Sunday, November 25, 2007

If I was a betting man, my last pick to be a shooter in Malton would be a police officer. I was walking down the street tonight when I saw the strip mall two blocks from my house blocked off by about a dozen police cars and about a hundred metres of police tape.

I figured that either a drug deal had gone wrong in the parking lot or a robbery in one of the two convenience stores there. The pay phone in the corner of the parking lot attracts dealers at all hours of the day and night, long after the stores there have closed. One of the stores there locks its doors at night and allows in customers on a case-by-case basis. The police officers there were terse but exceedingly nice, which now makes sense. The complete lack of information about why they shot a man inside a convenience store in response to a domestic dispute makes me guess that the shooting was probably not justified.

I can't say I was surprised by the shooting, but I was surprised that it was the police who pulled the trigger. I've always been amazed at how safe Malton is for an area so poor and rundown. In a weird way, the initial reaction is to feel safer because this was done by the police. Along the same lines, I saw what was almost certainly a fatal crash nearby two days ago. That, for some reason, doesn't inspire the same fear in anyone. You might not want to walk past this plaza late at night lest the police shoot you, but it's fine to speed recklessly through the intersection of Derry and Goreway.

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