Four Stories: Shawn

This is a work of fiction, based on actual events, but the characterizations and dialogue are my own invention. See the note on “Four Stories: Jon” for more details.


“Even if I did,” Shawn said, “why would I tell you?”

“I’ve got four good reasons why,” the cop said. “Mark Renninger. Tina Griswold. Ron Owens. Greg Richards. They were good officers, and they got killed for being good officers, and we’re trying to find who killed them.”

Shawn stared the undercover right in the eye. I got a lot more reasons why I shouldn’t tell you, motherf***er. Oscar Grant. Sean Bell. The brother in New York, funny name… Amadou Diallo, right. I could go on.

“Asshole, we could haul you down for obstructing justice,” said the cop with the rifle.

“Justice? That what you call it?” Shawn said. He regretted it instantly. They’d beat his ass for sure for that. But man, was it worth it.

There was a lot of yelling, but in the end the cops turned him loose. They didn’t have anything on him, anyway, except sassing them. Which wasn’t an arrestable offense, not with the reporters right there.

But when they catch up to Maurice, there’s nothing that’s going to stop them. Mad as they are right now, he could scratch his crazy ass and they’d shoot him dead. “Reaching for a weapon,” they’d say. Like Lovelle Mixon. Or King. F***, both Kings. FBI definitely shot Martin, after all.

They’ll shoot Maurice for sure.

Shawn was not exactly tight with his cousin — more like an uncle, really — but Maurice was good people. Sure, he played a little fast and loose with the law, but you had to, to get by. And he was always, always there to help out his family. He’d helped Shawn move, loaned him his car once or twice, stuff like that.

Yeah, FBI killed Martin, like they killed those other two… the Black Panthers. Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, right.

Maurice was also completely nuts, talking about how he could fly, that he was Jesus. If he was Jesus Christ, Shawn was the Angel Gabriel. And killing cops? S***, there was nothing more stupid than killing cops, even if cops did drop brothers every day of the week without even thinking or getting busted for it. But crazy or not, Maurice was family. Good people, or was when he wasn’t out of his mind. And you didn’t turn over family to the law because he was nuts, or turn him over for anything, especially when the cops would just be itching for an excuse to waste him.

Shawn wasn’t going to make it easy for them to do that. Keep the cops off his trail for a while, let things cool off, then have him go in, nice and peaceful, no guns. They’d take one look at him, call him crazy, ship him off to Western Hospital for a while, and then when he was back on his feet, he’d be back on the street, good as new.

Shawn glanced up at Beacon Hill ahead of him. Now, there was an idea…. he reached for his phone to call in a fake tip. Let the cops wander around in the woods for a while.

Not going to make it easy. You take care of your own.