Reverend Alf Williams left the precinct after he spoke to the chief. As he was known to do, he called for a press briefing on the steps of City Hall. Every cop tuned in to hear his speech.
“I have spoken with the Chief of Police, the Mayor, and the City Council. All agreed that this crime will not go unpunished. The mere fact that such actions still take place in our society shows how little progress has been made in ‘race relations.’ We owe it to our children to see justice is served in this case.” An aide called for questions, and reporters lifted their hands for them to get called on.
“It’s like a bunch of buzzards hanging around a cadaver,” Konan muttered. Janko nodded.
“Yeah,and they won’t stop as long as they can push this narrative that we’re not all equal,” the Chief said quietly. “Keep me abreast of everything that you discover. I don’t want to get ambushed on this case. You dig?”
“I gotcha, Chief. You want your briefing now?”
“Let’s go into my office,” Janko said. “Bring Lilly with you.”
Konan waved his hand at Lilly, and she cut her eyes toward him. He lifted his chin toward Janko’s office, and she followed him in. Janko had a cup of coffee in hand when they walked in. Each detective took a seat in front of his desk.
“Before you get started Konan, I want to sort something out,” Janko said before he slurped his coffee. “What’s going on with the two of you?”
“What do you mean?”
“What I mean Detective Thompson is that your partner left you here and went to a crime scene alone. You’re riled up, probably even rightly so, but I can’t have you yelling at your partner in front of other cops.”
“Chief, it’s a difference of opinion. That’s all.”
“Oh, is that it, Detective Konan? Just a small thing?”
“Would you like me to apologize, Chief?”
“Konan, do you need an apology?”
“No apology is necessary, Detective Thompson. I do expect you both to act like mature adults, and so help me God, if either of you embarrass this department, I will have your badge.”
Konan and Lilly nodded; no words were needed. Neither had ever seen Janko as livid as he was at this moment. Veins protruded from his forehead; his nostrils flared with every breath. Both detectives sat quietly and waited for him to continue.
“Brief me, Konan.”
“Um, well as you already alluded to, I went back to look over the scene. I found a witness who claimed to have seen the attack. He said that two cops, both white, beat Mr. Freeman with their fists. Then, that wasn’t enough, so one took a tire iron to him. Then, they ran over him.”
Janko put his hand on his head and sighed in exasperation. He shook his head in disgust.
“Did the witness give you a description?”
Janko reached behind him on the shelf and removed a binder filled with every cop’s image. He handed it to Lilly.
“Go get your witness, Konan. Bring him here and have him identify these two scumbags. I want them behind bars, and Reverend Alf out of my town-sooner rather than later.”
“Is that the whole briefing?”
“Well, what else is there?”
“There was a woman there also. The witness said that the two cops made her beat the victim. He overheard them say, “you wanted someone to pay, didn’t you.”
“Jesus. So, it’s revenge not race.”
“I don’t know. We won’t know until we catch them.”
“Fine. Get out of here and go do your jobs. Remember what I said, Detective Thompson.”