A good guy was gunned down in the streets of Brooklyn two nights ago. He was a cop doing his job, chasing a guy who turned out to be armed, dangerous, and really stupid. The stupid guy lived. Officer Stewart, father of two, husband, brother, son, didn't.
Seven cops have died in the line of duty since 9/11. I'm not sure why this story resonates with me so particularly but it was all I could do not to break down and sob when I offered condolences to the cops on the street I see here every day. I didn't know Officer Dillon Stewart. I don't know any cops really. But this one really hit home.
I love reading detective fiction and crime novels. People get killed in those books all the time; in fact, it's almost a requirement of the genre. Cops get killed in them too.
But I think that the reason I like reading crime novels is the same reason I'm so sad about Officer Dillon Stewart. Crime novels make sense of the carnage. There's always a reason. There's always a motivation. And there's always a sense of justice.
In this case, a guy who has been a loser all his sad life is alive, and Officer Dillon Stewart who from all the reports in the Times seems to have been one of those very good, very valiant, very special men this city has to offer is gone. There's no sense, or justice, or reason for that at all.
And no neat endings. No overarching narrative theme. Just a very bleak sense of the injustice in the real world.