...

''What happened here Hop, please tell me this was a suspect in a crime..." I said.

"I know how you feel...I heard about Carlotta, Rico and Jimmy's case...I even know that cop, Betsy Callahan...We were in the academy together...but this here is worse than that shooting.."said Hop..

"Can it get any worse?" sighed Sissy..

"Go talk to my partner...She's over by the body..." said Hop..

We walked over to where Sirena...Detective Sirena Pile was standing over the body of
28 year old Bernard Butler laying dead on the street...with eight gunshot wounds to the back....

 "Hi Siss, Keith...This is Bernard Butler...29...No police record....no juvie record...A Barber..." said Sirena..

"Was he a suspect in anything?" asked Sissy..


"No...No warrants , no sheet...no fingerprints in the system...but for some reason, when he saw this police officer, he started running...He was at least 200 feet , when eye witnesses say that the officer got down on one knee, pulled out his revolver and fired eight shots into his back...killing him.." said Sirena..

''WHAT? Do they know each other? " asked Sissy...

"No...but he says he mistook him for a Heist guy that works this area." said Sirena...

"He was unarmed...I don't know why he ran when he saw this officer...but the officer was in no clear danger..."said Hazel...
''From eye witness statements I took, there is no evidence that this guy committed any crime...But I would like to know , why he ran...." said Hop..

"I want to know why he was shot...Where is the officer?" asked Sissy...

"He's in the back of that squad car over there."said Sirena...


Sirena ,Hop ,Sissy and I walked over to the squad car where...Officer Jack Blake sat ,smoking a cigarette...

He cooly looked up at Sissy, Sirena and Hop...He laughed...

"You guys are uh Homicide...?" he laughed...

"I'm Lieutenant Sissy Van Buren, This is Assistant District Attorney Keith Wallace and these are my detectives..Detective Sirena Pile and Detective Tony Hopkins..." she said.





He looked at us all and replied..

"Damn, they aint got no white guys workin in these positions anymore.?" he said and laughed...

"Have you been drinking? Do you know what kind of trouble you're in? You shot a man dead..."I said.

He laughed...

"You must be a lawyer...you can't be a cop." he said.


''Well I am a detective...and you shot an unarmed man." said Sirena..

"Wrong...he had a pistol...He turned and aimed at me...Look over there....you should see it..It's right behind the wheel on the passenger side." he said..

"Detective!" said one of the uniformed officers...

He came running with a .22 in a plastic bag...

Hop smiled..

''Very few men carry a gun like this..It's too small for one thing...and another..the serial number is filed off..This looks like a throwdown gun pal...This wouldn't be a throwdown gun would it?"asked Hop..

He snarled..

''Are you a cop or what?" snarled Officer Blake..obviously feeling Hop violated some unspoken cop's code or something.

I pulled out a smartphone...

"One of the eye witnesses gave me this phone.."I said.

I played the video...It showed Blake pulling the .22 out and placing it behind the tire..

"Is that you Officer Blake?" I asked.

He sighed and then stomped his foot in anger...

"Unbelievable..." he snorted...

Hop looked at one of the uniformed officers who had come with us...

"Badge and gun!" he said softly..

"Huh? What??" asked a surprised Officer Blake..

"Badge and Gun!" said Hop..

"You gotta be kidding me." said Blake.

"I'm not kidding...Give me your badge and your gun!" said Sissy...

He reluctantly handed over his badge and gun..

"John Blake...You're under arrest for Murder in the first degree....You have the right to remain silent..Anything you say can and will be used against you...You have the right to an attorney..If you can't afford one, One will be given to you...Do you understand these rights as I am reading them to you?" asked Sirena..

"Yeah, Yeah, I know the drill..I don't believe you guys....I'm a cop just like you guys are or that's the rumor. " he said snidely.

"Hook him up.." she said softly...

The officers handcuffed him and walked him to the paddy wagon...

It was met by cheers and screams from the crowd....

He stared at us...

"You know this is wrong right? It aint like I killed a...a...a... citizen...look in his past...I'm sure you'll find that he was a criminal...If he hadn 't  of done somethin tonight..He was gonna do somethin..I did the city a favor..." he said.

"You're a disgrace to the badge." said Sissy..looking at him in disgust.
Another long night!

IV-
 Detective Edwin "Duke" Baylor  met me later on that same night as I was leaving...

"Bad week for you huh counselor.?" he said..

"You just don't know...Man...My wife has been coming in late every night this week...Too late for any loving."I said.

Duke laughed-

"I know man...Hazel has been busy too...She said that Top, Rico and Jimmy's victim didn't have any drugs in his system and was killed by a single gunshot to the chest...She said that way he fell..his hands had to have been up and that that was his blood on the windshield..Everything about this says that they got a good case for Manslaughter against that cop...Internal Affairs is sending a guy down tomorrow to review the entire case with them." he said.


''Sirena and Hop caught one tonight..Guy was running away...Don't know why..He had no sheet, no warrants on him and this cowboy shot him in the back eight times..and then tossed a throwdown gun under a car...He got caught on somebody's smartphone."I said.
"Oh My God..a real genius...What's the verdict on him?" asked Duke..

"Oh he's done...Murder one....I know the F.O.P. is going to have a baby...but I'm sorry...He's a bad apple..I couldn't let him slide.." I said.

"Who was it?" asked Duke...

"Some guy named James Blake." I said.

"I know him...He's a racist bully and a drunk...None of the detectives like working with him...He's drunk, quick to pull a gun and particularly brutal...Read his jacket...You'll see...He should have been off the force years ago...He slipped through the cracks." said Duke.

I smiled ruefully and looked out the window..
They were still out there...Protesting....They had a right to!

(TO BE CONTINUED)





12 comments:

Toni said...

This is powerful....Wow! Didn't expect anything heavy like this.

Angie B. said...

Incredible story ...Loved this...

Sunflower said...

Incredible storyline...This is a real serious issue..Can't wait to see the way this story turns out!

Lisa said...

Wow..Not one, but two shootings....and a city erupting...Considering the racial dynamics of these guys...This ought to be very interesting.

Halo said...

Very intense story! Like you say ,ripped from the headlines...Both shootings look janky...They don't appear to be related..Are they?

Vanessa said...

WOWWWW...I seriously didn't think you would tackle this...At least not with this group..This seems more like an Olivia/ Beverly storyline..

Keith said...

Speaking of Olivia and Beverly...They're in tomorrow's installment, along with our favorite private eye...Kevin Morris.

Brenda said...

Now that I'm interested in reading...I'm certain..Livy and Bev are representing one of the dead men...And Kevin is mixed up in this too?? can't wait!

Cheryl said...

THis story is no laughing matter...Two separate shootings and the arrogance and pure racism of the two officers...Incredible...Thanks for showing what these Detectives really go through..

Rita said...

I notice that Angie Belton was missing from this episode...This would seemingly be right up her alley...She was Internal Affairs once..

Keith said...

Angie will be in tomorrow's installment, along with an Internal Affairs Detective we haven't seen in two years.

George S. said...

Okay Keith,Don't give away too much of this story!-LOL!