Captain Shane Edwards was a pertinacious speaker. Even so, Shane had not anticipated the circus like atmosphere of this current officer Fritz incident. Apparently the news media down in Phoenix had gotten wind of the breaking story. The street where the small town city hall was located found itself glutted with news trucks, vans, with their various satellite dishes, and miles of thick black cables invading the quiet and normally uneventful street. News stations from across the state were there. Primarily Phoenix, and Tucson stations were present but other smaller markets were trickling in, setting up shop. From the small to the great, every cell phone packing reporter worth his salt was there in Antelope Springs, trying to get the scoop on the small town redneck perspective, on why he would break the bones of the young man from White river, Arizona. No one was presently able to locate the whereabouts of Officer Fritz for comment. The news media had of course interviewed the alleged victim, Jesse Coyote, along with several of his family members. Captain Edwards came out of City hall and stood quietly at the podium at the top of the stairs.
Nadia and Natalia had worked their way through the shark invested waters of TV land. They did not make it all the way to the front of the news mob, but they had positioned themselves so that Captain Edwards would surely have to take note of their presence. “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. As you already know, and have been reporting, the Antelope Springs police department would like to officially confirm that there is an active police investigation being conducted with one of it’s police officers. The arms of frenzied reporters began to shoot up, like a room full of third graders needing to go to the bathroom really, really bad. The Captain waved them off. “Please, I will entertain your questions after I make an official statement; as authorized by the Mayor’s office.” The police captain adjusted his glasses. He turned his mouth away from the microphone, and nervously cleared his throat.
“As of now the officer in question has been placed on administrative leave until a complete and full investigation has been conducted. The department needs to establish if there are any grounds for the allegations of police misconduct. My office is working in close cooperation with not only the Mayor’s office, but with the city council as well. Additionally, the Sheriff’s department has agreed to lend it’s expertise in order to expedite the investigation of this complaint, and any others like it that may or may not be pertinent.” The reporters began to lap it up, like a dog whose master had left him in a locked car in the parking lot of the grocery store in the middle of an Arizona summer. They nodded their heads as the captain continued to spew his rhetoric into their ears. The news media were completely enthralled with the smooth talking car salesman of law enforcement. Nadia decided to launch an offensive.
“Captain Edwards is it or is it not true that a group of college students were filming a class documentary at the time of the unprovoked attack on Jesse Coyote? And is it not also true that this same officer over the course of the last several years under your tenure has been investigated or been involved in many cases of police misconduct, more specifically, the abuse of those in the American Indian community?” Nadia was on a slow burn but fought fiercely to keep her emotions in check. “Well Ms. Titla,
I don’t presently have that information in front of me, but to be honest I’m not sure if those few incidents from the past are relevant to the case that we are presently investigating at this time.” Captain Edwards had a smug look on his face. Nadia was seething. Natalia wanted to go up to the podium and deliver a superman punch, and kick his white ass on live television. More than once Nadia had to take hold of her friend.
“Captain Edwards surely you must be aware that one of your officers has built a reputation, and has set a clear pattern of abuse here in this community, and in outlying communities here in the state of Arizona.” Nadia knew she should have brought her waders. “Well Ms.Titla, as you know Antelope Springs has experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the last several years. With this growth, of course the department has grown as well. I cannot possibly be privy to every alleged instance of abuse and or misconduct on the part of any member of my team.” Before Nadia could point out he only had twelve officers employed by the Antelope Springs police department Captain Edwards talked over Nadia. “While it has been established that there were eyewitnesses to this unfortunate incident surrounding Officer Fritz, and the young native college student; I would like to announce that those who actually came forward and reported that they had filmed the entire alleged incident, have left our college and relocated, I presume out of the state of Arizona. Without the film students footage, a piece of crucial evidence, and the crux of our investigation; I’m afraid that it really boils down to the arresting officer’s recollection of the incident, and of course our young Native American student.
However, in the spirit of fairness, and with the thought of a possible reconciliation with the native community, I would like to announce that Officer Bob Fritz, will be placed on administrative leave, and will be immediately placed into a mandatory class for anger management, as well as an additional course on good community relations. The City of Antelope Springs has also agreed to pay Mr. Coyote’s doctor bills, which includes I might add, any and all physical therapy needed to restore Mr. Coyote’s arm. The City will be formulating a reasonable figure to offer him in order to compensate him for his pain and suffering. That’s all I have for now, thank you.”
Captain Edwards gave Nadia a coy little smile as the mostly white male reporters surged by her, rushing to the top of the stairs in an attempt to pump the Captain for more information. Natalia mouthed a few not nice words in the direction of Captain Edwards. He pretended not to have noticed the two women glaring at him from the bottom of the stairs. For all practical purposes this press conference was over.
Nadia had listened well, but she understood that this was not the forum she would need in order to corral this collusionist of illusion. The master of the white wash had struck again. Her only real hope at this point would be her friend Dwayne. If he had something, anything that these cowards couldn’t talk their way out of,
again, then maybe she had a shot at removing this cancer from the community.