“LA Christmas Present” by Tony Dawson

Now “Rambo’s” at home on paid leave….

Trying on a dress in a store is the latest high-risk pursuit.

A cop’s body cam footage showed it all on TV:

A young man, high on drugs (maybe), and unarmed, had been attacking other customers. A dozen LAPD officers arrived, led by a Rambo toting an assault rifle. When he saw the possible junkie at the far end of the aisle, he fired off three bullets in quick succession. The third one went through the wall of a dressing room, and hit a teenage girl in the chest, as she tried on a Christmas dress.

She died in her mother’s arms. Now “Rambo’s” at home on paid leave.

In 2021, the LAPD shot 38 people; 18 of them died.

Have they beaten their record yet? Are only trigger-happy cops recruited? If only the girl had tried on a bullet-proof vest instead of a dress…. The City of Angels wouldn’t have welcomed another one, thanks to the LAPD. 

Tony Dawson‘s writing has appeared in print in Critical Survey, Shoestring Press, Poems-for-All, Chiron Review, Pure Slush and Loch Raven Review, as well as online at London Grip, The Five-Two, The Syndic Literary Journal, Horror Sleaze and Trash, Cajun Mutt Press, Poetry and Covid, Beatnik Cowboy, and Home Planet News (in the latter case in both Spanish and English). He has lived in Seville since 1989.

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