Saturday morning, Little Pee Dee, South Carolina. Fourteen year old Leroy Taylor got off the Greyhound several days early at his grandparents than usual.
He didn’t want company on the bus and his glare kept anyone from sitting next to him. He had a lot of time to think. Deputy Mayor Charles, thought his was so high and mighty. Like David against Goliath, only with a 30.06 inside of a slingshot. He ain’t gonna slap me around any more.
His grandmother, Leola Taylor greeted him on the porch. “You’re early, boy. Don’t you have another week of school? ”
His grandfather, Benjamin Taylor had CNN on and Saturday Anchor Randi Kaye was telling a story about the Deputy Mayor of New York, Leander Charles being gunned down at a distance in Central Park. Leroy and Leola walked in just in time to hear the story.
Leola turned in horror to her grandson. “What have you done, boy?”
He smiled. “I smote that fat motherfucker, like David and Goliath only I had the rifle Grandpa gave me. He ain’t gonna hit me no more.”
Benjamin Taylor was a powerful quick man from his years working on the Southern Railroad laying track. In one move, he was out of his easy chair grabbing Leroy’s travel bag. “Where the rifle at, boy?” Benjamin snapped.
“In the bag Grandpa.”
“You knew the rules. That rifle was for huntin’ animals for food here, not huntin’ people in New York City. You really killed that man?”
“Why?” Leola asked in horror.
“Everyone thought he was like a black Santa Claus. He was also a two sided bully.”
Benjamin studied his grandson. “So you shot him at a distance where he didn’t stand a chance.’
“Yeah Grandpa. Clean shot just like you taught me.”
“Benjamin exploded like an angry Old Testament prophet. “Not to kill a man at a distance. We should probably be thankful he wasn’t a white man. What you gonna do now, son?”
“They gonna hafta chase me and find me.”
His grandparents turned to each other in shock.
Six hundred thirty miles to the North, up Interstate 95, Midtown Homicide Detective Maria Poniatowski was taking a tip on the phone about the Deputy Mayor’s shooting. Her partner, Rosalie Grimaldi could hear Maria’s side of the call. “You’re joking? He’s fourteen and an honor student? Why would he kill Deputy Mayor Charles? He must be a hell of a shot. Well he didn’t learn that in Harlem.” Maria scribbled an address. She turned to Rosalie. “We’re goin’ up to Harlem.’
Rosalie couldn’t resist the quip. “We just ate in Sylvia’s, Blondie.”
“Just play along and let’s go. We have to go see this fourteen year old’s mother.”
They took an unmarked car this time to a rundown tenement near the Harlem River and the Armory. An elderly woman sat in a kitchen chair out front in the end of June heat.
“Y’all must be cops, white women don’t come here, ain’t nothin’ here to gentrify.”
Maria and Rosalie flashed their badges. “We’re lookin’ for Ms. Taylor,” Maria said gently.
“Third floor, but if you’re lookin’ for her boy, he ain’t here.”
“How do you know we’re lookin’ for her boy?”
“I watch the news, Mr. Charles didn’t treat some young ‘uns so good.”
“Ma’am,” Rosalie said sharply, “We’re gonna need to talk to you, after we’re done with Ms. Taylor.”
“I ain’t goin’ nowhere, Detectives. I ain’t got nowhere to go.”\
“Good,’ Rosalie mumbled as they went up the stairs.
They knocked on the apartment door, “Ms. Taylor, NYPD, we need to talk to you about your son.”
Wanda Taylor opened the door. It was obvious she’d been crying. She was hostile from the get go. “Y’all don’t think ahm gonna tell you where he is, so y’all or the redneck sheriff can do it for y’all.”
“He’s down South, isn’t he?” Rosalie grumbled.
“Get the fuck outta mah door!”
Maria decided to play good cop. “Ma’am, help us and you can save your sons life.
Wanda Taylor slapped Maria. “Good, now we can arrest you Ms. Taylor and maybe down at the station you’ll see reason.”
“Y’all gonna hafta chase him.”
The chase for the Deputy Mayor’s killer was on.