It was hard being a police officer. I had just gotten a call for a sick baby. I was working a twelve-hour shift. I was tired. The police work was fucking with me. Our job was to harass the people and bring in revenue for the city. Which means that we had to write a lot of tickets. People were resentful of us.

But damn, we did some good work. Helping babies and elderly people. I felt good about some of the stuff that we did. But not all.

I was thinking that something was going to happen. Something big had to happen. You could only push people around for so long until they decided to stand up for their rights and not be pushed around any longer. That was the truth. I felt that we pushed people around too much. And someday, I was afraid that they would start to push back. I didn’t want to be around for that. Hopefully, I would be retired when that day came. But anything could happen at any given time, and I was always on the lookout for that. I got in close calls with people, had to get physical with them, had to use my Taser a few times. Close calls that could have gone either way. Me winning or me losing. The stakes for an officer of the law were huge. I wanted to keep my job. We made good money; it beat being a janitor or working fast food. It paid decently. I had a nice place and a new car. I wanted to keep all of that.

I saw the two kids walking in the street. One was huge and the other was short. Kids walked in the street all the time. I couldn’t get that. It always irritated me, though. Why block traffic in the middle of the street? I told them to get out of the street. They got mad and wouldn’t get out of the street. What’s wrong with people? I had to turn around and confront them. I was an officer of the law. I made people follow orders. It was my job. The job is all you had and your word.

I turned back around and cut them off in the middle of the street. The big kid told me to go and fuck myself. He seemed pissed. I mean, how hard was it to get out of the street? Not that hard.

I told him again to get out of the road. I don’t remember if I cussed or not. But I was losing my temper, too. He told me to fuck off, or something like that.

I had to get out of the car, though. But when I did that, he ran up, got a hold of the car door, and pushed me back in. Oh shit. It was on now. Why was he doing this? This was nothing big. I just asked him to get out of the street.

I felt the blow then. Right across my face. I almost went out. Then the kid grabbed me. I felt that. I couldn’t lose. I had that gun on me. I could not get it out. This thing could end badly, I told myself. I couldn’t fuck this up. He grabbed me in the headlock and he was really strong. Super strong, like nothing I had ever felt before. I had to free myself. The open hand slaps just kept coming. I tried to block some of them, and it worked. But he kept swinging. I reached for my gun, and he reached for it, too. You can’t do that. Never reach for a cop’s gun; it would always end badly. This was serious now. Too serious. I couldn’t let him do this. I summoned up some strength that I didn’t know that I had that day. I think that my body knew that I couldn’t let him get to that pistol. And it just became automatic. Everything responded. I fought his hand away from that, pulled the pistol, aimed it away from me, and shot at him. I hit him on the hand and he got away from the vehicle and started to run away. I had to give chase; I couldn’t let him get away like that.

He put his hands on my weapon. He was a danger to everyone now. I had to stop him.

He ran pretty quickly and I didn’t see the other kid. He was gone. My weapon was drawn and I told him to stop. He wouldn’t listen as I gave chase. He finally slowed down and turned around. Get down! I yelled but he would not do it. He just looked at me. Something was in his eyes. I told him to get down again. Nothing. Then he ran towards me. I let off three shots. He stopped, but it seemed like I missed him. I started to back off with the weapon drawn. Get down!! Still nothing. He came towards me while holding his bleeding hand. Ran towards me again. I fired again. A couple of shots hit him. He wouldn’t go down, though; he kept coming towards me. He got closer. And that’s when I double-tapped and shot him in the head. I could believe it. He went down face first and he was just planted like that. I had killed someone. Just like that.


Tony and Nick were friends. They had just met each other and clicked. They complimented each other. Nick was older and more experienced; Tony looked up to him. Tony was a huge kid, six foot six and over 300 pounds. People were intimidated by him. Nick was more of a tiny punk who had some experience in the streets. Tony looked up to him and the fact that he could always get weed whenever he wanted.

Summertime was so boring that there was hardly anything to do except rap and make beats. Tony kept telling Nick he wanted to be a big-ass rapper and make it big someday. He was going to school in a couple months to study HVAC in case that didn’t work out.

They were smoking and high in Tony’s grandmother’s basement while making some beats on the computer and listening to gangsta rap.

They were down to their last cigarillos and had to go to the store and get some more.

The store opened in a few minutes. They had to be on the way before the store got too crowded.

They got out walking while they were high and feeling good. They felt young and untouchable.

There were scores of cars moving along the main road. It was summer, warm and sunny.

Tony was thankful to Nick for letting him smoke with him. They were going to the liquor store even though Tony didn’t have any money for cigarillos. He didn’t have any money at all.

Nick was new to the neighborhood. He saw several police cars ride by in the last hour.

“Damn man, the police really be out here. It ain’t like this where I am from.”

“Yep, they be on us. I can’t stand them. Always fuckin’ wit’ us.”

“Boy, I try to stay away from them. I’m a felon.”

“Man, they punks though. They’ll leave me alone. They do all that riding around, but they ain’t stopping nothing.”

They walked to the store. They watched the cars moving along the road. They wanted a car.

“I can’t be doing this walking shit, bruh.”

“Take a look around everybody riding!!!

I’m getting my shit in a couple of months,” Tony lied.

“Yeah, bro getting too old to walk like this. Shit for the birds.”

“I heard that.”

They kept walking.

Nick took the blunt out of his pocket, lit and hit and passed it to Tony.

“It smelled good.” They continued to walk to the store. There were a few people hanging out at the store.

Tony told him to wait outside while he went in the store and got the cigarillos.

“You got the money?”

“Yeah, I got it.”

“Let me see it. Nick didn’t believe him.”

“Man, I don’t need no money. I’ll get it off my muscle.”

“Okay.” He saw how big the kid was and believed him.

Tony felt a little uneasy. He had done this thing before. But maybe things would turn out on his side this time.

He went to the counter and looked around and made sure no one was in the store.

He walked up to the counter and asked for the cigarillos. They cost about $30. The Indian guy behind the counter gave it to him. He had wanted to see the box at first.

He got the box and looked at it, for a few moments. He began to walk away from the counter.

A couple of the workers began to yell at him. An older guy came out from behind the store and confronted him. Yelling in Hindi. To give back the cigarillos or pay for them. They were not getting the cigars back. The guy tried to block his path from the exit of the door.

He threw the man away from the door; the old man staggered and came running back towards him. Tony shrugged his shoulders in a threatening manner and the man retreated.

Tony walked out the door with the adrenaline flowing through his body.

He had the cigarillos and handed him to Nick.

Tony turned around to see if anyone was coming for him. They weren’t. They better not have been.

He told Nick to walk.

Nick didn’t believe that he would get the box of cigars, but he had them. Nick began to look out for the cops. He had his story ready. He didn’t steal or take anything. He was just with the kid. Nick thought the kid was kinda dumb for taking the stuff. But he had said this kind of stuff all the time. When things got tough with the cops, he could always just run.

But they began talking and walking. And they began to think about smoking and making music again. And not about any danger they may have been in.

Then they see the big police car, white SUV. They are walking in the middle of the street.

Tony thinks it is for him. Nick thinks that it’s for Tony. Nick is ready to run, He has been running from law enforcement his whole life. It’s no big deal.

The cop rolls down his window and tells them to get out of the middle of the street. The boys keep on walking.

“That’s for us. I think we should run.”

“Naw man, fuck them cops. I ain’t running.”

“Run, ma dude. Let’s go.”

Then the SUV backed up fast and parked really close to them.

Tony is fucked up. He is thinking about jail and facing charges and all that stuff. He gotta get away from all this stuff.

The officer gets out of the car. Tony rushes him and shoves him back into the car. The officer struggles to get up. And Tony begins really hitting him now. He has to make it work. He’s just going to hit him, slow him down a bit, and run away. Get away from all this and then go home and smoke. But I kept hitting him. He wasn’t tough. I could beat this ass. He wasn’t so tough without a gun. He was fucking with me. I am big and I am strong. I will not be fucked with. I won’t go to jail. I grabbed his gun just to show him I could do it. I wasn’t going to shoot or kill anybody. I was going to show him that he wasn’t so tough. That other people like me were tough also. We struggle for the gun. He is reaching for the gun. What will he do with the gun? He wants to shoot me. He shoots me. In the hand…I can’t believe that he shot me in the hand. It hurts. It really hurts. I  can’t believe he shot me…I have to run. I have to run fast and get away from this man. This cop with a gun.