last night when everything changed

How do I even begin to talk about last night? My neighborhood is in the city, and while it looks more suburban then downtown, you’d never know you were in the city until there’s a robbery down the street, or police helicopters hover overhead for half an hour, or a gun shot is fired next door. Suddenly a bunch of people are in your neighbor’s back yard, and they’re all stressing out. Someone is on the ground. It’s hard to know what is happening. I called the police because my next door neighbor Jason was the man on the ground.

Within minutes my call had brought cops charging down our one-way street the wrong way, and sirens in the distance, coming closer, and the inevitable crime copter circling overhead relentlessly. What we didn’t know is that the police were already here in Jason’s yard. They fired the shot that killed T.C., Jason’s dog, a sweet pit bull mix who would follow him wherever he went. We raced out our back door, I wonder what we were thinking? That we could do something? The police were not happy to see us. Jason was on the ground, handcuffed. We yelled at the police that the dog was not vicious. Like this mattered at this point. T.C. was dead. Jason was in trouble.

We were told, well after it had all gone down, that Jason had a gun. He’d been mowing his lawn when the police came. But the police said Jason had a gun and that he was holding T.C. back on a leash, restraining her. The police told him to drop his gun, and he did, but then he released his hold on T.C.. She moved toward the police and they shot her. Two different police officers came to our door and told us versions of this story. As I’m writing this, it sounds crazy. T.C. was a calm, quiet dog. A gentle dog. Jason is a gentle man. And the police–since when do they ever explain anything to anyone? Since never. So I guess everyone had an opportunity to get their stories straight. Jason is in jail, I guess. The Baltimore Sun, a once proud paper is unable to do the kind of crime reporting it once did. Now I go to the city crime site to see what’s listed for my zip code, Unfortunately crimes posted in March are the most recent listed. Guess I’ll have to wait a few month to learn what happened to Jason.


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