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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1459123
Rated: 18+ · Script/Play · Crime/Gangster · #1459123
Story of a traffic stop that turned tragic for two men on a dark night in Louisiana.
ACT I
Scene 1

Late one night, while driving down Interstate 10, just outside a small town in Louisiana, two young African American males pull off of the interstate onto a small side street when having trouble with their navigation system. The two men are having a discussion about the problem.

TERRY SELLERS
Quann, what's wrong with the GPS system man? They said that it was supposed to be top of the line when I bought it. Now the screen has gone black, and we can't see anything.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
It was top of the line. At the top of the line to be returned because its garbage man. Look bro its late and I don't have a clue where we are. Let's see if we can find a place to crash for the night and take it on to the house tomorrow.

TERRY SELLERS
I agree with you. We're out here in the middle of nowhere heading nowhere. Let me just get a look at this map to see where we might be and find a motel somewhere.
(Looks down at the map and glances in the rear view mirror.)
An unmarked car pulls up behind the two men at a high rate of speed and then comes to a complete stop.

TERRY SELLERS
Quann, check your side view mirrors. Someone just pulled up behind us and they're just sitting there.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
I see them back there. Maybe it's one of the locals around here that may be able to tell us where the nearest motel is.

(After sitting behind the two men for a few minutes, the car now has red and blue lights on in the form of a traffic stop.)

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Hey Terry, that car behind us is a police car dude. I wonder why he turned his lights on considering we haven't done anything.

TERRY SELLERS
Man I don't know why either but I don't think it's a good thing at this time of the night. Two brothers in an SUV with out of state plates on a side street in BFE.
The police officer approaches the driver's side window with his hand on the gun inside of its holster.

(Terry is rolling down the window after turning on the compartment light and has now put both hands on the steering wheel. Terry speaks to the officer.)

TERRY SELLERS
Good morning sir, may I assist you with anything?

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
I'll be the one asking questions boy. Do you understand me?
(Terry beginning to feel nervous)

TERRY SELLERS
Yes sir, I don't want any trouble.

(The trooper grabs his hand held radio and contacts his dispatch.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
21 Louisiana requesting 10-60 for a 10-35 at Sampson cross I-10 west. Check code two.

DISPATCHER
10-4 21 Louisiana 10-60 ETA 7 minutes. Cover is code 2.

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
You boys need to give me your licenses and IDs. I want your proof of insurance and your proof of registration.

(The men hand the officer their licenses and vehicle information)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Well. Looks like you Texas boys done run into a lil problem down here in Weesiana ain't cha? What set you claim boy? C'mon I know your kind! I know you people.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Officer you've got it all wrong. We aren't in a gang. Why do you think that?

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Here we go with these questions again. Didn't I tell yall that I'll be the one asking questions round here?

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Yes sir, you did say that. I'm not trying to disrespect you officer I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from that's all.

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Only thing you need to understand is that when I ask you something, you give me what I ask for and nothing else. I don't need your extra lip service.
(JaQuann and Terry begin to look at each other in astonishment)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
I've been following you since you passed through Lake Charles driving erratically, weaving in and out of traffic. I know you got dope in this car. All you guys have dope. So tell me now is it that purple cush or that wacky dust? Better yet, you Texas boys like sipping on your syzurp or whatever they call that shit. Don't you?

JAQUANN HOPKINS
I don't know anything about drugs and I don't know how you came to that conclusion but it is wrong. All were trying to do is find a motel to rest from a long trip.

(The trooper is now visibly angry)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Find your motel so you can break it down and bag it up for a profit. Don't bullshit me son. I've been in highway enforcement for thirty years and I see boys like you all the time. Driving these expensive cars with your fancy Texas license plates like we don't know what's going on. If you say anything else about my conclusions, I will haul your black ass off to jail with no reservations. Do I make myself clear you little bastard?

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Yes sir, very clear.

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
I'm going to go run this information and I'll be right back. Don't try to get cute with me either boy.

(Trooper Roney walks back towards his patrol car and opens the door and gets in. JaQuann and Terry are beginning to sense the severity of this situation and they begin speaking to each other.)

TERRY SELLERS
Quann, this is some real shady shit going on out here dog and I ain't feeling it. We got Captain Kick-Ass back there and I don't know what his plan is but I'm thinking about smashing off and getting out of here. I'd take a chance to get back to either Lake Charles or the right side of the Sabine River.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
I feel that too T but look at this. He's probably back there calling for someone to bring a key so he can throw it in the doghouse and swear we had it. If we smash then that's going to give this fool all he needs to shoot our ass for no reason.

TERRY SELLERS
Hell dog he's practically there now and we hardly said anything to him! He rolled up on us like the world shoved something up his ass and he can't figure out how to get it out.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Yeah, it's hard to be reasonable with somebody like him. So, look yo, we need to get our ducks lined up in a row right now because I think something real bad is about to go down out here.

TERRY SELLERS
Say, does your phone have emergency positioning on it? If it does, keep that in mind in case we need to use it.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
It does but what difference do it make? To have someone to come out to help us that come from the same camp that this dude come from. Hell naw.

(Trooper Roney exits his vehicle and approaches the driver's side window again and speaks to the men.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Well, well, well Terry Dope Seller, it appears that you have a warrant out of Pensacola, Florida. And guess what it's for? Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. Told you yall were up to no good.

(Terry is extremely confused at this point)

TERRY SELLERS
Sir, what exactly was the reason for your stop? And there must be some kind of mistake because I've never been to Florida in my life.

(Trooper Roney becomes very agitated and irate.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Okay smart ass, I've had enough of you and all the questions that you two have been asking. I just told you that I would be the one asking the questions and you agreed, right? I see that you are continuing to run your damned mouth.
(Trooper Roney opens the driver's side door and physically grabs Terry from inside of the vehicle and pulls him to the rear of his police car and places a 9mm Beretta to Terry's head. Trooper Roney is now screaming at Terry)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Look you coon, you are a long way from your ghetto living and crack head friends in Oak Cliff or Dallas! You aren't so mouthy now are you? Where are your rap buddies at now to save your ass? It's amazing how this little piece of steel can make a big man like you piss your pants aint it? I'll blow your nigger head off and dump your dead ass in the bayou to the hungry gators!

(Tears began to form in Terry's eyes, as a man who is supposed to uphold the law has has subjected him to such blatant oppression)

TERRY SELLERS
Sir, what did we ever do to you? Is looking at a map a crime in this state?

(Trooper Roney then punches Terry in the face)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Shut the fuck up! I've warned you more than once about your mouth. Next warning I'm going to shoot you in your head and say that you ran towards my weapon. Case closed! Sit your ass down right here and don't say another word!

(Terry takes a seat on the ground near the curb next to the police car. JaQuann picked up his cell phone and started making what appeared to be a phone call when Trooper Roney walked back to the passenger's side window.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Just what in hell do you call yourself doing mop head? Put that phone down and get your ass over there next to Al Sharpton.

(JaQuann was extremely apprehensive about getting out of the vehicle after seeing what was going on with his friend.)

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Nah, I'm cool. I will not let you violate my civil rights on this dark street tonight.

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Look you shithead street lawyer, you don't have any rights out here. This is my territory and my word is the law. You got you a law degree from one of them run down coon schools I guess? Get out of the fucking car now!

(JaQuann put his cell phone inside of his pocket and got out of the car. He was immediately handcuffed and thrown face first onto the concrete behind the police car.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
You're under arrest for being a stupid idiot!

(The trooper then pulled out his Taser and applied it to the back of JaQuann's neck.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Hey jack off, oops I mean JaQuann. What kind of name is JaQuann anyway? Huh boy? Are you one of them militant people that scream about black power? Well I have all of the power and you have nothing.

(JaQuann tried to turn his body so that he could see his surroundings and was immediately hit with 50,000 volts of brute force. He screamed in agony.)

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Lord, why is he doing this to us?!

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
The Lord can't save you tonight.

(The scene fades out with Trooper Roney laughing)

Scene 2
(Moment's later a second police unit arrived with lights on. The deputy got out of the her car and approached Trooper Roney and the two men.)

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Matt Roney, long time no see. I hear they've moved you to narcotics. What's going on?

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Brandy Lynn, it's good to see you too. I've got a couple of out of towners that refused my orders and the one on the ground resisted arrest. I know they have plenty of dope in that flashy car of theirs and I'm fixing to search.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
I see that you're still up to your old tricks and you haven't changed a bit have you?

(Terry interrupts Trooper Roney and Deputy Lynn during their conversation)

TERRY SELLERS
I never gave you consent to search my vehicle! You didn't have any cause to bother us in the first place. We were lost and trying to read a road map to get directions before you showed up and made our lives miserable! Wake a judge up tonight! We aren't going anywhere so we can wait.

(Trooper Roney is visibly angry and sweating)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Obviously you haven't heard about a search incident to arrest have you? Brandy, cuff him and put him in the car!

(Deputy Lynn was concerned about the tactics that Trooper Roney had been using with the men and she knew he had a history of being rough with African-Americans.)

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Hold on a second Matt, let me talk to these guys for a few minutes to see what's happening. What's the charge?

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
I'll give you the charge just as soon as I'm finished doing what I came to do okay?

(Trooper Roney begins his illegal search by walking around the outside of the men's car looking for drugs. Deputy Lynn begins talking to Terry.)

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Mr. Sellers, do you know why you have been pulled over tonight?

(Terry begins to gently cry)

TERRY SELLERS
No, ma'am I don't know. All I know is that my friend and I were on our way home to Dallas after visiting some college friends in Memphis over the weekend. We got lost because the GPS stopped working. We pulled over on this street to read the map and that guy over there showed up out of nowhere. He sat behind us for a few minutes and hit the lights. We haven't done anything and we don't have the dope that he swears we do.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Did you or your friend give Trooper Roney a hard time or resist his instructions?

TERRY SELLERS
No ma'am we did everything that he asked for us to do and he pulled me out of the car and threatened me with a gun to my head. He made my friend get out of the car and handcuffed him. He threw him on the ground and then shocked him with the gun.

(Trooper Roney overhears the conversation and immediately begins shouting.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Now this coon is sitting over here lying through his gold teeth! I told him to get out the car and he reached towards the console for something and I pulled him from his car. Plain and simple. C'mon Brandy, I done popped tons of these weasels and all of the cases stuck like super glue.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Yeah Matt I know they've been good but I'm not too sure about the way this one is going down. Something about this feels funny. You know, cops instinct.

(JaQuann is still lying on the ground and he hears Deputy Lynn talking and he makes his request for her boss.)

JAQUANN HOPKINS
I want a supervisor out here right now!

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Sir, I agree with you. Something about this entire situation doesn't feel right.

(Deputy Lynn leans toward her radio shoulder mic and contacts her dispatch.)

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Adam 56 Parish requesting supervisor at Sampson cross I-10 west. Request code 2.

VOICE IN MICROPHONE
Bravo 2 Parish en route. ETA four minutes.

DISPATCHER
Bravo 2 Parish, cover code 2. 10-4 Adam 56 Parish. Supervisor en route. ETA four minutes. Code 2.

(Deputy Lynn then walks over to JaQuann to ask him some questions about the incident.)

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Mr. Hopkins, my name is Deputy Lynn from the Sheriff's Department. I need you to be straight with me okay? Did you do anything to cause Trooper Roney to use his Taser on you?

(JaQuann angrily replies)

JAQUANN HOPKINS
No! All this fool kept doing was screaming and being an asshole racist! He wanted me to get out of the car and I told him he wasn't going to violate my rights tonight. He cuffed me and slammed me face first into the ground, which is why I'm bleeding now. I tried to move so I could see my friend and he shocked me for no damn reason at all.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Mr. Hopkins where are you from? Do you have any relatives in the area? You look like someone that I've seen before.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
I'm from Lake Charles originally. I went to college at Southern University and moved to Dallas where I work for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office as a cybercrimes investigator. I'm 26 years old. My uncle and aunt adopted me after the death of my parents in an accident when I was five. No offense ma'am but I've never seen you before in my life until now.

(Deputy Lynn asked the same questions to Terry)

TERRY SELLERS
I'm from Houston and I went to college at LSU. I live in Dallas and I'm a parole officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice- Institutional Division. I'm 27 years old. My parents moved to New Orleans when my father got appointed to his new job there.

(Deputy Lynn began to think now. These two men have ties to the state so they reasonably aren't out of place because of their relatives living here.Trooper Roney briskly walks from the back of the men's car and confronts Deputy Lynn.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Brandy I know damned well that you aren't falling for this lame crock of shit story are you?! If you are you're gonna find yourself on the wrong end of an assault rifle for being so naïve. What the hell's wrong with you? You've been on the job less than a year and you're already developing a bleeding heart.

(JaQuann and Terry look at Deputy Lynn and speak in an effort to confirm their stories)

JAQUANN HOPKINS
If you don't believe me, reach inside of my back pocket and you will find my peace officers license and badge from the county.

TERRY SELLERS
My badge and identification card are both inside of the glove compartment next to my daughter's picture album.

(Deputy Lynn is beginning to get a very uneasy feeling about this situation)

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
I tell you guys what. We're going to sit tight until my supervisor gets here and he can help sort this thing out for us.

(The scene fades out with Deputy Lynn in serious thought.)

Scene 3
(Two additional sheriff's department vehicles arrived with their lights on and parked behind Deputy Lynn's car. The first person that got out of his car was a tall bulky African-American male named Lieutenant Jeremiah Harvey who was the watch commander. The other person was another African-American male with salt and pepper hair and glasses named Chief Deputy Alonzo Hopkins. Trooper Roney is questioning Terry.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
How do you two monkeys know each other?

TERRY SELLERS
I'm not any body's monkey! If anyone is being uncivilized it's you! JaQuann is my cousin. His deceased mother is my father's sister. Our other uncle lives in Lake Charles and we visit him from time to time when we travel here to Louisiana.

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
You're lucky that these other two baboons just showed up because I would kick the shit out of you right here and right now!

(Deputy Lynn greeted the two new sheriff's deputies over by Lieutenant Harvey's car. Chief Deputy Hopkins begins to speak.)

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
Brandy, What's happening out here? We got the call for a supervisor a few minutes ago.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Chief, remember that bad apple from state Matt Roney? He has these two guys from Dallas pulled over and I think his motivation might be, excuse my French "bullshit." You know how his stops are suspect from jump. He wants me to arrest the driver but I don't have cause to do it and frankly, neither does he.

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
What are these guys names and what is he so suspicious about? Nevermind, I know what his mojo is. I heard he moved to narcotics so its all about the dope for this hick. He likes bullying young black men around too.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
I overheard one of his radio hits requesting locals and NCIC and they came back clean. He told the driver that he had an NCIC out of Pensacola for Possession with Intent to Distribute.

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
What?

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Yes sir. The driver's name is Terry Sellers and the passenger's name is JaQuann Hopkins and he is handcuffed on the ground behind Roney's car. Roney tased him for resisting detention. He thinks that the car is full of drugs.

(Lieutenant Harvey's facial reaction was stunned.)

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Chief aren't those kids your nephews?

(Chief Deputy Hopkins immediately became enraged.)

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
Lou, I swear those boys had better not be my nephews being harassed by that no good son-of-a-bitch! We are going to have a serious problem in the bayou tonight!

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Chief let me go and have a look at the situation first before you even walk over there. I know Roney is dirty and I know his type. He does not function well with minorities. I want to see him give me some shit tonight.

(Lieutenant Harvey and Deputy Lynn walk back towards Trooper Roney.)

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Hey Matt, it's Lieutenant Harvey of the Sheriff's Office. What is going on out here tonight? We got a call for a supervisor so what's up?

(Trooper Roney rolls his eyes at Deputy Lynn.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
I didn't request a supervisor she did. I was in the process of searching these boys' vehicle. You wanna piece of this or what?

(Lieutenant Harvey was unhappy with the arrogance of Trooper Roney. He speaks to Terry.)

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Young man I'm Lieutenant Harvey. Did this officer have your consent to search your vehicle? You can speak freely. What's your name?

TERRY SELLERS
My name is Terry Sellers and this man does not have my permission to plant dope in my car to get me locked up forever. Sir, I know you. You look like my uncle's best friend. I've remembered you since I was a kid. You were the best linebacker that Grambling State ever had! You're Jay Harvey aren't you?!

(Lieutenant Harvey's mouth dropped when this man said what he said. He was astonished by what he saw.)

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Terry LaRon Sellers is that you?

TERRY SELLERS
Yes, sir. It's me barely alive because of this redneck maniac over here!

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Is that JaQuann over there on the ground? What are you guys doing here? Why were you guys stopped?

TERRY SELLERS
Mr. Harvey, my GPS in my car stopped working and we got lost on the highway going back to Dallas because we're unfamiliar with this route. We pulled off to read the map and that asshole over there pulled up behind us and just sat there. Then he's been tripping on some drugs in the car that ain't there!

(Lieutenant Harvey looks at Chief Deputy Hopkins and nods his head confirm his suspicion.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Harvey! You know these clowns? Well I guess it's true that all niggers look alike. Are yall from the same tribe?

(Chief Deputy Hopkins begins to walk towards the men and he is visibly shaken by what he's seen and heard. He stops at the end of the SUV and speaks.)

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
Matt, uncuff my nephew now! I knew you were a worthless piece of shit when I first heard your name. This is beyond low. This shit is personal now!

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
I ain't uncuffing shit you untamed gorilla! You come bringing your ass down here shoving your nose into business that it don't belong. Where I'm from that'll get you hurt real bad boy!

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
If you wont do it then I will! I don't need your help I'll get it myself.

(Chief Deputy Hopkins begins to walk over to JaQuann to begin taking the handcuffs off of him.)

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Uncle Alonzo, this guy is bad news and you need to watch him. He's practically tried to kill us already and he's talking major shit. Something doesn't feel right.

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
Don't worry about it son. I promised my sister that I would always take care of you and that's what I'm going to do come Hell or high water.

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Chief, don't turn this arrest into a murder! I'm only going to tell you once. Get the hell away from my suspect!

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
Oh yeah? What are you going to do about it you inbred backwoods possum eating son-of-a-bitch? Try me! I will personally kill you and shit on your corpse!

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Chief, don't make me do this!! I swear you don't want any part of this!!

(Chief Deputy Hopkins turns around and begins to walk towards Trooper Roney and they begin to argue. Deputy Lynn begins to yell at the two men. Lieutenant Harvey begins to radio for assistance.)

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Dispatch 2 Bravo Parish, requesting immediate 10-108 at Sampson cross I-10 west. Request code 3. I repeat, immediate 10-108 at Sampson cross I-10 west. Request code 3.

DISPATCHER
Copy that 2 Bravo Parish. All units in the area 10-108 at Sampson cross street I-10 west. Officer needing emergency assistance. Cover is code 3.

(The dispatch has been broadcast area-wide and several officers immediately respond.)

RESPONDING OFFICER 1
Dispatch, 17 Bravo Parish en route. Covers code 3.

RESPONDING OFFICER 2
33 Louisiana Thomas en route with code 3.

RESPONDING OFFICER 3
Lake Charles 29 Mike en route. Cover code 3.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Stop it! Just stop it damn it! Chief be cool! Roney! Fuck off you asshole! Guys! Guys!

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
Back up you little bitch! Chief you better stop right there and right now!

(Trooper Roney pulls out his gun and points it at Chief Deputy Hopkins. He pulls out a second weapon and points it towards JaQuann who is still lying on the ground. He begins yelling.)

TROOPER MATTHEW RONEY
I see this is a family affair! Oh I get it. You both are willing to die tonight! C'mon Chief Coon Doggy. We should have hung you from that oak tree when we had the chance to back in 1966. Take one more step closer and one of you will be dead tonight!

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Uncle Alonzo! Please don't do it! No unc! Please no don't do it!

(Chief Deputy Hopkins draws his weapon and points it at Trooper Roney and they begin to stare each other down waiting to see who strikes first. Lieutenant Harvey grabs Terry and shields him behind the police car and draws his weapon and takes aim at Trooper Roney.)

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
Matt, I don't mind dying to make sure that any member of my family doesn't have to. That's why I wear this uniform. Tonight, you fucked with me now it's a must that I fuck with you!

(Chief Deputy Hopkins takes several more steps towards Trooper Roney who still has his guns pointed. JaQuann and Terry are pleading with him to stop. An eerie silence falls and in a moments time....BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG. Five shots were fired)

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Oh my god! Dispatch, 2 Bravo Parish! Shots fired! Shots fired! Officer down! Officer down! Send some god damn help out here now!

(The scene fades out with sirens in the distance and yelling and crying from the scene of a tragic end to a tragic situation.)

SCENE 4
(Family, friends, and law enforcement officers from around the country have descended on Mount Ararat Cemetery to pay their final respects to the slain officer and his family that was left behind.Reverend Richard Ross delivers the Burial Rites at the cemetery.)

REVEREND RICHARD ROSS
In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother; and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth; ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him and give
him peace. Amen.

(The officer's widow begins to cry as she is delivered a neatly folded American flag that was draped over her late husband's casket. The minister speaks to her.)

REVEREND RICHARD ROSS
LaTonya, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your husband was a fine officer and a leader in our community. If there is anything that we can do for you or your your family, please let us know. We will be there for you at the trial.

RESPONDING OFFICER 2
LaTonya, I was there when your husband took his last breath on that dark street. He wanted you to know that he loved you and the two boys you both raised up to be fine young men. If there's anything you need, you have my number okay?

(The scene ends with people continuing to greet LaTonya and offer their condolences on the loss of her husband.

SCENE 5
(Ten months have passed and the case has gone to trial. The jury has been deliberating for six days on the verdict. The lawyers have been called in as the jury will now announce their decision. JaQuann and Terry have returned to Louisiana to witness the verdict for themselves. After reliving that terrible night, it is finally time to see justice served.)

COURT BAILIFF
All rise! This honorable court is now in session. Senior District Judge Randolph W. Barnes, presiding.

(The judge takes his seat on the bench)

JUDGE RANDOLPH BARNES
Please take your seats. Madame forewoman, has a jury reached a verdict?

JURY FOREWOMAN
Yes your honor we have.

JUDGE RANDOLPH BARNES
Will the defendant please rise and face the jury of your peers. Madame forewoman how say you on count one of the indictment, unlawful discharge of a weapon in a public place?

JURY FOREWOMAN
We find the defendant.......Not guilty.

(Groans come from the spectators)

JUDGE RANDOLPH BARNES
On count two of the indictment, the attempted murder of JaQuann Hoskins?

JURY FOREWOMAN
We find the defendant.......Not guilty.

(Groans come from the spectators)

JUDGE RANDOLPH BARNES
On the third count of the indictment, the attempted murder of Terry Sellers?

JURY FOREWOMAN
We find the defendant.......Not guilty.

(Groans come from the spectators)

JUDGE RANDOLPH BARNES
On the final count of the indictment, first degree murder of Louisiana State Police Officer Matthew Dale Roney while executing his duties?

JURY FOREWOMAN
We find the defendant.........Brandy Joy Lynn......Not guilty.

(Loud cheers come from the spectators)

JUDGE RANDOLPH BARNES
Madame forewoman, with the sincere appreciation of this court the jury is dismissed. The defendant Brandy Joy Lynn is ordered to be released from the detention center. Case dismissed and this court stands adjourned.

(The judge slams his gavel and leaves the bench.The courtroom begins to clear out and Deputy Lynn is standing at the defense table when she is approached by Terry, JaQuann, Chief Deputy Hopkins, and Lieutenant Harvey and they begin talking.)

TERRY SELLERS
Congratulations Brandy! You are now a free woman. I really didn't know what the jury was going to do but I'm glad they acquitted you of all charges.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Thanks Terry. I was really afraid of what they would do too. You know how juries around this parish do business. I was totally surprised.

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
Well Lynn, the way that I saw it, the verdict was an indication that they believed that you were doing your job. I believed in you the entire time and I'm happy with the decision. We need fine officers like yourself out there making sure our streets were safe.

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
Lynn, I never got the chance to tell you before. Thank you. You could have let Roney kill me and JaQuann that night. You were put in a very difficult position as a rookie deputy. For some reason you sorted everything out in a split second and made your decision. In my 29 years in law enforcement, I've seen many rookies freeze in that situation and never recover. Can I just ask you one thing? Why did you do it?

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Chief, I learned a very valuable trait when I was seven years old. That trait was to react and do something when you have the means to do it. What we went through that night was very real. It brought back a tragic memory for me at a time when there was nothing that I could do in the situation.

TERRY SELLERS
Brandy, if you don't mind me asking, what happened?

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
When I was seven I used to go with my father to work all the time. My father was Reverend Joel Lynn. He was an activist that opened the doors to our church to help the plight of African-Americans in this state. Especially over in New Iberia where we were living at the time where things were really bad.

One night during a voter registration drive at the church, my father sent me outside to get some supplies from his truck to bring back into the church. Four men were outside near the back corner of the church setting up something that looked like alarm clocks with wires on them. When they finished they ran away really fast. A few moments later, the alarm clock rang and a huge explosion shook the ground like an earthquake. There was a huge ball of fire and the church was in flames.
The men appeared from behind some bushes and began laughing and celebrating about what they had just done. One of the men said, "That'll teach that nigger lover Lynn." The men were all related to each other because they were brothers. Their names were Jessup, Corky, Eli, and Dale. Dale was the man that made that comment. Matthew Dale Roney. He was in his late teens at the time this happened.

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
So you've known Roney all of your life?

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Chief, you never forget the name and the face of a person that shattered your whole life in an instant. A man that killed your father and 12 African-Americans over exercising their constitutional right to vote. A man that after a two hour trial where the prosecutor called one witness, the defense immediately rested, the all-white male jury returned a verdict without leaving the jury box.

This same man who bragged about his dirty deeds to the world like it was his duty as a human being to do and hasn't been touched every since it happened. The same man through his reckless actions caused my mother to commit suicide right in front of me because of all the ridicule that she suffered from my father's murder.
Chief, this man took my father from us and destroyed our family forever. I have no family now because of his doing. I refused to allow him to subject another family to the same grief and anguish that I suffered at his hands on the grounds of Mount Olive Baptist Church that dark night in 1977. So knowing that reality allowed me to act quickly and decisively.

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
Brandy Joy Lynn, your actions saved us that night and we are eternally grateful to you for that. There is nothing that we can do to ease the pain that you suffered and your innocence lost. But there is one thing that I want for you to know and never forget for as long as you live. You will always have a family with us. It's too late for me to legally adopt you into my family but I'm offering it to you as of this moment. Would you accept?

(Brandy begins to start crying as she has been touched by what she has just been told.)

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Absolutely Chief! Thank you so much. You just don't understand what that feels like to hear that coming from a great man like you.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Brandy, have you decided what you wanted to do with yourself yet? I know that your days of law enforcement work around here are over.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
No Quann I really wish that I could say that I knew. I have my degree in political science and I briefly considered teaching before I became a deputy. Now I don't think that is possible anymore with all the press that has been generated with this case. I'm a marked woman.

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Listen, I have a good friend of mine at the University of Texas at Arlington that I've been talking to throughout the trial and he has a vacancy for an associate professor of political science in his department. He was hoping that you got acquitted so that he could talk to you about a job offer.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Are you serious??

JAQUANN HOPKINS
I'm serious as I'll ever be. Your dream to teach is still alive! If you don't mind being seen hanging around with a man that's a little bit younger than you, I'd like to talk to you about it over dinner and a night out on the town down in New Orleans.

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
I may be a rookie to the law enforcement thing, but it sounds like you are trying to sweep me off of my feet under the disguise of discussing an open position. Are you trying to get me out on a date Quann?

(Everyone is looking at JaQuann and they are smiling and giggling.)

JAQUANN HOPKINS
Alright I confess!! Will you accept my offer for a date?

DEPUTY BRANDY LYNN
Now why wouldn't I accept an offer from such a handsome man like you? I've been in jail for almost a year and I need to get out and be released. I accept your offer. And by the way, if you take me out I hope you can get an extension on your curfew!

(Everyone begins laughing really hard.)

CHIEF DEPUTY HOPKINS
I believe that I can grant him that exception.

TERRY SELLERS
Say dog, I ain't Motel 6 so I ain't leaving the light on for you.

LIEUTENANT JEREMIAH HARVEY
If I see you on side of the road, I'm going to just keep on driving. Yall done put me through enough shit already.

(Everyone all starts walking out of the courtroom towards the detention center across the street laughing and talking.The scene and play ends with JaQuann and Brandy hugging as they are leaving the courtroom.)
© Copyright 2008 Mr. Mel (getodream at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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