Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again!

I roll back into town worried about the future and looking for a job. It’s November of 2007. I’ve been laid off from my hometown gig and I hope I can make a living back up in Toronto. I’ve been here before. I left back in 1994. Now I am full circle some 13 years later. I’m the new kid on the block again.

I make a visit out to Lakeshore Electronics. Some old familiar faces are still at the counter. A few supplies to get my police radios up and running, and I’m back on the street and back on the beat. The first weekend was exciting. I’m cruising up the Don Valley when the radio crackles, “Shots fired. Rush us an ambulance dispatcher, I’ve just shot the suspect.” My heart races as I plug the address into the GPS. It’s go time for me. I get to the scene and get some video. My old employer already has a camera on scene, but a few phone calls and the tape is sold. I’m back in the saddle again.

A few weeks and a few tapes later I stand at the rear of a Scarborough shopping mall. The dead body of a young black man lies on the pavement just steps away. The police are putting the tape up around me. I’m in the perimeter but I know they will not leave me alone for long. Fire up the camera; shoot all you can before they tell you to move. A few hours pass. No need to rush the tape in to the station. It’s after midnight and the newscasts are all put to bed. I stay to see what else I can shoot and what else I can learn about the young man under the orange sheet.

“He was everything to me … No … Please … He was everything to me.” The tears of a young woman can be heard clearly in the quiet of the night. She has just arrived at the scene. I don’t know if she knew before she got there but it’s obvious now that she knows the victim, and as she’s consoled by friends and family I wonder how she fits into the gruesome picture.

I would learn later she was the victim’s sweetheart. They had been together eight years and he was coming to get her from work in the mall. Life has changes for her and the other family members that have arrived on scene. I try to talk to one of them but the reaction is an angry one. Who can blame them? They say that nobody cares about another dead black man. I wish I could tell them that I care. The sounds of the young girl’s tears stick with me all weekend as I make the trek back to my own family three hours away down the 401.

It’s a strange way to make a living but somebody has to do it. Thank God it’s the weekend. I need time to adjust back to life in Toronto.

No comments:

Post a Comment