This episode will be put up in a reading this coming Friday evening, 3/12, 7 PM in The Bridge Theater at Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. If you would like to attend, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org... or just come on over on Friday night.
Here's the gripping moment from the episode when the rookie cop, Otha Prescott, riddled with guilt, cannot draw his gun to stop a crook.
EXT. BODEGA IN EAST HARLEM - NIGHT
An HISPANIC MAN in a Yankees baseball cap is wandering through the isles of groceries, looking around, waiting until the store is empty.
INT. POLICE CAR - SAME MOMENT
Otha, in uniform, is in the passenger seat. He is tormented. His partner, COP ONE of the cops from the shooting incident, is driving, non-plussed. They are in mid-conversation.
You got hit pretty hard so early on the job, O. You never really get used to it, but you’ll calm down.
We killed an innocent man.
Hey. O. Listen. The bad guys, they’re always killing innocent people... except when they’re killing each other. The good guys, the cops, we only go after the bad guys, but sometimes... an innocent gets hurt, maybe even killed. You can’t blame yourself. In the end you’re gonna save a lot more lives than you put at risk.
Otha turns back to look out the window. They pass the same bodega we were just in.
CUT BACK TO:
INT. SAME BODEGA - SAME MOMENT
The man in the cap rushes up to the STORE OWNER, also Hispanic, behind the cash register, and pulls a knife on him demanding money.
The money! Give me the money or I cut you. NOW!
The store owner cautiously opens the register, while reaching down under it. As he starts taking out the money, he pulls out his gun quickly. The startled crook reacts, dropping the knife, then grabbing the owner’s hand with the gun. They struggle as the gun goes off and shatters the store window. The gun flies away as the two men grapple with each other.
We see the flashing lights of a police car as it screeches to a stop in front of the bodega. Otha jumps out and rushes into the store. The two men separate. Otha pulls out his gun. The crook starts running, but Otha is unable to fire, his hands trembling. The crook leaps out through the shattered store window as Otha’s partner rushes in.
Otha can’t talk. He is still trembling.
O? Officer O!?
He got away! He let the mother-fucker get away! Why didn’t you shoot him?!
O is just staring into space. His partner stares at him.
EXT. SAME BODEGA - LITTLE LATER
Several cop cars, lights flashing, are on the scene now. Otha’s partner has pulled him away from the action.
O? You all right, kid?
I-I don’t know. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pull the trigger.
His partner just looks at him.