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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

For A Man's Life


 TODAY!

The protests continued....and because we had two officer involved shootings in one week...We made national news..
No scratch that international news....

Sissy and I gave a press conference in which we announced that We intended to be completely transparent and to be as thorough and as fair as we could...We promised to give complete disclosure..

The press brought up the fact that this unit headed by Lt. Sissy Van Buren had busted many crime syndicates and taken many serial killers off the streets....and could be counted on to do an in depth and thorough investigation....
People wondered if we could be counted on to do a thorough investigation of our own...

We met with Attorneys Olivia Bennett-Alexander and Beverly West and Olivia's husband, Donnie Ray Alexander, their investigator and himself an ex-Homicide Investigator..



They ,along with Attorney Nelson East...
were representing the slain ,Lydell Jenkins...



Carlotta , Tyriq and Jimmy worked with Donnie Ray and allowed him to see all of our files on the Jenkins case as well as allow him to do his own independent investigation...


Even though we were technically on opposing sides....Liv and Beverly and Donnie Ray were friends...and we understood...

We wanted to get this right...

 At the medical examiner's office...




Hazel allowed them to see the autopsy report






and was completely open about what she had found..
She allowed them to view the body and eventually released the body to the family...

Hazel had declared the death , a homicide..

Within days..Carlotta ,Tyriq and Jimmy arrested Betsy Callahan and charged her with Manslaughter in the death of Lydell Jenkins...

Her husband was livid...and he quit the force two days after his wife was arrested.
Detective Angela Belton-Barlow, although with us now thought that her old partner in Internal Affairs, Detective Aaron Pace should be brought in on this..

"Officer Betty Callahan graduated 2nd in her class at the academy..Was a good officer for awhile..but she had a little trouble." he told us..

''What kind of trouble?" asked Carlotta.
"Five complaints of excessive force...Three of em dropped...Two write ups for one...A suspension for firing a weapon in the squadroom once..Then there was a restraining order filed against her by her ex-husband and his new wife...And two years ago she rammed her car into an ex-boyfriend's car when she caught him with another girl...We swept all this stuff under the rug...And now this...The ironic thing is...Her supervisor had suggested she take the detectives test next week...He felt she'd do better behind a desk and doing investigative work as opposed to being on the street constantly...Now it looks like she'll never be a detective." he said.

''She doesn't need to be a detective...Damn man... you should have heard her...She was like "My Bad" Like she gets a do over or something..Hell, a man is dead...She had just killed a man."said Tyriq with disgust.
"Then she lied to us...told us that he reached in the car for a gun..No gun and the man's blood all over the window on the passenger side... ..."said Jimmy..."And she played the race card...with me.."said an exasperated Jimmy...

"So you gonna charge her?" asked Detective Pace..

''Yes...Manslaughter."said Carlotta.

"Yeah...I can try that and win.." I said.  ''She'll get five to ten...probably be out in three." I said.

"She deserves more.." said Jimmy.

''So do a lot of people.Jimmy, So do a lot of people...Sometimes...things just don't play out the way you want them to...or the way they are supposed to" I said.
"Ten years for a man's life...Something isn't right here." said Angie shaking her head in disgust.

 Attorney,Olivia Bennett-Alexander felt the same way...

"Ten years for a man's life...something just isn't right here Keith.." she said..."But I know that's a charge you can try in court and win...I know how this works." she said.

"I know Livy...but you know and I know that the city will settle..You'll get good money for that man's family.." I said.

 ''Yeah, you're right..but it all seems so cheap..For a man's life...It's just not enough...But I guess it'll have to be enough." said her niece Beverly...
Donnie Ray ,their investigator, who had been a Homicide detective understood...He said nothing...He knew how it worked..

Attorney Nelson East shrugged his shoulders...

"Oh Well, at least she got charged...In other areas of the country...She wouldn't have even been charged...We are done here.Thanks ADA Wallace..Thanks for being transparent and for getting to the truth." he said.

"That's my job....Thank you guys for being patient.

II-


 Sirena and Hop's case was more open and shut...They charged Jack Blake with First Degree Murder...

Again we got a visit from Internal Affairs Detective Aaron Pace..
"Guys , I knew Jack Blake was going to get himself into trouble he couldn't get out of ....He was a Detective once..Over in Vice...Got busted down to patrolman...His life has been one drunken, weed filled haze since then...He should have been kicked off the force a long time ago..

He then put two books on the table..

"This is his file." said Detective Pace...

"Well Damn" said Angie...

"Wow...Night time reading right?" said Sirena..

"Yeah Right!"laughed Detective Pace...

''We are charging him with First degree Murder." said Hop..

"Did he know your victim?" asked Detective Pace..

"Turns out he did..Our victim was behind in child support...His baby mama was a white girl...A pretty little number that Blake liked..She was a stripper at a club he frequented...she told him about Bernard Butler...That's why Butler ran when he saw him.."

"He gunned him down and then tried to plant a weapon on him..and got recorded by a bystander...not to mention the street cam..." said Sirena..


''A Real Genius." said Angie and Detective Pace in unison...


III-

The Announcement that we were charging two police officers recently involved in shooting two unarmed black men brought cheers from the community...The protests stopped...The Mayor was pleased...

James Blake was being charged with First degree Murder and Betsy Callahan was charged with Manslaughter...It made national news...

We met with another friend...The Investigator, Kevin Morris and his client, Attorney Kayla Bennett, the cousin of Olivia Bennett -Alexander..


Kayla was representing the slain Bernard Butler..Kevin, naturally had done the investigating for her...Sirena and Hop had shared files with Kayla and Kevin...

and Kevin had done his own independent investigation...

The good news was that we had all come to the same conclusion...

Our friend, FBI DeputySpecial Agent in charge ,Sharon Hopkins said that she was looking into Civil Rights violations in both cases....

All of this pleased the public, and quelled the protests a little bit , but angered the F.O.P. who was standing behind both officers ,even though it was clear that both officers had committed murder to some degree.

I found both officers seething with racism....From Betsy Callahan asking my wife, Carlotta, a Puerto-Rican, with a thick accent that gave her heritage away...If She was born in this country..
To her flippant dismissal of both Sissy and Tyriq...

To her trying to play the race card with Jimmy...

Her "Oh showin off for your Black Friends" remark....

Then in Officer Blake's case...Immediately upon seeing Hop and Sirena.,Hazel and Sissy...

Asking "if they had any white people working those positions anymore..." Detective, Lieutenant ,Forensic Investigator...

Maybe in the old days...He might have gotten away with a stunt like this...but not today, not with these detectives and investigators.

F.O.P. President..Rudley Tuckson was livid and he came barging in the office screaming his head off..

"SISSY I DON'T BELIEVE THIS!!! YOU ARE HANGING BOTH THESE COPS OUT TO DRY!"he bellowed.



''Did you read the police reports Rudley?? My detectives did a thorough job..I stand by them..I was personally on the scene at both shootings....I was there...And Internal Affairs backed me up...They did their investigation also...It's all in the reports..." said Sissy..

"It doesn't matter Sissy, what kind of message are we sending if we throw our own under the bus?" he said.

"So what would you have me do Rudley? Let them both go?  Here we have a woman...who pulls a gun on  a man who is not a suspect in any crime..His car has stalled out on him and in frustration he kicks his car and curses...Not exactly a felony...She and her partner pull weapons on the man and asks him to raise his hands in the air which he does....But tell me...Why was there a need for this ? Where was the danger to them or to him? And would they have done this to a white man under the same circumstances?
The partner tasered the man...That was unnecessary, given the circumstances...Which neither of them bothered to ask the man....Then she shoots and kills him..for no good reason...Rudley ,the man was a citizen...No record..No warrant and not a suspect in anything...She's lucky we are only charging her with manslaughter.. We aren't charging the husband or her partner...even though they both said and did things to exacerbate the situation." said Sissy..

"My god...and Blake...Jack Black...What was his story?" he asked.

''Even worse... This clown, Blake was involved with the mother of the victim's child...He was behind in his child support...Our victim, I'm speaking of and Blake got drunk and high...and decided to play tax collector...Shot him eight times in the back and then tossed a throw down gun near the body...He got captured on video, not just by bystanders...but by the street camera....Murder One stands.."said Sissy..

"My God!" said Rudley Carlson....

"Rudley..I have had Internal Affairs investigate my own detectives under me when they were even suspected of something untoward...I'm by the book...You know that...I'll be the first one to go to bat for one of my cops...If they're right....and if they are wrong..I'll prosecute them just as I would any criminal in the street.."said Sissy...

''Alright Sissy...Alright."said Rudley as he left the office...Duke and I walked in just as Rudley was leaving..

 "Everything Alright Siss??...I see you got a visit from the F.O.P." said Duke..
"I just finished another Press Conference and a big meeting with some Black Lives Matter Activists and The NAACP....They seem to be pleased with how open we were and that we did bring charges in both cases.." I said and hung my head.

"I'm just glad this is all over... Grab the crew...Let's go to Josies...I think we all need a drink..." said Sissy.


IV-
That night at Josie's, Gus...The owner and Head Bartender laughed...

"Holy Crap....I know one thing...We aint gettin robbed tonight..All these cops, lawyers and Private Investigators in here." he said and pointed to two booths in the back....

Kevin Morris and his wife Sepia were seated with Attorneys Kayla Bennett, who he was working for now and Attorneys Olivia Bennett-Alexander, Beverly West, Nelson East and Donnie Ray Alexander, their investigator..

They saw us and they motioned for us to join them..There was one long table that would seat most of us...
 "Come on over guys..There is plenty of room at this table here." said Kevin...
 "Yeah...You're among friends." said Sepia..
 "Yes,please join us." said Kayla.
 ''We want to thank you again for being transparent and getting to the bottom of both of these senseless killings"said Olivia.
 "Yes..You guys co-operated with us and were so nice to us..We've been in other cities where law enforcement hasn't been so kind."said Beverly...
 "Well..We've all known each other since the beginning of our careers in the public defenders office.."said Nelson..
"I got to admit...As a former Homicide detective myself..I have never seen this much co-operation and transparency...You guys are pretty cool." said Donnie Ray.

"These are my guys...I knew they wouldn't white wash this....No pun intended..." laughed Kevin...

 Jimmy busted out laughing....

"Watch it there Kevin."laughed Jimmy's wife, Angie...

Carlotta and I entered and sat down...

"Ouuu what a week this has been..As you can imagine..this wasn't easy for us...But in the end..I think we can all sleep without guilty consciences...You know...I remember when there wasn't a lot of cops in my neighborhood who looked like me...or who had my accent...That's why I became a cop..To change all of that."said Carlotta..

"That's why I became a lawyer..to change things...To help...And I'm sure that's why all of you guys became lawyers too." I said.

"That's why Rico and I became cops...to change the dynamic...."said Duke ,who held his wife Hazel close to him.,.

"We are all doing our part." said Hazel...
"Agreed....I work too hard at this....The thing I hate the most is a dirty cop...The dirty cop makes life harder for all of us...This is already a difficult enough job!" said Tyriq.

"We protect and serve the public...And sometimes we have to protect the public from some of us.."said Sirena..

"We try hard..."said Hop..

"Yeah you do..I applaud all of you guys...Cops and Lawyers...Yall did a good job...I'm so glad to be back here in Philly, with you guys...You too ,Kevin and Donnie Ray.." joked Sharon as we all busted out in laughter..

 "Awww Sharon that's cold." laughed Kevin...
"I thought we were friends." laughed Donnie Ray.

Sissy and her husband entered just then....

We all stood and cheered...

"THE BOSS LADY!" we all said in unison...

"I see I got here in the nick of time...The drinks are arriving.." laughed Sissy..


 Honey Brown walked over to us...

"Gus says you guys drink on the house tonight...Apparently , he watches the news.." she said.
"I'll drink to that" laughed Sissy's husband...Eddie C.

It was nice to be able to laugh and relax with friends in the best place of all...Josies..but if we thought we were out of the woods...We were far from it..

"Who is this?" asked Angie..Her phone had went off...

"Trouble Mami?" asked Carlotta..

"It's a detective from Missing Persons of all people...He said he's been watching the news and he's going to stop by tomorrow...He has something that may be right up our alley he said.."

"What is it?" I asked.

"Nothing we should worry about tonight...Let's just enjoy good friends and good drinks.."said Angie..

Olivia hugged Angie..

"I agree." she said..

And so did I...

It was a relaxing night...Tomorrow was another day...


TO BE CONTINUED



13 comments:

Sean said...

WOW ,Powerful stuff...I've been reading for the past two days...THis was great...Pure genius Keith!

George S. said...

GREAT STORY! AND THERE IS MORE????

Toni said...

I loved this...I loved seeing Olivia and company and Kevin all involved in this...

Angie B. said...

Just loved all of the guest aPPEARENCES...Liv,Bev,D.R. ,Nelson, Kevin,Sepia..Love the way your charactors all crossover into each other's stories.

Sunflower said...

Just an incredible two days of storytelling!

Lisa said...

I have to co-sign what Sunflower said...Just an incredible two days of storytelling!

Halo said...

Loved this...Just loved this...It was so relevant!

Vanessa said...

I liked how it seemed as though they were all on opposite sides of this..They all worked together and got to the truth....Wish it was always like this...

Cheryl said...

Great Storytelling Keith and so spot on!

Brenda said...

Truly ripped from today's headlines and so timely! Thanks Keith!

Rita said...

Great two days of storytelling...Can't wait to see what turns this story takes next...I thought it was over!

James Perkins said...

Great story man...Keep up the good work...

Swaggie said...

You kept it one hundred with this man!