By Treona Jones
“I need to use your phone now!” Mrs. Graham yelled at the cashier. Rushing to get an open outside line, the cashier hands her the phone.
“Hello 911, what’s your emergency?”
“There is a Caucasian male with blond hair, black leather jacket and light-blue jeans in the back of the store with a gun. There is an on-call officer on the scene trying to defuse the situation. His name is Detective Benjamin Graham and he is a hostage negotiator for the Detroit Police Department. He’s an African American male, 6’4”, low-cut fade with a goatee. He is wearing a brown leather jacket, navy shirt, dark-blue jeans and brown shoes. He has his badge and off-duty weapon on him. Please send back-up!”
I know Ben told me to go home, but once I hung up with the 911 operator, I walked over to customers in the store and asked that they leave the store quickly, but quietly. When the police arrived, they continued removing people from the store, including myself.
It seemed like it was hours later when Ben came rushing out the front door to an awaiting open police car with the perpetrator in front of him. Ben glanced over at me standing on the sidewalk. I’ve never seen him at work. I didn’t know his job could be this dangerous.
Watching the police car as it pulled out of the parking lot, I wanted to do more than just stand there. I knew there was nothing else I could do but go home and wait for Ben to call me.