As the incident of police brutality in Minnesota unfolds on the TV screen, with more videos and evidence produced and murder charges filed, my mind relives the incident that gave rise to my latest novel, Blood on Their Hands. By the way, it’s on sale on Amazon in the Kindle edition for $.99 until May 31.
It was 2008, and my computer was giving me fits – as usual. I went to the office supply store in Lake Worth Beach, down here in Palm Beach County, Florida, and discussed the problem with the computer salesman, named Eric. Conspiratorially, he told me he would come to my apartment to see if he could fix it. He wasn’t supposed to do that: The store wants to make money off of computer repairs.
While working on the issue, we got into a conversation. He was from somewhere in the Caribbean, of mixed black and Hispanic derivation. A few weeks before, police had stopped him for some trivial equipment malfunction on his car; a tail light, I think. His car had something else, too: an Obama bumper sticker.
That proved to be a catalyst for violence. In the process of ticketing Eric, the two officers “roughed me up,” as he put it. He was a quiet-spoken, gentle person, and I didn’t doubt that he had done nothing to provoke the physicality.
Eric did not end up like George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, dead from what apparently was unnecessary restraint, a police officer’s knee pressing on his neck while he protested that he couldn’t breathe, until all the breath was gone from him and he died.
Ku Klux Klan ceremony
That incident came on the heels of the shooting of a young black man in Brunswick, Georgia, who was merely out jogging when two white men drove up in a vehicle, got out and confronted him. He protested, and the man with a gun shot him to death. Glynn County Police did not arrest the men for weeks, until release of a graphic video pressured them to do so. One of the men was a former officer in that department, which has been under investigation for some time for “cronyism,” as the county manager said.
That is a theme in Blood on Their Hands: the incestuous relationships among law enforcement agencies. In the book, I was able to weave into the plot other, real-life persons and events, such as a Ku Klux Klan meeting, which I once covered as a newspaper reporter. For the abundant humor in the book, I borrowed a theme from my favorite comic movie, My Cousin Vinnie. The racist theme was inspired by another favorite, Gran Torino, and, of course, the experience of the computer salesman.
The book is rife with suspense, action, legal intrigue, and humor, all offset by a tragic love story. If you’re thinking of reading it, now’s the time to act, in the two-plus remaining days when the Kindle version is available on Amazon for $.99. Here is the link: https://tinyurl.com/y9zf6ysj
After May 31, the price reverts to the original: $3.99.
To get the paperback at a lower price than that listed on Amazon, go to my website and buy a copy, which I will sign and mail to you. The cost is $3.24 less, with a savings on the shipping, as well. Here’s the URL for my website: http://www.bobbrinkwriter.com
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