The Law Vol. 1 Serve or Protect Part 7

Walking into the precinct, Martina heads straight for the Captain’s office. She woke him up on the way in and he agreed to meet them here. It only took her promising to keep calling until he did. His secretary Rosa has long since left for the night so there’s nobody to stop her from walking right in. Without bothering to knock, she enters and takes a seat. Tate sulks in after her, but sends the captain a look to let him know this wasn’t his idea.

The captain’s desk is piled with work and he’s trying to get something done while waiting on them. Watching him work in pajamas puts a smile on Martina’s face but the captain doesn’t return it. “My wife was not pleased with the late call Alvarez. This had better be important.”

“It is sir. I have an arrest I need to make and I need your okay. Another precinct beat us there and they weren’t confident enough in their captain to make the call but this really needs to happen. We have enough.”

He frowns. “Who are we arresting?”

“Guy who shot two unarmed people in the street. He’s a vigilante—”

“No.”

“Let me tell you the details captain. I think you’ll agree that we have enough.”

“Did he admit that he gunned them down in cold blood and this had nothing to do with being a vigilante?”

“Well, no but—”

“Then you don’t have enough Martina.” He leans forward and puts his head in his hands. “You know I don’t like vigilantes any more than you do. They’re going to put us all out of jobs if things keep going this way and they’re dangerous. I’d love nothing more than to arrest this guy. The fact that their targets weren’t armed isn’t enough though. He’ll say he thought they were and the VMUS Act focuses a lot more on what the vigilante thinks than what was true. We have no way to prove what they thought.”

“Sir, I caught them in at least three lies on questioning. He said he shot them when they were facing him. We know for a fact that isn’t the case, they were turned away and running. He told us he flipped one of the bodies over. It was never flipped. That’s confirmed. He also told us he shot them in only a few seconds. The bodies were too far apart for that to be the case. Oh, there’s a fourth. He said they were dead when they hit the ground. We know they crawled away. We have this guy. Even if it doesn’t start a trend, a case like this will be huge. It’s going to tell the rest of the vigilantes out there that they’re not above the law. The next time one of them tries to gun some people down in cold blood, they’ll worry. We have to do this.”

The captain rubs his temples. “Is that all true Tate?”

Still standing in the back of the office, Tate nods. “It’s true sir. Guy’s definitely lying.”

“That’s actually more than I thought you’d have.” He starts rubbing his temples. At least he looks awake now. “I’m still not sure it’s going to be enough though. Is the medical examiner’s report back yet?”

Martina leans forward and puts her hands on her knees, a smile starting to come to her face. “It may be a few days sir but I already talked to them. They confirmed there’s zero chance what the guy said is correct. There’s no reason for him to lie if the truth is on his side. What he’s claiming he did is legal.”

The captain stands and puts his hands on his hips, shaking his head. “I really want to make a move here. This sounds promising. I’m just not sure it’s going to be enough. We’ll need the medical report but if we know what the results will be we could move now. I’d want to talk to the examiner myself though. This is a big deal.” He turns to Tate who has a pained look on his face. “You have some thoughts Tate?”

“Yes sir. Look, I agree with Martina that this guy’s lying. This was an execution and it’s awful. I don’t know why but this guy just decided he wanted to kill some people tonight. It’s possible he’s telling the truth about what got him chasing them but even that doesn’t make a lot of sense. I don’t think we should arrest him though.”

The captain looks surprised. “Any reason why not? If you think he’s guilty shouldn’t you want to go after him?”

Tate closes his eyes. “I do want to go after him sir, badly. That could be my brother or my nephew next time. It won’t do any good though. There’s no way the DA files charges. This would be a direct attack on the act and by extension on the president. The DA’s considering running for the house next year. He’s going to want the president’s endorsement. Zero chance he goes after him. We’d need so much more than even the report. In another town I’d say go for it but here all we’re going to do is get on his bad side. We’re going to burn any rope we have for nothing.”

Martina’s jaw drops. She thought Tate was with her and now he’s trying to protect himself instead of doing his job. “You can’t be serious.”

“Sorry Alvarez, I really want to back you on this but I can’t. It’s a waste of time. If he admitted the crime it’d be different but he stuck to his story pretty well even when you challenged him. It doesn’t have to make sense. He just needs to say it loud enough that people who support the act believe him.”

The Captain sits back down and puts his head in his hands. “I hate to admit it, but he may be right Alvarez. Can you honestly tell me you think the district attorney will file charges here?”

“I can sir. We’ll put him in a no win situation. A case so obvious he doesn’t have a choice. In a normal case he wouldn’t but these lies are too obvious. That’s the whole point. Even if charges aren’t brought, maybe seeing us try will give cops in another city the courage to do so. It can still matter.”

Looking her straight in the eye, the Captain shakes his head. “I wish I agreed, I really do. Brandon’s right though. We’re going to hold off here though. In a couple of days once the medical examiner’s report comes back we’ll send someone to the vigilante’s house and press him on the details. Maybe he’ll crack and confess. If we get that, we’ll go after him. If we don’t, we’ll revisit and maybe call a meeting with the DA to discuss options.”

“Sir, you’re advocating letting a man we know is a murderer keep walking the streets.”

“No Alvarez, that’s what the act does. I don’t pick the rules.”

She stands up and looks toward the door. “I can’t stand for that sir.”

“What are you going to do, go to your father again?”

The words sting. She knew word had reached him by now but she didn’t expect him to call her on the trip to see her father. “Captain, that wasn’t anything personal and you know it. I take our job seriously and I felt you made the wrong call. I tried to see if someone else would make the right one. That’s all.”

“Here’s the problem Alvarez. It’s my call. I’ll always listen to your input and I respect it but at the end of the day I have to do what I think is best for this precinct and this city. I can’t have you going behind my back every time we disagree.”

Martina starts to pace. “I understand sir, but this is wrong.”

“How many people need to disagree with you for it to be enough? I disagree, your partner disagrees, the other officers on the scene and their captain disagreed. I know you’re trying to protect people but we have to enforce the rules. VMUS doesn’t give us a lot to go on.”

“Captain, earlier tonight a vigilante took a shot at us. Bullet just missed Tate. Moron was shooting at ghosts. I let that go. Nobody got hurt and as dumb as the guy was, he didn’t break any laws. I know what we have to deal with when it comes to the act. This is different though. Two people are dead and as far as we can tell they weren’t doing anything wrong. This man isn’t protected by the act. It’s one thing when we follow a law we disagree with. It’s another when we ignore people who we can go after.”

The captain walks around the desk and looks her in the eye. “I’m asking you to let this go Alvarez. There’s not enough. Things will change. There’s too much going wrong with this act. It’s going to get overturned. We just have to keep order until that happens.”

Shaking her head, she walks over to his desk. “I wish I could sir.”

“What are you going to do?”

She starts to pull her gun out before thinking better of it. Instead she unclips the entire holster and sets it on the captain’s desk. She proceeds to remove her badge and throw it down next to the gun. “If we aren’t going to do all we can to protect people then I can’t do this job captain. Consider this my resignation, effective immediately.”

Part 6

Part 8

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