A View to a Kill: A Predictable Epitaph
By Brett Redmayne-Titley
Part 5 of 5
SAN DIEGO (INTELLIHUB) — As I turned left onto the 5 freeway and began heading south towards the 10:30 AM police press conference, there were serious questions to be asked and answers demanded. I was the only one that could. The official police statement was that Evan Kwik shot himself with his shot-gun and 9:10 PM. The facts, ie, my eyes, my ears, and my note pad indicated otherwise.
I checked my notes. Not a sound from 8:55 to 9:35PM. A shot-gun? In the dark silence of a flowering bush, one hundred and twenty-five feet away, I would have heard it. And that was only one of the lies.
Minutes before, showered, fed, desperately in need of sleep but nicely warmed by a purely medicinal cup of coffee, I slumped-in behind the wheel. Thirty five minutes until the press conference. Right on time for a quick sprint down to San Diego PD HQ.
Mid-morning traffic was light and the quiet of my old model 300 E was just what I needed. Adrenaline can only work again, and again, and again, and again, for so long. What a night. To be at the epicenter of a military like police spectacular was still hard to believe. The magnitude of the sheer authoritarian presence was difficult to completely comprehend, much less put in context.
There was no context.
Every question created new questions in my mind. Since when were street cops authorized to lob tear gas into a house at their discretion? Wasn’t Evan Kwik out of ammo? According to all neighbors, he fired only two shots from a two shot twenty gage shotgun. The cops told the press five. Did he have more ammo? Why no negotiations at all? Why not wait him out? He was an addict. Why not offer him a fix? To a junkie having a real bad day..?
And why was Evan Kwik given less than four minutes to come out or be killed? He sure wasn’t going anywhere stuck in a dark attic with no way out.
Why the massive police presence and mad rush to the scene for one scared junkie?
What about the two motorists on the 5 Fwy who were severely injured after being run off the road by the huge, couldn’t-care-less MRAPs? What crime did those motorists commit? Like Evan Kwik, they got in the way.
Why did every newspaper and TV station blog have a different story. No two the same. All wrong. But, why different? : Facts were not important.
Well, I knew the answers. So did the cops. But not, the news crews. Not, the nation’s spectators watching on TV. This wasn’t a crime scene this was a message. A very grand, very obvious, very ominous message sent in graphic nightly news fashion to a restless America who may, just possibly, be considering arising from the apathy of their couches and cubicles. This message, intended to be ingrained, soon, into the minds of Americans, was the new mantra: Resistance? Constitution? Civil rights? Fourth Amendment? Rule of law? Bill of Rights? These are, now, past tense.
Cops kill. Then more cops kill. Video evidence means nothing. Video? To a…… jury? Ha! Witnesses? No matter. Five hundred innocent persons or petty criminals who could have been taken alive, dead this year. Children. The elderly. Murdered by cops. What once was an arrest record, is now usually a Death Certificate
For many, their only crimes were to accurately insist on their civil rights as American citizens. A warrant? Cops get that later. Due Process? An inconvenience. Long gone.
During a routine traffic stop near University of the Sacred Word Christian, Bible student Robert Cameron Redus mocked an overly abusive campus police officer.
“Oh. Your gonna shoot me ?” he said walking away. Campus cop, Christopher Carter’s answer was, “yes!”
In front of witnesses, he pulled out his service revolver and emptied his gun into the honors student, point-blank, in the back first and then the chest and head. He already knew the message.
After an evening such as this I was in no good mood. As I parked next to the ABC News van, grabbing my press pass and my essentials, I closed my eyes for a moment drawing a deep breath. Stepping into the lion’s den of police HQ was not my usual experience. I looked forward to asking what they did not want asked, to craft my questions to show the depth of this sad night of affairs.
In moments my delusions of Murrow incarnate would be dashed.
Checking myself in the rear view mirror, I had just the right patina of true journalistic scruffiness. Unshaven, hair matted from sweat, and eyes ringed with fatigue, I kicked open the driver door, heading across the parking lot to the SDPDHQ entrance. Jaw set, tired eyes narrowed, heart pumping faster, I quickened my pace. Ready.
“One moment please”, said the desk Sergeant after I presented my press pass for inspection. “Stand over there!” she ordered.
This was odd as she was allowing all the other Presstitutes to pass-by her counter with a mere dismissive wave of her hand.
“Is there a problem officer?”
“Stand over there!!” she barked.
“Say, ‘please’,” I shot back. Moving to a Fed-Ex postal drop box thirty feet away I put my binder on top. Turning my back on the she-cop, I took out my notes and worked on my questions. Readying for battle at the press conference.
Momentarily lost in thought I focused on the questions that cops would not be able to answer. It was time to expose them for what they were: killers. I wanted to remember their faces, their expressions, when they were cornered, unable to explain-away their lies once caught in the trap of truths I was preparing to serve-up, mean and hard. Two shots, not five. Don was across the street. He heard only two. Other neighbors confirmed this. Snodgrass and Steinmeyer had violated police procedures by using tear gas. Why? The reason for the massive show of force? If Evan Kwik shot himself with an unloaded shot-gun at 1:10AM, as they reported to the media why did all the cops stand down at 9:50 PM? The body brought out before midnight? Etc, etc, etc.
And then, just when I had them wriggling and the arrogance of authority wiped from their faces, the finishing blow. “Officer…please explain the four distinct, individual shot-gun blasts fired in rapid succession into the attic by the Special Forces team just minutes before your officers lowered their weapons? Did your officers kill Evan…….”
Steely fingers grabbing my left arm woke me from my preparations, squeezing tighter than necessary to get my attention. I spun around to meet face-to-face a very large African-American cop. Doing his best Clarence Thomas impression he, like his expression, and the militants the night before was, black.
“You’re leaving!”, he ordered, tightening his grip.
“Get your damn hands off me,” I spat back, wrenching myself free from his control.
“That’s my Press Pass. I’m Press. In there is the Press conference.”
“That’s fine.” he growled, as I fixed my most evil stare into his eyes. “But, you’re leaving!”
The words, “Not a chance!”, were leaving my lips when, materializing from nowhere, four new pressed and polished cops surrounded me. In unison they shuffled towards the entrance with me at the epicenter. The result of the technique was obvious. Any resistance by me in any direction would have me touching, to them “assaulting”, one of these thugs. Their glowering eyes, and the evil smirk on the black cop’s face, repeated a previous, unambiguous message, “Now, you see these fists?!!”
“Step back inside and we will arrest you,” said the black cop, his dark minions looking over his shoulder in support behind the entrance door. Then they turned and were gone.
So, were my illusions.
So, was justice for Evan Kwik.
Foolishly I crafted a new plan. Sitting outside I waited for the Presstitutes to come out ready to give them the true story, the counter of the propaganda of the Press Conference.
“Who are you?” asked the first talking head, obviously unimpressed with my non-main stream media press pass.
“That’s not what the cops told us,” he replied to the litany of inconsistencies I fired at him in rapid succession.
“That’s the fucking point!!”, I almost screamed at him. “I was there. Forty yards away. The Cops are feeding you shit!”
“Well, here’s my card. Write something up and send it to me.” he said with a dismissive tone. “If I like it, I’ll get back to you.”
My jaw dropped. I felt like I had received a spinal tap of pure Zanex. I staring at him in disbelief. No words left. No energy left anymore for this fight.
I was not a media whore. Never would be. And the whores did not allow new members into their club. They were not here for Evan Kwik. They were not here to investigate. They were not here for justice.
They were here only to help deliver the message. Fact or fiction. They had their “story” now. And they were going home. Message delivered.
Well, I barely knew Evan Kwik. Why the hell should I care? This story, his story, was over. Or was it?
No. No. No. This story was not over. It will continue, to be repeated again and again. Almost daily somewhere in America. With every new cop killing, a piece of Evan Kwik’s story would continue. Would this ever change? Yes. But, only for the worst.
Driving home I took the Coast Highway following the beach northward. The late morning was gloomily grey, the surf crashing, swirling and roaring like my mind. Far to the west you could not see the horizon. A crappy day all round.
Images and stories of the many more police shootings of innocent Americans came rushing to mind. More and more each week, tales of police horror crossed my desk. I thought about the final moments of these victims. Their final breaths. Their final last gasp of disbelief.
My America…has killed…….me..?
Such as….Jose Guevena. Speeding. Shot at sixty times. Denied medical treatment until dead.
Or………… Epileptic James Patterson. Parent called cops for help. Shot in chest four times.
Or………….James Boyd. Homeless. Shot four times in the back for camping.
Or………….Eugene Mallory. Shot six times with automatic rifle while in bed. Wrong house.
Or…………. [Your Name Here]
The End. Part 5 of 5
About the Author:
Brett Redmayne-Titley is a regular columnist for Press TV.com and former writer and editor for the progressive news-site, Op-Ed News.com. My articles on domestic and foreign policy issues have been re-published by dozens of news-sites including; Fars News Network; Veterans Today; Asia Times and Cairo Times