Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Sniper

Police Officer Steve Romero was laying flat on the roof, his eyes glued to the screen of a small laptop. His right index finger was on the trigger of a tripod-mounted rifle that used compressed air to fire small plastic liquid-filled balls at intended targets. His left hand was tapping the keyboard of the laptop.

At his right and left were his spotters. Both of them were hunkered down behind the 30-inch high wall that encircled the rooftop. Their eyes were also glued to the screens of small laptops, but their hands held remote control units that looked similar to video game controllers.

Sgt. Brenda Gleason, the spotter to his right. manipulated a small toggle switch that allowed her to move a camera mounted on the top of a telephone pole approximately 240 yards from where she was sitting. The camera's gaze scanned the crowd of protesters, the facial recognition software in her laptop identifying several members of various anarchist groups and some well-known agitators.

Officer Daniel York was the spotter on Officer Romero's left. Like his counterpart sitting ten feet from him he worked his fingers over the controls of a remote that controlled several different discreetly mounted cameras. His eyes flitted over the screen of his laptop, the names of several people his department had expected to be at the demonstration, and a few that had not been expected, popping up as the facial recognition software did it's job. 

The sun was still low on the horizon. The morning haze had burned off and the view was now perfectly clear through the high definition screens.

It was still an hour or so before the expected appearance of the man various law enforcement agencies had started referring to as "The Big Fish," the man everyone, or at least everyone who thought of themselves as an "outsider," had grown to hate with such a fervor that they had started to band together, forming a united front against what they considered the biggest threat to their desire to live their lives as loners, hermits, and anti-social misfits.

The irony was palpable. 

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