Excerpts from Middle Aged White Boy

Bang, bang, bang, bang

                        Four deadly .38 caliber slugs went winging toward a man I saw for the first time less than a second ago and now I was trying to kill him.  I watched those lead bullets chew holes through the man’s shirt and into his stomach and chest, as though in slow motion. 

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Tonight was different. There were older men in the crowd of hundreds of young black rioters.  Black Panthers were using the kids as cover. I saw the muzzle flash as handguns were fired from the crowd.  Bang, bang, bang!  The officer next to me went down in the street to my left.  ‘I’m hit, he yelled out in pain,’ as he crawled for cover.

             More shots!  Bang, bang.

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Oh my God, the detectives found a young girl in the trunk of his car wrapped in a blanket.  It was summer and over 100 degrees.  I started to feel sick.

           At that exact moment one of my sergeants ran out of the front door of the church.  He was carrying another small girl in his arms.  The little girl’s arms wrapped loosely around the stocky sergeant’s neck and he was grasping her tightly to his chest.

           What had he done Lord?  What had this monster done to these helpless little girls?

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Your will Lord, not mine, I prayed silently.

It was Day 10 of the trial.  Federal Judge William B. Shubb from the Fifth District Court sequestered the nine-person jury to make their decision whether or not the City of Sacramento and Chief of Police, Arturo Venegas Jr., had discriminated against two police managers because of age and race.

We’d been six years fighting this battle and the city and Mayor Joe Serna wouldn’t just forget it.  His honor would come after Fred and I with a vengeance.