Rivers of Gold

Rivers of Gold by Adam Dunn Read Free Book Online

Book: Rivers of Gold by Adam Dunn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Adam Dunn
Bright had gotten decked out in his best Sean John, sidled on the set with his best hustle-and-flow, and been made in about five seconds by a notorious gangsta rap star known as MC Cancer and by an equally notorious drug dealer, both stoned to the eyeballs, who were in the club’s best booth near the back, each enjoying his own personal bottle of Cristal and a below-table blow job from some of the female staff members employed by the club for that very purpose.
    Aubrey Bright had been dragged out the back door to an adjacent parking lot by the rapper and the dealer, who beat him to a cracked wet pulp before the dealer emptied a full Glock magazine into his body. The murder was recorded by a security camera atop one of the parking lot fence posts; after shooting Aubrey Bright, the dealer pulled down his pants and waggled his genitals at the camera lens. The pair then jumped into a Lincoln Navigator SE and roared out of the lot, with both of the Navigator’s left-side wheels rolling over Aubrey Bright’s corpse, collapsing his ribcage and skull and splashing viscera across the tarmac. By the time the CAB backup team caught up to them, the rapper had wrapped the SUV around a dumpster half a block down the street. In the ensuing firefight, 112 rounds were fired, a large number of which ended up inside MC Cancer. The drug dealer only survived by running out of ammo, then repeating his earlier genital gesture, at which time one of the field team officers subdued him with a Taser shot to a sensitive area. All of which was of course recorded on the phones of more than a dozen gawking bystanders.
    It was a cascading nightmare, which never seemed to let up. First the CAB unit was taken balls-first over a cheese grater by the media, with much hand-wringing and shit-eating being done for the cameras by the mayor, the police commissioner, and the head of CAB, who was summarily dismissed and promptly made for points unknown. Then the arraignment of the drug dealer, in which the playback from the club’s parking lot security camera was shown as evidence by the (black) prosecutor, causing the (black) stenographer to vomit. The (white) defense attorney tried for a clemency plea before being loudly and profanely fired by his client, who had to be hauled kicking and spitting from the courtroom by burly (black) bailiffs, to be sentenced in absentia. The (black) judge gave the defendant life without parole in record time; the (black) officers involved in the shooting were exonerated and publicly lauded by the commissioner.
    That the officers involved were black evoked little sympathy in the black community; in the public’s eyes, said blacks were blue. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? was the title of a mournful editorial over the byline of one of the Times ’s most prominent black columnists, while the cover of a high-profile black scholarly journal featured a cartoon of a whirlpool with one dark arm visible, on which was written BLACK YOUTH in dropped-out type. Black community leaders scheduled a coordinated series of civil disobedience gatherings citywide, for which absolutely no one showed up. Aubrey Bright had died on a Monday night; an ominous silence had descended over the city by Wednesday afternoon.
    Everyone knew what was coming, which was why CAB wasn’t disbanded despite nonstop howling from the City Council and numerous community groups. Captain McKeutchen had called his boys together; he was kind of grandfatherly in his own way, Santiago had thought, if your grandfather kept blown-up color stills from his latest colonoscopy on his office wall. After giving them a short speech about duty, honor, and Riding Out the Storm—“Like an impacted turd, this too shall pass”—he’d sat down heavily in his reinforced chair and, for the first time in unit memory, started cleaning his service weapon, a two-inch Smith and Wesson Airlite 340PD .357 with a five-shot cylinder, grunting, “The odd

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