Nov 09

“Officer Down!”—Another Fantasy

In Brief— This is a fantasy arising out of the police killing of an unarmed teenager and the subsequent retaliatory wounding of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Based on events that have happened and could happen in the future, this fantasy has all the elements of the complex world in which we live today.


Inspired by the August 2014 police killing of an unarmed black teenager, the belated apology of the city’s Chief of Police and the recent retaliatory wounding of a Ferguson, Missouri police officer, this fantasy posits a scenario of what might happen in the not too distant future. We should hope that this remains a fantasy because the possible repercussions are frightening. And the fantasy begins…


A Declaration of Freedom

 If in the course of events a group is deprived of the right to life and liberty granted under the United States Constitution, that group has the right and duty to respond with force to assure that our right to freedom is fully realized.


“You have been gathered together here tonight to take part in Phase 1 of the project launched last year after the murder of Brother Michael Brown by a racist white cop in Ferguson. We bear the guilt of warring between the gangs of both black and brown members and have even killed ourselves thereby benefitting our oppressors. That is over and we are now united against those who have deprived us of our lives and liberty. We have already voted out some of the oppressors, so now it’s time to remove the worst among them: the cops who shoot us and beat us without any reason and get away with it; who ignore our rights and make sure we don’t get uppity. [Murmurs of agreement in the audience.]

“As you know if you have read the document headed by the Declaration of Freedom you can see on the wall behind me, cells have been established in twenty large cities, operatives have been trained under the guidance of seasoned veterans of the military, and we have established not only procedures but a timetable for action. The time for action has arrived! [Cheers.] Though you are fully aware of the contents of the attached Manual, I will go over it one last time so it is fixed in your brains. But make no mistake, this is a dangerous undertaking we are about to engage in.

“Part 1 outlines the procedures we will follow. All the cells will be coordinated so we start at the same time. We don’t want to give the oppressors in the next time zone a chance to be prepared. The fuzz will be lured into investigating what they believe is a protest, and the snipers will already be in place. Although, thanks to the military equipping local cops with armored vehicles and protective body gear, remember that heads, arms and legs are exposed and make good targets.

“As the military has learned, a wounding is almost better than a kill because several men are required to take care of one wounded guy. All the body armor in the world won’t help against a good sniper, so I hope you are practicing. The problem for us will be that this may only work once or twice; thereafter, they’ll be on the lookout for snipers.

“That brings me to Transportation. Some operatives will be assigned to vehicles to get the shooters the hell out of there before the fuzz can react and send in reinforcements who will try to capture the shooters.

“Then there’s the Lookouts who will give warnings of any efforts by the fuzz to sneak up on us from behind.

“Communications will see that we have contact with each other at all times. Computers, smartphones and pads will have only enough information to accomplish the assigned task but not enough to lead to the next guy. Check those batteries ahead of time.

“They will use drones so be aware that if shotguns can bring down ducks, they can also bring down drones.

“Alongside our own guns, our white brothers will make the National Rifle Association sorry they ever encouraged white folks to get a gun so they can shoot us for even walking through their neighborhood with a bag of Skittles [grim laughter]. White brothers have provided us with all the guns we can use.” [And the lecture continues…]



“In coordinated attacks, terrorists have inflicted heavy casualties on police departments throughout the nation. So far, over two hundred terrorists have been killed and an unknown number have been captured. Congress has passed legislation permitting enhanced interrogation and the roundup of citizens who are suspected of treacherously aiding the terrorists. Accusing the president of lack of preparedness, Congress has drawn up articles of impeachment. Meanwhile, the National Guard is defending critical industries and states under attack while the Pentagon has ordered combat units into action to oppose the terrorists. The Air Force is bombing terrorist strongholds. Be aware that the national curfew will remain in effect until further notice, so please remain in the safety of your homes. Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute reports.”

 Several months later.


“Our military reports that the terrorists are withdrawing after our brave Air Force’s precision bombing of their strongholds. According to Pentagon reports, collateral damage to civilian non-combatants has been minimal and, in many cases, non-existent. The bodies of terrorists are said to number in the hundreds. Thanks to information provided by patriotic citizens, captured terrorists and their treasonous supporters have been stripped of their citizenship according to the emergency authorization of Congress and lawfully executed after hearings in front of the military tribunals set up by our patriotic legislators. Stay tuned for further bulletins. God Bless the Christian States of America!”


    • Art Ulene on November 13, 2014 at 01:32

    Don…. I do think that your fantasy scenario is still in the realm of fantasy, but I can understand your concern. I’m afraid you’re a little too far out for me this time. All the best……… Art

      • Don Bay on November 13, 2014 at 16:37

      Remember that this is a fantasy, as I stated and as you acknowledge. I based this foreshortened piece on the daily news and on the Radical Right’s well-known wet dream of America becoming a Christian theocracy resembling, I must add, Iran’s or Saudi Arabia’s Islamic theocracies. I worked in stuff like the euphemisms employed by the U.S. military and government: “enhanced interrogation” and “collateral damage” as well as an exaggerated body count to give it an authentic feel. The outcome of the recent Midterm election empowering the reactionary Teapartyized Republican Party is naturally part of the mix. But it is still a fantasy, although a plausible fantasy.

      Without a doubt, violence against the established order of things will see the American government—or almost any government—brutally defending the status quo, so the rebels (who are, by the way, justifiably angry) in my scenario will be routed in a display of brute force mixed with large doses of propaganda. History amply reveals that the American government has traditionally punished as “traitors” anybody remotely felt to be sympathetic to the rebels to the point of whipping up baseless hatred for even the innocent.

      Another reader has privately pointed out that my dystopian fantasy should more appropriately be expanded to perhaps novelette length to avoid the choppiness of the piece and the cardboard characterization of the speaker as well as being presented in serialized fashion. Maybe so, but I am reluctant to write something longer and doubtful about the suggestion of serialization. I’ll give it some thought, but right now I see expanding the piece as potentially eating my life. In any case, thanks for your observations.

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