So my other job, the one that pays a little more than what I’m paid for blogging ($0), is being a crime/courts reporter for my fair little city here in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Yesterday was essentially orgasmic for reporters across the Bay Area because some crazy man decided to shoot 8 work colleagues before his first cup of coffee. This turned into an INSANE manhunt involving multiple police agencies, the FBI, and U.S. Marshals.
Reporters don’t fear for their lives or spend much time concerning themselves with the lives of victims because we can’t. If we get too involved, we might start to feel something. And feeling something would make this job impossible. So forgive me if I sound nonchalant about three people dying at the hands of a nutcase, but I can’t be any other way.
So as I was saying, journalists have been pretty much creaming their jeans over this story. The guy was on the loose with an AK-47, had just KILLED three co-workers, and no one knew where he was. He could have been anywhere. Schools were locked down and everyone was freaking out since their airspace was completely full of police helicopters.
The guy ended up going for the “suicide by cop” option, which doesn’t pay out much life insurance-wise. Police shot him this morning in some random neighborhood…in the driveway where a young mother and baby were living. SCARY!
But reporters eat this shit up! This is amazing stuff. I was nearly manic yesterday and today trying to keep up with events that were happening and turning stories in before they became irrelevant. The news was breaking so fast, I had no time to fix it.
Today, in addition to the officer-involved shooting, which involved more than one officer, I had to write about another young mother who was found dead in the outskirts of town. She disappeared over the weekend and no one yet knows what happened to her. It’s not clear if she was murdered or not, though I suspect the former. She was a pretty woman and some douchebag out there probably thought she deserved it.
THEN I learn about two cases of prosecutorial misconduct. In one case, a man was accused of raping a mentally disabled girl. He was found guilty and sent to prison, but it turns out a cop completely MADE UP a coroner’s report. He made up some random name and forged it on the coroner’s letterhead. The D.A. prosecuting the case encouraged the defense to accept a plea deal based solely on this evidence and she may have known the evidence was falsified. Now everyone’s getting sued.
My local cop shop has been in a heap of trouble lately. Last month, an officer was arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with some teenage boys he met through Craigslist. And on Monday, two more cops were arrested for stealing money from the local chapter of a nationwide police officers’ fund that gives scholarships to needy minority children. They pocketed over $100K. And a local lawyer cheated a bunch of people out of their life savings by claiming they’d get major returns on their investments, while said investments were being spent on necessities like a MERCEDES.
Crime is everywhere. It makes my job fascinating. But I sure wish it would spread itself out a little bit so I won’t feel the need to pop Xanax like Tic Tacs.