This beat gets tougher every day. I've worked everywhere in the city: the harbor, Omni, even a cushy stint on the beaches, but this downtown gig, man, it's a grind. You can be right on top of a lead, working it from every angle you know, all your ducks in a row, when suddenly - poof! - it evaporates into nothing. Let me tell you, the bad guys in this part of town are faster, stronger, smarter, better organized, and to top it off, everybody thinks they're the good guys.
Days like this? Punching in is a gut punch.
We had it all worked out. A big shipment coming in from a big out-of-state connect. We can't touch that guy, exactly, but we figured if we booked some of the grunts, one of them might flip. It was a routine thing up until last night.
That's when we learned that he was going to be there.
I'd use his name if I knew it. But nobody does. He's just this, I dunno, this presence that pushes into everything - everything we do - and turns it all rotten. We don't even call him anything at the precinct. It's just "him."
The second we heard about it, I wanted to call the whole thing off. I knew it'd go bad, but nobody listened. You know, people say they're putting the officers first all the time, but they'll throw countless bodies at a problem as long as it creates the impression that progress is being made. So we set up the thing.
We knew they'd be sorting the stuff in this old salon that's been for sale forever. I always figured it to be a massage/escort kinda place, but I guess it was inconspicuous enough that they ran product through there, too. Lenny was out back. Fred and I had doors. Two units in either alley surrounding the place. There was no way it'd go sour. But of course it did.
I knocked twice and then threw the door open, expecting some kind of, I dunno, explosion or something. But nothing came. Because nobody was there. It was completely empty inside. Did we have the wrong address?
Nope. Because within seconds of processing the fact that the place was empty, that something was horribly wrong, we heard two shots from out back. Officer down. Lenny. Not from a fleeing perp, mind you, but from a rooftop shooter nearby. They staked us out. We never even saw 'em.
Now Lenny, he's not gonna make it. I mean, they say it's 50/50, but no way. I saw him. And I'm hearing that they're moving their operation out of town for a bit. I suppose I should be mad that they're beyond our reach, but a big piece of me is glad that they're someone else's problem for now.
I don't think it's one that we'll ever be able to solve.
But hey, it's our calling, right? It's why we took this job. And what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Or in this case, I guess, it just pops two shots at us behind a salon.
Either way, it's just another day working for the Miami heat.