Reasonable Cause


The Torres family learned how Christopher died from watching the news the next day. At a press conference, the department’s chief public-safety officer said that two officers had tried to arrest Christopher at home, but, when he resisted and grabbed a gun from one of them, the officers felt that their lives were in danger. The local television stations ran an unflattering picture of Christopher with his eyes bugged out. One station reported that the “police suspected Torres is responsible for several violent road rage incidents around the city.” The police department said publicly that Christopher had a lengthy criminal history, which was untrue. He’d never been convicted of a crime, though he had been arrested once, for public affray, disorderly conduct, and impersonating an officer: he’d fought with a man who had illegally carried his gun into a restaurant where Christopher was eating. Christopher told the man that he was a government agent, tackled him, and took the weapon. When asked to show his credentials, Christopher flashed his library card.

Over at the New Yorker, Rachel Aviv takes a look at the Albuquerque Police Department, who’ve attained one of the highest rates of fatal shootings by cops, but not a single officer indictment.

Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →