Pretty much as soon as the War on Terror kicked off, the full spectrum of government agencies responsible for security found themselves reassigned. The FBI, CIA, NSA, ATF… You name it, they were on it. Which kinda left the homegrown threats – the mafiosi, militias, dealers, gangs – a little bit in the wind. That’s an understatement; they were totally free from monitoring and able to do as they pleased.
At first, this had no discernible consequence. You’d be amazed at how law-abiding crims can get if they have the common enemy of some foreigners to unite against…but this can only hold for so long. Eventually, anarchy will be loosed upon the world. In 2015, the dam burst.
The extent of the paralysis in the forces of law & order was shocking, particularly to those of us who had spent our lives within such organisations. One group in NY took hostage over fifty servicemen and women of the police and fire departments – essentially, to ensure a solid bargaining position should any of their number ever end up before a judge. That’s where I came in.
The bald guy with black sunglasses permanently affixed to his head seemed to be the Don. His assistant, with black slicked hair, a brown leather jacket and navy shirt underneath, seemed to be his main advisor and confidante. Ostensibly I was there as a member of an LA crew looking for tips and researching this successful business model – as in all matters with the underworld, I’d have to prove myself on some routine job first.
Basically, all I had to do was climb a ladder on a nearby building and whack two guys who, the slick crony said, had been eyeballing their HQ for the past week. I had no problem with this; murder may be against the law, but when you’re an undercover cop you accept that you’re gonna have to kill some crooks to save your own skin.
I get to the top and look in, and what do I find? Two badges – a John Leguizamo-lookalike and a tubby guy with a moustache and receding hairline. I manage to blurt out “NYPD!” and let off a couple shots at the wall behind ’em, before making eye contact that – I hope – conveys just what the hell is going on to these completely confounded knuckleheads.
Back on terra firma, the shit hits the fan anyways. Things seem to go ok; no casualties, all the baddies down, happy days. We release the guys and girls held captive and get a lot of congratulatory slaps on the back for our troubles. Turns out that they’d been held just underneath the F-Train station at Giuliani Plaza, so we lead ’em up to where the sun is shining an’ the birds are singing, and everything seems right with the world.
That’s when all hell breaks loose.
Baldy, minus the sunglasses and lookin’ considerably worse for wear, appears outta nowhere and gets off a couple of rounds, winging my partner. I put him down, but suddenly it seems that gunfire has erupted from fuckin’ EVERYWHERE, and people are going down all over the place. The NYPD guys react fairly quickly, getting their FDNY comrades to cover without much delay, but not before bodies are writhing around in agony and the wailing, along with the constant bark of shooting, is making for a hellish cacophony.
When I see who is firing, it takes my breath away. My partner, about twenty paces away taking cover behind some iron railings, gives me a look – he’s spotted ’em too. Even now it seems so crazy, so unbelievable, that I hesitate to commit it to this affidavit. To have it in writing somehow makes it solid, whereas just in my memory I can justify it as some crazy nightmare, a hallucination, or a trick of the light. But I know what I saw, and I’m not alone.
The snipers opposite the Plaza that day were female officers of the LAPD. I am absolutely, 100% certain of this. There were two, side-by-side, firing from an oblong window on the fourth floor of the Blacktie building. Shots were also raining down from our side, on anyone who attempted to flee the plaza, but since this was coming from behind us and over our heads I have no way of knowing who this was.
I managed – Fuck knows how – to reach the far side of the road separating the snipers from the plaza. There were bulletholes in all the storefronts, but it seemed like there was less fire coming in here. I ducked into a shop or two, and the patrons were in shock (unsurprisingly enough). It shames me now, but at the time I had no notion or interest in confronting the shooters – I was just running for my life.
After a while, the shooting stopped. I know a good number of us got away, because I’d spot them as they fled, eyes wholly consumed with terror. Coming back, making sure to keep myself hidden where possible, I could see more LAPD uniforms – on the streets this time. It was clear to me that they were trying to track down survivors, and I had a pretty good idea of what they would do if they found any.
I got the fuck outta there.
Before flagging a cab, I came across a protest of mainly African-Americans against the what they called the ‘inherent corruption’ of the police. It’s funny; I had always written off these do-gooders as cranks and ne’er-do-wells, but now…
Now I’m not so sure.
Sworn statement of Detective [IDENTITY WITHHELD] of the New York Police Department, 4/21/2016
Solidarity, brothers and sisters…ℵϒ