“What the fuck you doin’ in that uniform?”
It took Sergeant Yates of the Los Angeles Police Department a moment to register the fact that he hadn’t imagined the citizen’s question. Then, he repeated his own question.
“May I see your Drivers License and registration, please?”
“Nigga, please!” The man behind the wheel of the car shook his head in dismay. “I look at you and suddenly everything’s wrong with this country is plain to see.”
“Step out of the car.” Yates told him, using his command authority voice developed during two tours in the U.S. Marines. Yates took a half step to his right signaling an expectation of compliance.
“They got a white man of your talents and experience drivin’ around in a monkey suit in the middle of the night with nothing better to do than hassle a black man.”
“The reason I stopped you was because of a broken taillight, but if you don’t step out of the vehicle right now, I’ll arrest you for felony resisting.”
The man behind the wheel of the car let out a squeal of delight. “Baby, that’s exactly what I told her last night! She like it when I talk to her like that! You married?”
“I’m not going to tell you again. Now, step out of the car or I’ll drag you out.”
The man behind the wheel of the car appeared to give some thought to what Yates said before replying, “Fuck that.”
“You are begging for some stick time, asshole.” Yates could feel destructive urges rising up within him that fed a need to purge several weeks of suppressed anger and unvented frustration. Passed over, yet again, for Lieutenant, it was certain he would never make Captain. There was a distinct possibility he could be demoted in rank if some in the Department had their way. Without realizing how it happened, Yates was suddenly aware that he was pointing his 9mm at the man’s head. With this awareness came a blinding flash of light.
“Smile! You on Candid Camera!” Yates saw that the man had taken his photograph using a flash. Without waiting for his eyes to readjust to the darkness, Yates thumbed the hammer back on the Beretta.
“I’ll bet you think of me as ‘the man behind the wheel of the car.” That stopped Yates from what he was about to do, which was to blow the guy’s brains out.
“How do you suggest I think of you?” It was a dumb thing to do, rising to his lame-assed bait. Immediately, Yates regretted it.
“You should think of me as ‘the man what’s gonna make you a millionaire and face all the possible repercussions should there be any, which there won’t.”
The man what’s gonna make Yates a millionaire and face all the possible repercussions should there be any, which there won’t reached under the seat, retrieved a bong and started to light up. Yates still hadn’t pulled the trigger. This surprised the veteran policeman, if not his new-found friend.
“What are you talking about?” Yates had heard more than his share of jailhouse shit, but never while pointing a 9mm at a guy who was more concerned with getting a good draw on his bong.
“Some niggas can see the future. I can tell it. An’ if you’ll open up your fuckin’ ears, I’ll tell you yours.”
“Do you know where The Pantry is?” Yates asked him.
“Man, I practically live there!”
“Lead the way. I’ll be right behind you.”
As Yates followed the twenty-year-old Mercedes over to Figueroa, he called in his Code 7 and thought to himself it would be just as easy to shoot the guy after dinner.
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