"When police are killing people at will, and the courts and the politicians and their own peers will not hold them into account, what is our recourse? Is war not the appropriate remedy?" --Randy Gustin
Randy Gustin lives in a town in Washington State where the police are out of control. They run roughshod over the citizens of Randy's town with impunity, and even have a highly questionable shooting or two to their credit. But unlike the other citizens who have learned to put up with it, Randy is taking political action to rein them in, and in doing so he has incurred their anger.
That anger comes to a head one evening when an officer from this department does what many other cops have done in the past, and tries to set him up for a "justifiable homicide." But Randy fights back, and before he knows it, two cops are dead at his hands.
He knows it was self-defense, but the trouble is that when you challenge authority in any fashion, let alone with a weapon, justifications don’t mean a lot. The same system that lets cops off the hook no matter what they do will pull out the stops to ensure that your life is as good as over. Randy considers that unfortunate fact and decides that rather than spend what remains of his life in a cage, he’s going to go out making a statement. Then he picks up a police radio and declares war on this department, a war that will end either when he is dead, or this entire one department has been exterminated, to serve as an example to other departments like it.
Set against the backdrop of real shootings committed both by and against police, One Department is a novel about the convoluted and ever-escalating conflicts between citizen and cop, and tells a story of just how bad things could get.
- Thomas A. Young, November 2011
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