Flash fiction inspired by the use of military equipment during the Ferguson protests:
The crate was delivered via armored truck on the last Friday of the month and the entire squad had turned out to see it. Some of the officers were drinking beer from a big blue cooler while others were smoking cigarettes and taking bets. The captain was standing with a clipboard, waving the truck back to the loading dock, and trying not to smile.
They needed a forklift to get the crate off of the truck and a big metal crowbar to pry it open. A man in a soldier’s uniform oversaw the proceedings and when the lid was popped open he cleared his throat and said: “The United States military has authorized me to train you, the Ferguson Police Department, to care, maintain, clean, store, and use the armory withheld in this case. Tear gas, AK-47s, M16s, flash bombs, grenades, and enough riot gear to control a stadium of unruly protesters. These are not toys.”
He reached into the crate and picked up one of the grenades. He tossed it back and forth in his hands then smiled at the officers who had circled closely around the crate.
“But they sure as shit are fun.”
He tossed the grenade to one of the officers who smiled like a child when he caught it. He turned it in his hands then passed it to the officer to his left. The grenade slowly made its way around the circle as the officers examined it with delight. It was so heavy and hard and deadly and when they held it they felt the same sense of power that they had felt the first time they put on their badges.
“This is why I joined the police force,” one of the officers whispers. “Now this is some serious stuff.”
“Gentleman,” the soldier said, as the grenade made it’s way back to the crate. “I’ve been instructed to train each and everyone of you to properly use these weapons. You will learn how they work, why they work, and how you can use them to protect your community.”
He closed the lid of the crate and then smiled.
“Now,” he said. “Who’s ready to blow something up?”
Flash fiction inspired by the use of military equipment during the Ferguson protests: President Barack Obama said Monday he is open to reviewing U.S. federal support for local police departments that has been used to purchase military-style equipment, in the wake of intense clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Mo.
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