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Friday, July 26, 2013

Chapter Eleven

       David stared up at Billy as the man started to roll the camera, it’s cold, dead eye trained on the image of John Richland on Armstrong’s desk, “Why don’t you tell the viewers at home why it is that you are so keen on digging up the past?”

“Oh shut up.”
“I’m serious! This may be some good footage we’ve shot, we could use it!” Billy grinned at him from behind the lens, “Come on, Dave.”
“It is David or ‘Detective’ to you.”
The raid on Richland Laboratories, eleven years later, was still a law enforcement legend: a few seconds before two hundred law enforcement officers stormed the Richland Engineering facility, all satellite communications, land lines, and cell phone service providers shut down service to all of the employees and the company. Once the officers were inside, employees had been emphatically told to move their hands away from their keyboards and away from any power sources or magnetic devices, and if anyone didn’t comply within a few seconds then the officers had the green light to subdue. All in all, three employees were maced, and one had to be bandaged for mild wounds from taser leads to his cheek; everyone else quickly and quietly obeyed the officers. That was only the beginning.
The raid had begun because of an internal whistle blower who had notified Atlas that Richland had been fabricating and planting evidence at crime scenes in order to gain an advantage over other firms. One Week Window paid exorbitant prize money to companies who solved the crimes and the competition was fierce, and since the beginning, David had wondered how far a person or company would stoop to win. Now he knew.
David had wanted to confront John Richland, the CEO and President, personally, and if he refused to comply then he wanted to be there when the officers treated him like a common criminal. He had rushed into the man’s offices with a phalanx of officers in riot gear, and they had found John Richland at his desk feverishly trying to delete files. David’s warnings to stop and stay still had been ignored; especially his request that Richland remove his fingers from the keyboard, so one of the police officers had smashed John Richland’s fingers into his keyboard with his billy club.  Despite what must have been excruciating pain, Richland had had to be tased into near unconsciousness and bodily dragged in cuffs from the building all the while screaming almost nonsensical accusations. 
Eventually, seventeen employees were convicted of fabricating evidence and obstruction of justice, and Mr. Richland was convicted of two counts of manslaughter.
            David sighed and shook his head, “Look, Billy, if you are bored I can find something for you to do.”
            “You sound like my mother.” Billy sat down at the desk and sat the still rolling camera on the desk, “Seriously, you need to lighten up.”
            David snorted, “You think I should try some of your weed? Would that help?”
            “Naw, man. I’m not holding.”
            “Seriously? That was a joke, and I’m still a cop.”
Next Chapter

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