136 beans and bullets.

136

 

“He is a little paranoid, so we are going to use code names and speak in riddles,” Jen said with a smile.

 

“Oh great a paranoid ex super soldier type, and you think I need to be involved in this.  Jesus Jen do you have a life insurance policy on me that I don’t know about?”  I said it with a small laugh.

 

“No, but you need to keep working, or you will wind up with a crack pipe in your mouth, and some dude with god chains banging you.”

 

“Alright what do we call this super soldier?” I asked.

 

“Just call him Alex, that’s the only name I have.” Jen said.

 

“Jen if all you have is a code name, where did he get your name?” I asked.  “Please tell me this isn’t a Swamp Thing job.”

 

“Okay, I won’t tell you,” she said laughing.  “Look this thing is borderline illegal, I know that.  Swamp thing was contacted, because they offer security for ships going through those waters.  They also know this guy from Iraq.  They highly recommended you to keep them out of jail.  None of them want to do a 20year bit in a Somali prison.”

 

“So he knows enough about me to listen when I speak?” I asked.

 

“Yes he knows enough.  Whether he listens or not is something else.  Today’s phone call should tell us something about him.”  Jen said.

 

“Then lets get on with it,” I suggested.

 

Jen pushed one button then the speaker phone make some really weird noises.  It also rang a few times before a man’s computer voice said, “Good morning Jennifer, is our mutual friend with you?”

 

“Yes she is.” Jennifer answered.

 

“Good morning guardian angel,” the mechanical voice said.

 

“Good morning Mechanical Voice,” I said.  “I think I will call you R2D2.”

 

“That is acceptable.  So, has Jennifer filled you in on my little plan.”

 

“Yes but it is not a good time for your vacation.  It probably never will be. If you insist on going forward, I would like to make a few suggestions .”

 

“Good, I am always happy to hear new things,” R2D2 said.

 

“Wonderful, I was thinking you might want to combine some business with the pleasure.  It would be a really good thing to take on some cargo.  Some charitable delivery would go a long way to create good will for you.

 

“That is an excellent idea. Give my life a little purpose,” the voice agreed.

 

“I thought the same thing, plus give you a few brownie points in heaven.  You should also hire your friends as crew.  It would save on expenses and give you all a chance to get together.  I’m sure they wouldn’t mind doubling as security guards for the charitable cargo as well.  Get them under contract, just in case anyone wants to check them out at some point.

 

“So you are saying, everyone on board should be engaged in the delivery and providing security for the cargo?”  R2d2 asked.

 

“Exactly, it will give them a good feeling to be involved in a humanitarian act, like delivering aid to the poor.” I suggested.

 

“Yes, I can see that.  It would go a long way, if god forbid, we have trouble.  It would define everyone’s position.  Those are excellent ideas,  You have already been a big help, so now the big questions is should I send you an invitation?”

 

“A contract to provide security for the adventure would be a better thing to send me.  A clear list of my duties and responsibilities in writing would be nice.  You do know that I usually travel with a TV crew.  That has to be taken into consideration.”

 

“Yes I know, but I think we can work it out.  Especially with these new ideas of yours.  My friend down on the coast said you were good, and you are.  Jennifer send me the papers and we are go as far as I’m concerned.”

 

“You do know I won’t be able to travel with tools, so you will have to provide those,” I said.  I wanted him to know exactly what he was, and what he was not, getting for his 10K.

 

“Send me a list of things you would like and I will have them waiting,” he stated in his robotic voice.

 

“Fair enough,” I replied.

 

“I’ll be in touch with your representative in Crete,” Jen said then they swapped goodbyes.

 

“So what do  you think?” Jen asked.

 

“Like you said, he sounds agreeable, but what he really does may be a different thing all together.  I wonder how long it will take for him to get organized?”

 

“Not long I expect.  He has a lot of clout and Greece needs his money.  I expect the Greek government to be very helpful.”

 

“Everyone should be helpful, it is in their own long term interest to go along.  It is also in their best interest not to take such a close look at whatever happens.”

 

“I can’t say what they will do, but it’s possible that the bad guys will just disappear.  If that happens there won’t be any need for cover.  Well there will be, if they have radios and report who you are and what goes down.  There are so many bleeding hearts anything can happen in a situation like this.  It’s better to have a good cover, why risk it all on the good will of politicians,” Jen said.

 

“Well let me know what happens, I’ll try to stay available for a couple of days,” I suggested.

 

“Good, I’m sure we will know something very soon.  By the way, what is the deal with your tenants?”

 

“Which ones,” I asked.

 

“Let’s start with Cheryl, what is she doing working for Helen.  Her father will take care of her every need.  He is riding on a horse called guilt.” Jennifer observed.

 

“I think she wants to do things for herself.  She strikes me as a strong personality.” I suggested.

 

“Well, you be careful, I think she knows how to take care of herself.  In addition she could probably take care of you as well.”

 

She won’t be the first to try for sure.” I suggested.  “I need to get moving, I want to see Helen and Jack about setting up a fixed location for their catering.  Someplace with a warm dining room.”

 

“That’s a good idea for people like you, but for me, the stop on the side of the road is fine.”

 

“Damn you are so smart Jen,” I said laughing.  “The location has to have a drive thru window.”

 

“Oh yes a drive thru window, so people like me won’t have to chase her down.”

 

“Anyway, I have to get moving,” I said as I stood and headed to the door.

 

“Max, seriously watch out for Cheryl.  I know she was a model prisoner, but she was still institutionalized a lot of years.”

 

“I know sweetie and she has taken other lovers, so we aren’t all that wrapped up in each other.” I said.

 

“But you are still friends?” Jen asked.

 

“Yes we are still friends,” I admitted.

 

“Good, she can take your mind off things, since this gig might take weeks to come through.” she said.

 

“That’s fine, I can usually find something to get into all by myself.” I admitted.

 

“Good the kids tell me the filming has slowed down, but the editing is still behind.” Jen informed me.

 

“They are the ones hyping a show that isn’t ready to run yet.  The smart thing would have been to wait till they had it in the can.”

 

“I think they wanted to cash in while the Internet show was still hot.” Jen said.

 

“Well then they dug their own hole.  I had nothing to do with it.  I never promised them anything.”

 

After I left Jen’s office, I called Helen from the cruiser.  “Helen,” I said when she answered.  “Cheryl said you had looked at the old used car lot on main street.  So what do you think?” I asked.

 

“Maxine, we like it.  Jack is talking to the Realtor this afternoon.  If they can work out a short term lease with the right to guaranteed extensions and an option to buy, we are going to take it.  Jack has figured out how we can test it for 90days without doing anything much to it.  If it works out, we can renovate it to fit our needs.  It has that kind of potential.  I know you really did a lot of looking for us, and honey we do appreciate it.”

 

“The only thanks I want is a warm place where I can sit down to have a sausage and spiced egg bagel.”  Helen did serve the only adult eggs on a bagel I had ever eaten.  Thats what I called them, adult style eggs.  They had some kind of chili sauce in the scrambled eggs.

 

“If we get the place, I promise I will lay in an extra supply of the egg spices,” Helen promised.

 

“Fair enough, “ I said.  Now I want you to let me know the minute you open.” I said.

 

“If we do, you will be the first to know.  Bye the way Cheryl is one terrific worker.  I am so glad you sent her to me.”  Helen said.

 

I knew that I hadn’t sent her anywhere, but I didn’t want to screw things up for Cheryl.  So I said, “Good, but treat her like any other employee, not my friend.” I said.

 

“No problem, we treat everyone one of our employees the same.” Helen said.

 

“That’s good to hear,” I admitted.

 

An hour later I was driving into  the downtown, when I saw the blue lights in my rear view mirror.  “What the fuck,” I said aloud to the empty car.

 

“Would you step out of the car please?” the young police officer said.

 

“Oh course, now before you lose your cool and do something stupid, I have a pistol under my jacket.  I also have a carry permit and it is licensed.” I said.  I watched to see what his reaction would be.

 

“Step out of the car,” he said again.  I did as he said.  I also kept my mouth shut.  “Face the car and hands behind your head.” he demanded.

 

“What exactly did I do?” I asked.

 

“You ran a stop sign back there,” he said.  “Since you are armed, I’m not taking any chances.”

 

“Would you do me a favor and call your sergeant?” I asked.

 

“Why would I do that?” he asked.

 

“Because as a citizen, I have asked to see your supervisor.”  I said.  I didn’t tell him that Mike was parked across the street videoing him or that I was wearing a wire.  He was going to find out, when he faced me in court, if he didn’t stop the badge heavy shit pretty damn soon.

 

Instead of calling the sergeant, he said, “I want to see your driver’s license and registration.”

 

“Do I get to put my hands down, or do I have to do it with my teeth?” I asked.

 

“On second thought,”  he didn’t finish the sentence he hooked me up instead.

 

“You are seriously putting cuffs on me for allegedly running a stop sign?” I asked.

 

“No, it’s because you are armed,” he said.  “It for my own safety.”

 

“If you asked, I would have gladly given you the pistol.  This is really unnecessary,” I said.

 

“I’m the one who decides what is necessary,” he replied.

 

“Whatever,” I said.

 

“Now I’m going to call the sergeant.” he said.

 

“Better late than never,” I said.  It took about five minutes for the sergeant to arrive.  It was cold standing in the street, but it was doable.

 

When the police car pulled up, I had to smile.  The patrol sergeant was one of the officers who had participated in the raid on the Menendez brother’s warehouse to save my ass.  I couldn’t remember his name until I saw it on his name tag.

 

“What the hell?” he asked.  I did the best I could to shrug my shoulders,  It isn’t all that easy with your hands cuffed behind your back.

 

“She is armed and she gave me attitude,” the young man said.  I just smiled.

 

The sergeant noticed the smile and said, “Well Ms Stone, how about it?”

 

“Do you see that silver Ford across the street.  Mike wave at the nice officer.”  Mike waved from the driver’s seat of the Ford.  “Serge I am wired and Mike has a video camera.  You should probably give your officer a chance to change his story before I call Jen.”

 

“Oh shit, Officer Burris, tell me you weren’t being badge heavy again.” the sergeant demanded.

 

“I felt threatened,” he said weakly.

 

“By the way sergeant, I told him I was armed and he hasn’t taken the weapon yet.  If I wanted to I could have shot him a half dozen times.”

 

“You are shitting me,” he said lifting my coat.  He didn’t bother to take the .38  revolver with the concealed hammer.  I had only recently had it returned by the GBI.  What he did do was take the cuffs off me.

 

“Ms Stone why are you wired?  Are you running a sting on the police?” the sergeant asked.

 

“No, they are making one of those reality shows for TV.  They follow me around with hidden cameras.  It was not my plan, but your man here is going to be on TV, I expect.  There is nothing I can do about it.  The TV network owns the images not me personally.

 

“Son, you are truly fucked,” he said softly.

 

 

 

 

 

About cindypress

sorry it is a mystery.
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6 Responses to 136 beans and bullets.

  1. Jim Bairs says:

    Regarding “Recording Police without their knowledge and consent”.

    Chicago State’s Attorney Lets Bad Cops Slide, Prosecutes Citizens Who Record Them

    When Chicago police answered a domestic disturbance call at the home of Tiawanda Moore and her boyfriend in July 2010, the officers separated the couple to question them individually. Moore was interviewed privately in her bedroom. According to Moore, the officer who questioned her then came on to her, groped her breast and slipped her his home phone number.

    Robert Johnson, Moore’s attorney, says that when Moore and her boyfriend attempted to report the incident to internal affairs officials at the Chicago Police Department, the couple wasn’t greeted warmly. “They discouraged her from filing a report,” Johnson says. “They gave her the runaround, scared her, and tried to intimidate her from reporting this officer — from making sure he couldn’t go on to do this to other women.”

    Ten months later, Chicago PD is still investigating the incident. Moore, on the other hand, was arrested the very same afternoon.

    Her crime? At some point in her conversations with internal affairs investigators, Moore grew frustrated with their attempts to intimidate her. So she began to surreptitiously record the interactions on her Blackberry. In Illinois, it is illegal to record people without their consent, even (and as it turns out, especially) on-duty police officers.

    “This is someone who is already scared from being harassed by an officer in uniform,” said Johnson. “If the police won’t even take her complaint, how else is a victim of police abuse supposed to protect herself?”

    Moore’s case has inspired outrage from anti-domestic abuse groups. “We just had two Chicago police officers indicted for sexual assault, there have been several other cases of misconduct against women,” says Melissa Spatz of the Chicago Task Force on Violence Against Girls & Young Women. “And now you have Moore, who was trying to report this guy, and she gets arrested. The message here is that victims of unwanted sexual advances by police officers have no recourse — that the police can act with impunity.”

    If the Chicago cops recently indicted for sexual assault are convicted, they’ll face four to 15 years in prison. That’s the same sentence Tiawanda Moore is facing for trying to document her frustrations while reporting her own alleged sexual assault: Recording an on-duty police officer in Illinois is a Class 1 felony, the same class of crimes as rape.
    Story continues below
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    ILLINOIS’ PROBLEM WITH PRIVACY

    Last summer the U.S. media took note of several stories about citizens arrested for photographing or recording on-duty police officers. National coverage of these incidents has since died down, but the arrests haven’t stopped.

    Some of these arrests have come under decades-old wiretapping laws that never anticipated the use of cellphones equipped with cameras and audio recording applications. Others have come under vaguer catch-all charges like refusing to obey a lawful order, disorderly conduct, or interfering with a police officer. In both cases, the charges rarely stick, and in most cases, it’s the cops themselves who are violating the law.

    The media have largely done a poor job reporting on what the law actually is in these states. Technically, so long as a person isn’t physically interfering with an on-duty police officer, it’s legal to record the officer in every state but Massachusetts and Illinois. Arrests still happen in other states, but there’s little legal justification for them, and the charges are usually dropped, or never filed at all.

    But Illinois is the one state where the law clearly forbids citizens from recording of on-duty cops. And so it seems likely that if the Supreme Court or a federal appeals court does eventually decide if pointing a camera at a cop is protected by the First Amendment (so far, they haven’t), the case will come from Illinois. (Courts in Massachusetts have generally held that secretly recording police is illegal, but recording them openly isn’t.)

    Illinois’ wiretapping law wasn’t always this bad. Originally, the statute included a provision found in most other state wiretapping laws stating that, in order for someone to be prosecuted for recording a conversation, the offended party must have had a reasonable expectation that the conversation was private.

    So far, every court in the country to have considered the issue has found that on-duty cops have no such expectation of privacy. This makes sense. Police not only work for the public, they’re also entrusted with enormous power: They can arrest citizens and detain them or kill them.

    In 1986, the Illinois Supreme Court threw out the eavesdropping conviction of a man who had recorded two police officers from the back of a patrol car for just that reason. The court ruled that the officers had no expectation of privacy.

    So in 1994 the Illinois state legislature removed the wiretap law’s privacy provision. It was an explicit effort to override the decision eight years earlier. Technically the amended law covers everyone — anyone whose voice is recorded without their permission, for any reason, could file a complaint and ask to press charges — but it’s used almost exclusively to protect police.

    So far, HuffPost has yet to find anyone who has actually been convicted under the law. Instead, police arrest and charge someone they catch recording them, but the charges are dropped or reduced to misdemeanors before trial.

    In 2004, for example, documentary filmmaker Patrick Johnson was arrested under the law while recording footage for a movie about relations between blacks and police in the Illinois cities of Champaign and Urbana. Johnson fought the charges with help from the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). But after the district attorney who was prosecuting him lost in the next election, the new prosecutor dismissed the charges.

    THE STATE v. CITIZENS

    An actual conviction under the eavesdropping law would likely bring a constitutional challenge, which could well lead to the law being overturned in court. It could also lead to the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit more broadly affirming a First Amendment right to record police, which of course would have ramifications outside of Illinois.

    As long as no one is convicted, the law is unlikely to be challenged. That means police can continue to rely on it to harass and intimidate citizens who try to hold them accountable, or who want an independent record of what they believe to be police harassment.

    Moore’s case may prove to be just the opportunity free speech advocates are looking for. But her case was continued again this week, despite the fact that she’s been asking for months to go to trial.

    The person pursuing the charges against Moore is Anita Alvarez, the state’s attorney for Cook County, home to Chicago. (Alvarez’s office declined to comment for this report.)

    It’s difficult to think of another big city in America where citizens would be more justified in wanting an objective account of an interaction with a police officer. At about the time Moore’s story hit the pages of The New York Times earlier this year, for example, former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for lying under oath about his role in the routine torture of hundreds of suspects in police interrogation rooms for more than a decade. Nearly everyone else involved in the tortures, including the police commanders and prosecutors who helped cover them up, couldn’t be prosecuted due to statutes of limitations.

    Over the last few years, surveillance video has also exposed a number of police abuses in Chicago, including one episode in which an off-duty cop savagely beat a female bartender who had refused to continue serving him. He was sentenced to probation.

    In 2008, the city made national headlines with another major scandal in which officers in the department’s Special Operations Unit — alleged to be made up of the most elite and trusted cops in Chicago — were convicted of a variety of crimes, including physical abuse and intimidation, home robberies, theft and planning a murder.

    In a study published the same year, University of Chicago Law Professor Craig B. Futterman found 10,000 complaints filed against Chicago police officers between 2002 and 2004, more than any city in the country. When adjusted for population, that’s still about 40 percent above the national average. Even more troubling, of those 10,000 complaints, just 19 resulted in any significant disciplinary action. In 85 percent of complaints, the police department cleared the accused officer without even bothering to interview him.

    Yet Alvarez feels it necessary to devote time and resources to prosecuting Chicagoans who, given the figures and anecdotes above, feel compelled to hit the record button when confronted by a city cop.

    In addition to Moore’s, there are two other cases that may present an opportunity to challenge the Illinois law. One is that of Michael Allison.

    This Robinson, Ill., man is facing four counts of violating the eavesdropping law for the recordings he made of police officers and a judge. Allison was suing the city to challenge a local zoning ordinance that prevented him from enjoying his hobby fixing up old cars: The municipal government was seizing his cars from his property and forcing him to pay to have them returned. Allison believed the local police were harassing him in retaliation for his lawsuit, so he began to record his conversations with them.

    When Allison was eventually charged with violating the zoning ordinance, he asked for a court reporter to ensure there would be a record of his trial. He was told that misdemeanor charges didn’t entitle him to a court reporter. So Allison told court officials he’d be recording his trial with a digital recorder.

    When Allison walked into the courtroom the day of his trial, the judge had him arrested for allegedly violating her right to privacy. Police then confiscated Allison’s digital recorder, where they also found the recordings he’d made of his conversations with cops.

    Allison has no prior criminal record. If convicted, he faces up to 75 years in prison.

    In a hearing last week, Allison argued that the Illinois eavesdropping case was a violation of the First Amendment. The judge ordered a continuance so that the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan can prepare a response. (Madigan’s office did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.)

    The other case to challenge the wiretap law is that of Christopher Drew, an artist who was arrested in December 2009 for selling art without a permit on the streets of Chicago. Drew recorded his arrest, and now faces four to 15 years for documenting the incident.

    In a hearing last December, Cook County Assistant State Attorney Jeff Allen invoked homeland security, arguing that Drew’s recording could have picked up police discussing anti-terrorism tactics. Drew’s case was suspended after he was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.

    Both Allison and Drew say they won’t accept the sort of plea bargain Illinois prosecutors have offered in the past. Both say they’re willing to risk prison time to get the law overturned.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPARENCY

    The ACLU of Illinois is also challenging the law. But in January, U.S. District Court Judge Suzanne B. Conlon ruled against the organization. Conlon wrote that the First Amendment does not protect citizens who record the police. The ACLU has appealed and expects to participate in oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit sometime in the fall.

    In a report released just this month, the United Nations noted the importance of Internet access and personal technology in facilitating the recent Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East. Technology has given citizens all over the world a remarkable and historic tool to bring transparency to the most brutal and oppressive governments.

    But even as Americans have criticized those countries for attempting to prevent protesters from uploading photo, video, blog posts and Twitter accounts of government crackdowns, government officials in the U.S. are still arresting, threatening, intimidating and harassing Americans who attempt to document police abuse in America. (See this example over Memorial Day in Miami.)

    No, America isn’t Egypt or Yemen or Iran. But while the scale of the suppression is different, the premise is the same: When a citizen and a police officer have a confrontation, the police officer’s narrative has always given deference by prosecutors, judges and juries — in the same way governments in more oppressive parts of the world have the power to project their own version of events as truth.

    Citizens in America and across the globe now have the ability to preserve and present a more objective narrative. This is a positive thing — for democracy, for good government and for a fairer criminal justice system. U.S. courts and legislatures need to make it abundantly, unambiguously clear that not only do citizens have the right to record on-duty police officers, but that cops and prosecutors who violate that right will be held accountable.

  2. cindypress says:

    That is a bad law and one the media in this country need to make sure is changed. It is to their benefit to do so.

    In the case of my little fiction piece they would have to get his permission to use his face If they don’t get a release, they could blackout who he is and still use the film. They have one person’s permission, which is all that is needed here. Even if it goes on with him blacked out, the city’s police force gets a black eye. And Max doesn’t hesitate to bring in her friend Jen. So it would be a hard thing to browbeat her, but I am absolutely sure most women and even strong men are easily intimidated by the police. They are, after all, as my character Jerry said in an earlier episode the badest gang in town.

    When I chose to start out with Jen in the very first episode, as Max’s best and only friend, it was because I knew later down the line, Jen would be a major character coming in to bail Max out of situations where it would be easy for her to be misuse without someone like Jen in her corner.

    Also Mike in this case is press, I don’t think they want to fuck around with the freedom of the press, it is far too basic to this country’s basic fabric.

    But I want you to know I do appreciate you bringing this to my attention. It my well become part of this story line. I can see this escalating well past what I had in mind when I started the bit. Thanks and like I always say you guys are the inspiration for this continuing story.

  3. jack says:

    Nothing like being in the wrong and someone has it on film. thanks.

  4. cindypress says:

    Ask the guys who beat Rodney King. I kept mine a lot less violent, so far at least.

  5. Blind Sight says:

    You are doing a great job on this story, I use you to get to my own wordpress, I got you on my browser favorite so yu first then to mine to check my stats or post my next chapter. I am only posting weekly. I got from like 1-2 views a day to like 11 on the average in the last two week. lol. I post a message on facebook after each posting lol. I am nowhere to your level of views YET. An inspiration to all of us writers.

  6. cindypress says:

    I do no do any social media things, so the growth of readers of this story surprises me every time it ticks up a notch. This is so much better than the restrictive rules of most on line publishers, at least it is for me. The largest number of hits in one day so far is 349 yesterday. I was very, very surprised.

    Thank you for reading and anyone who wishes to post links or mention this story and concept I would appreciate it. The old time serial like at the Saturday movies from my father and grandfather’s days should come back in some form.

    Do another comment and put a link to your story in it. Maybe we can do a spider web of our own kind of thing. I’ll link to you, and you link to me. Every time we link to somebody have them link back to one of us.

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