In Cahoots Chapter 3
It was getting late near closing time, I told Mike he should sleep it off upstairs. I have an apartment with one bedroom. I usually rent it out, but I was between renters at the moment. Mike got up turned to everyone in the bar and thank them. They all stood and applauded. Sometimes people astound me. Mike started to cry, he turned quickly for the back stairs I could see him slightly, his shoulders were heaving from the cry he needed at the moment. Millie asked if it would be alright if she left to go grab somethings and come back to stay with Mike. I told her I thought that was a great idea.
My customers were kind enough to clear the tables, I was washing the tables off when Millie came back, I locked the door behind her, she went up the stairs. One of my regulars, Larry, stayed helped mop the floor and clean the restrooms while I washed down the bar and cleaned, dried and put the glasses away. I told Larry tomorrows drinks are on the house, he would not hear of it, said he was doing this for Mike.
Next Morning when I came to open up Mike was gone Millie had coffee ready, refrigerators full chilling the beer. I sat with a coffee and asked how it went last night. Millie said okay, he just cried himself to sleep barely said a word.
Millie “Mike was wondering if it would be okay, he would like to rent the room upstairs, says his apartment building is uncomfortable, the silence from neighbors. The glares from people on the street knowing who he is.”
Millie gave me Mikes phone number, I called it and told Mike the first 3 months is on the house, it would be good to have him.
Mike is back to work, on desk duty the media frenzy has taken another turn, seems his partner Joe was at a traffic stop when someone came around behind him while he was handing the paperwork back to the driver, when Joe turned he got hit, with the bat, his partner Gary called out stop, took a shot at the guy with the bat, hit Joe, the guy with the bat ran, Gary shot the guy, he went down, the driver started to swear saying Joe deserved what he got for letting his partner take a bat to a defenseless woman.
Joe’s funeral was 3 days later. There were mourners, honor guard, also protestors, against the police in general. Joe’s wife took it so hard she was hospitalized and did not make the funeral.
Some were wondering if the protesting was just a twirl and dance the put on media or someone with an agenda set in motion, secretly hoping for chaos, keeping the headlines sweetened with the violence.
After the funeral any police officer who wanted to blow off steam was welcome, on the house, Mike sat at the bar as he did the one night, slumped over his shot and beer. We did our little routine, Mike drank till he nearly fell off the stool, I insisted he eat, Millie sat next to him had a burger, the night was long, the grieving was heavy, there seemed to be no end in sight.
The cops that showed up started talking about the night Joe and Mike responded to a call for domestic violence, none of Mikes brothers or sisters in uniformed second guessed the two seasoned officers. No one would have guessed Geraldine’s last move. The general consensus was women do not normally carry out this sort of thing. One officer, a lieutenant, Jacobs said “It is inconceivable to me that anyone would hold these two officers responsible for what a citizen did on their own volition.”
Even after Joe’s funeral there were innuendos in the paper of how the two officers could have handled the call differently, including the subsequent calls.
The lieutenant walked over to where Mike was sitting, bought him a beer and said “Mike this is not on you, I hold the media and citizens at fault, not you nor Joe.”
Mike: “There is no consolation sir, when no one can be held accountable for Character assassination. Maligning them in the media, they are left to do this saying it is freedom of the press. As if it were a victimless crime, it was all in the days work, sir there was no way after Joe and I took the complaint that Geraldine was beating the crap out of Sloan’s truck, that she would then do what she did. The media was so busy crucifying me over the nonexistent bat incident they totally breezed past the real tragedy and then when they acknowledged what a horrific thing Geraldine did she was set on a pedestal as a bereaved wife because her husband left her. Then stating we the police department was complicit because we talked Sloan into leaving, and going to get professional help. No one is responsible for their own bad behavior except those who protect and serve.”
The Lieutenant nodded, in agreement, Mike then said something which took us all by surprised “Sir I am turning in my papers Monday morning, along with my gun and badge, there is nothing more I can nor do I want to do for this community, my thinking is I would be better off working for a security firm, better hours and better pay.”
The Lieutenant said: “I can understand how you feel Mike, how about taking a week or to leave of absence to consider the 15 years you already gave this job, do not throw that away.”
Mike: “Sir, I do not need to think about it, I had thought about it as soon as I was benched for allegedly beating Geraldine, at this point in time I would be doing the department a disservice, because I now wish I had done that, the family would still be alive.”
No one would have thought in a million years after Sloan left with his beaten up truck to go back to his brothers place, that Geraldine would get in her car, at 3 am, go over to her brother in laws and throw mulatoph cocktails through every window, taking out the entire family while they slept. Still makes no sense that all this started with a domestic violence call.
When is someone going to say the media acted stupidly.