The Drive-by at Ashmun and Webster
by Pete Gagliardi
Foreword: Sometimes the truth is said in jest and sometimes it is masked behind the pretense of fiction. This is a fictional story, in terms of the people and events involved. However, in terms of the contextual backdrop - advocating for the adoption of best practices for the timely and comprehensive collection of Crime Gun Intelligence and the thorough investigation of every crime involving the use of a firearm - it is non-fiction. The evidence-led investigative practices and the reasons for following them are factual and drop-dead serious: To seek justice for the victims of gun violence, resolution for their loved ones, and peace for their neighbors.
It was the summer of 2019; I was placed in a holding cage on the 3rd floor of the New Haven Police Department. There I was alone, zip-tied and lying on an old oak bench bolted to the floor. I can’t really remember anything about the violent acts that they were accusing me of - not the sights, not the sounds, not the smells, nothing.
Look, I was raised to be competitive, that’s why everyone wanted me on their team. Now my future is bleak and empty. Will I ever get another shot a competing in my sport again? I didn’t mean to do it! I didn’t choose the path that led me here.
Indeed, many who really know me, also know that I don’t have a mind of my own. Even some of the cops here know that. Notwithstanding, they are convinced that I belong here -- “off the street”. Maybe I do.
It started just before sunrise that morning. I was riding in a car, with a couple of guys from a local “street crew” headed home for the night from the Water Street Diner. It’s where everybody goes for “breakfast” after the bars close. They had been out drinking for hours. Everyone was pretty loaded, me too. Would it help, if I said that I - just went along for the ride?
The driver had no sooner drifted over the center line - the next thing I remember . . .
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