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The Lie Must Be Maintained

Updated on August 18, 2014
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Detective Caleb Rivera stood defiantly and from the second level window on Congress Street he could see the swirling lights that almost engulfed the darkness. He and his partner Rich Holts were on the midnight shift that seemed to never end. It was almost like Hell Night trapping them into a never ending loop of despair. Office phones were bleeping, the corridors filled with complaints, witnesses lying, eight shootings, eight deaths, and more trouble stacking up around the homeless on Railroad Avenue.

While Caleb thinks about how the summer bleeds the third shift dry, his partner is slapping away at the computer trying to figure which case to take. He could take the shooting gallery over on the eastside, or he could arrest transvestites on Main Street for selling their wares. Holts kept running different scenarios through his mind he wanted just the right one so his night could end swimmingly. He wanted to handle non-shooting crimes because he understood the protocol which dictated that regardless of the hour, the shift lieutenant was to return to the office to supervise the investigation of any police involved shooting.

Caleb watched his partner as he sat at a drawing table, and Holts pulled out a sheet of heavy paper and started making a chart. He listed all the non-shooting calls on one side and the shooting calls on the other side. He crossed out six possible long hour crimes and circled the quick ones. He chewed on the end of his pencil and smiled as he turned toward the doors.

“Got one,” he said.

Caleb frowned, thought about what his partner was doing for a minute, and then called dispatch. “It’s Rivera; we’re going to take the night club shooting. Holts and I are on the way.”

“Caleb, that’s going to be an all nighter,” he said. “I got things to do tomorrow.”

“A patrol officer was shot,” said Caleb. “We need to be there.”

Holts grimaced.

Inside every major police department, the initial investigation of any officer involved shooting must begin as an attempt to make the incident look as clean and professional as possible. There was too much dirty going on and Caleb had to protect one of their own. In every department, the bias at heart of such an investigation should be seen as the only reasonable response to a public that had to believe that good cops always made good shootings and that bad shootings were only the consequences of bad cops. Even if there is a lie to be covered up, and time and again, that lie must be maintained.

Holts rubbed the back of his neck and said. “All right, if we have to do it for the sake of color, then let us go.”

For homicide detectives, a justified police shooting meant that there was no criminal intent behind the officer’s actions and at the same time deadly force was used genuinely because he thought his life or others around him were seriously being compromised.

“Caleb, are we really going to cover up for dirty cops if that’s what it takes?”

“No, we’re going to find out if the shootings were truly justified. We would also provide an altogether different answer or, more likely, no answer at all.”

“We cover up…”

“Let’s just get going,” Caleb ordered.

© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      How do you make a good story about crimes and cops without actually taking them out on the street?! Great story! Ann

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      annart thank you for the wonderful compliment ")

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 2 years ago from Northeast United States

      Interesting :). Very short but you packed it in my friend :). Great story, enjoyed the read very much.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you carrie :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You grabbed the reader by the throat in the opening paragraph...the dialogue was crisp...the flow perfect. Another excellent example of short story writing at its best.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      Very Nice Story Sir, Grabbing and captivating.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Good story timing; ...as we all wait for a cop's story, with questions building. ^+

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I like this team, Rivera and Holts. As usual, Frank, I feel drawn right into the scene and feel the essence of your characters. I am looking forward to more from Caleb and Rich. Up and H+

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Short...but interesting. Well done as always.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Interesting start to a story that sounds familiar with the shooting in Ferguson Mo. Your stories never disappoint....

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Your intriguing story is a timely reminder of the office politics that go on behind the crime scene. We can only hope that this is fiction.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Interesting story, as usual. I have seen a few of these investigations going on, and they are always looked at carefully. Most cops have tried in the past to keep them honest. Cops these days are acting more and more like bullies and gangsters though. Pretty sad coming from an ex-cops wife. He feels the same way. He wants to kick butt on most of the ones we come into contact with anymore.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi there, dear Frank,

      I love every carefully crafted sentence here, especially in that opening paragraph and the beginning sentence in the next paragraph. They truly set the stage of what's going on with their thinking process as to each crime scenario. You are really nailing it with your excellent titles too, cover up the undercover ... believe me it really happens each and every day!

      Great choice of imagery too.

      Keep on keeping on. Up and more and away

      Blessings always

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Billy and clive thank you guys so much for checking out my brief fiction

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Jackie and toobusiness thanks for visiting

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Phyllis its always good to see you on my pages bless you :)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Frank, bless you my dear friend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      always exploring and pegcole thank you so much for your comments bless you guys :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      so Becky you may know the ins and outs then..:) thank you for stopping by... Phyllis.. thank you for the blessings....:)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Faith ill keep on coming on..LOL thank you for the visit bless you dear one :)

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 2 years ago from Georgia

      Always enjoy your writing. Your trademark is creating the picture so your readers can easily put themselves in your setting and truly become the fly on the wall observing the scene and the action. But then I don't have to tell you how good you are at that.

      Thanks for the entertaining read this morning.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Cyndi no, thank you for reading :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Love how you expose the psychology and politics behind the policeman's badge Frank. you always make the story interesting through the characters interaction and their response to situations.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Jodah :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      You sound like an insider within the police force, knowing their thoughts and understanding their motives. All that combined with your crisp conversations and descriptive powers help to make you a great story teller.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I love how you create atmosphere Frank--you are just a master at it!

    • JamesPoppell profile image

      JamesPoppell 2 years ago

      Excellent writing. I liked the vibe. This story had me from the beginning.

    • James-wolve profile image

      Tijani Achamlal 2 years ago from Morocco

      Good story.I liked it .You are too talented .Thanks for sharing !

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      You do seem to understand the heart of the cop -- how they think, what they feel, how they prioritize. Such an excellent piece. You are masterful.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      You never disappoint my friend. I always know I'm in for a good read when I come here. Obviously this one is topical yet timeless. A grabber from start to finish!

      Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

      (I've been out of commission with my back so haven't been on the computer....hoping I'm back now.)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you MsDora, and Audrey for stopping by :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      : ) funny man ... I came back to tell you, thank you. for your first creative writing challenge you started back when, as I just noticed a few minutes ago after arriving home, that hub I wrote (not the poetry challenge) for the alternate ending is now my top scoring hub! Who would have thought hee hee. Maybe that is a clue for me to write more fiction?

      Hugs and blessings

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      James poppel and James Wolve thank you so much for reading my lie

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Flourish always good to see you :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Til, I hope ur back problem turns around and you feel 1000% checked out ur hub on the back issue yeah missed ur stuff bless you

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Faith no thank you for making it such a hit for me too.. over a thousand hits on monsters... bless you dear one

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Incredible ... just like you and your writing!

      Bless you too, dear heart

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Faith go on.. really I mean it go on...:)

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Great writing here. You really made them real and tangible. You do it very well.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Anna

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      That was absorbing Frank, I really liked it. They seemed the same as two factual detectives on actual cases. I voted it up, shared and pinned it.

      Kevin

    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 2 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      This story is full of angst, Frank. You are quite skilled at distilling powerful drama down to a few paragraphs. This story does offer a rather different slant on police work, doesn't it? The emphasis, here, is on crime containment, you might say, rather than Sherlock Holmsian crime detection and all that good stuff.

      Take it easy, Frank.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much the examiner-1 wingedcentaur for your comments

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Always an interesting story to be read from you.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Terrific short story. It could easily be a chapter followed by another.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Susan and Nadine May bless you both :)

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      A very timely story for you to write and us to read in light of the Ferguson events. I enjoyed the story.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Cam for stopping by :)

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 2 years ago from Australia

      You're a very talented writer!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you strictly :)

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 2 years ago from Lagos

      Interesting story. Cover up is nothing to be condoned! Shooting or use of excessive force when not required as a result of a person's color must be discouraged/punished. A good one! :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Uban ...:)

    • Warren Curtis profile image

      Warren Curtis Daniels Jr 2 years ago from Buffalo, New York

      Good read. Thumbs up :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Warren :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You immediately got me engaged in the story. Well done.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you aesta...

    • Ariel-Cal profile image

      Evelia Veronica Rivera 2 years ago from Bridgeport, CT

      Yay Chambers!! No wait, who?! Just joking, you are are great story tell and I will continue to spread the word!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      LOL..stupid LOL

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