If we are setting records straight we must first state that my article went to print unedited and before I had even been approached or been hired by the Observer. This means that the sample article I wrote and left in order to try and get my job, which was about the very first incident I experienced in this city, was used without permission or even mention to me that this was going to happen. The corrections were never printed or added in.
I would like to also give my public apology to those who felt I wronged them in sending the article in at all. I had not meant harm, in fact the point of the properly revised article had been originally to point out the blatant corrupt acts of the officers involved. Instead I took a woman’s nightmare and made it public.
There are, however, some errors in this accounting that I must put right. It is of note, first, that when the incident happened I had been in this city for less than a day. I had, in fact, met only one other person with whom I had spoken and every encounter I had up until then getting to this city had been fraught with warnings about how loose the morality was, how dangerous every person was, and how I should keep safe. I traveled here from Iowa. That’s a long way for people to be filling your ear with fear and terror.
Barely a few hours after I got off the bus, I found myself outside of the locked Observer office, where I had hoped to make my first contact and apply for a job. Unable to do so, I was speaking to another woman who had approached me when I heard the sounds of muffled yelling from around the front street where the convenience store was. At this point, I had no idea what was happening – but as a reporter I tend to stick my nose where it doesn’t belong fairly often. New, and gunning for a story (yes, that part was true at the time) I walked to the lip of the alley and, once I had made sure no obvious signs of violence outside of the store were taking place, I moved and sat with my back to the window on the bench out front.
By the time I arrived the tableau was already set – there was, to my count, one woman who was just standing outside doing nothing but staring inside again as far as I could tell, and I confess I was not watching the woman outside very closely. In fact, I had only glanced inside behind me at the woman and two children as well, seeing only enough to show me two children, and to show me that the woman was armed and that her gun was not drawn when I looked. I did not hear anything being said clearly at that time, save for the little girl’s muffled voice as she made some fuss inside, I do not recall what she was saying; looking back what I can remember clearly is the screaming that was to follow, since it was only a few moments before I was approached. I was sitting there for maybe all of a minute or two by that point, but had gotten the gist that the woman inside was upset and seemed to be making a call of some sort. I did not catch the gesturing at the woman outside, nor did I know WHY she was calling the cops, at that moment.
It was just after I had sat down, and made a note of the scene as I walked into it, attention turned back to my phone, that Ms. Martini approached me and said to me that she had been ‘messing’ with the woman inside – I assumed by staring at her – and that said woman had called the police, she thought. She wanted protection, a reason to make herself seem legitimate. She offered me 20$ in order to say I was her friend. That was it – to say I was her friend. NOT to lie about events, not to protect her, to say I was her friend. I accepted the offer, interested to see where it would go and what might happen – at this time it did not occur to me that things would become so complicated. I had thought that the worst to happen would be that the police show up, I claimed to be the woman’s friend meeting her there for lunch, and the two women and cop would explain themselves out and that would be that. I was naive. I was stupid. I didn’t take the warnings about this city or it’s police force seriously.
Just as I had accepted this offer from Ms. Martini a shrill screaming was heard behind us, the child had THEN begun to scream audibly to even those outside of the locked shop, calling for help and begging for someone to save her, I had missed what had happened to cause the woman to grab her. Please keep in mind here that I had only briefly surveyed the inside of the store to see the scene, and could not hear more than muffled commotion until the child began to scream. I am not certain if Martini knew differently that I, but at the time I knew only what I saw – and when Ms. Martini began to yell at the woman in the store to leave the children alone, I did so too, she had been there watching longer than me. We both called the woman inside out – though it is seemed that Martini was more interested in provoking the woman, I was actually scared by this point for the children.
No, I did not think to give this visibly armed woman, who sported devil horns and was holding back a child, the benefit of the doubt. Already put on edge when I arrived, and told thoroughly not to trust my eyes, I thought ‘get the woman away from the children, distract her till cops come, sort it out later’. And I yelled at the woman to leave the kids alone and stop hurting them, to come out and (I quote) face someone “her own approximate weight”. I regretted that sentence the moment she came out and told us she was pregnant, but that wouldn’t be for a few more minutes.
First, as I watched, now facing the store and it’s windows, she let the child go – again her gun was not drawn – and appeared to be doing what I could only describe as scolding the child. Then, visibly irate, the woman came outside and drawing but again not aiming the gun anywhere but the air began to threaten all present, telling them to leave and that she was not to be trusted because she was hormonal and pregnant and would put bullet holes in all us. It is worth mentioning at this point that we (Ms. Martini and I) were not the only people outside of the store. A woman had, just after Martini had made her offer to me, showed up and attempted to enter. This woman, who had long white hair and seemed of average height, seemed to be trying to break the door down to get in as the little boy inside attempted to clearly get through to her, unable to open the door himself from inside. I am not certain, but there seemed a familiarity.. This was omitted from both accounting of the incident in the paper and in the letter to the editor, since I was unable to identify the woman and was unable to find her afterwards.
Just after the clerk exited the store Ms. Martini claimed what she was there for, yelling about lunch and I played along with that, yelling that I had been here to meet her for lunch and had been late, reiterating what I had said when the woman with white hair had arrived prior to the clerk exiting the store. This was all said just as the first officer arrived on site, hearing the tail end of both myself and Ms. Martini yelling that she was threatening us and children – something I believed, strengthened by the fact that she WAS, until the officer arrived, still pointing her drawn gun in the air and threatening those outside the store.
The last thing I said, in any way at all, was “I was supposed to meet Carly here for some lunch! I got here late..Then the girl was screaming for help, and that woman with the gun was holding her, and the other kid was flipping his shit-” which was all true as far as I knew, except the parts where I had come there to meet the other woman for lunch. The cop didn’t even glance at me and in fact entirely walked past me and ignored me. I was fully behind the man, had I weapon I could have attacked and taken him out. He immediately yelled for all to get away from the children and then immediately tazed Carly Martini, taking her out. Who was not even the woman with the gun drawn, who we had been saying was endangering people and children. I was not expecting this, I was expecting a police officer and instead I found myself watching a man simply charge and taze a woman who hadn’t even been near the children he’d been attempting to protect. He didn’t ask questions, didn’t survey the scene, all he did was taze the woman. To this I yelled (mostly because I was truly scared for myself) just before I dodged to hide behind the nearest large thing “I just wanted some Sunchips and a Monster drink man!” which was true, I had wanted to enter the store after my visit to the office to buy those items and was intending to do so up until the cops came and shit went to hell. I then went on to lament that it was not Ms. Martini’s fault that she had a bad ‘resting bitch face’… which she did, but no one was listening to me and this was said directly out of shock that the cop had just gone off and tazed the first woman he’d seen. Likely because of her less-than-reputable look, or even perhaps having recognized her, but all I saw at the time was woman I had seen doing nothing but staring and yelling for help get tazed down.
As I watched, the second cop arrived and, looking like he’d either had the worst cold of the century or a bag of coke up his nose, the man let the first cop have it for tazering the first woman, questioning why it had happened. This is when, as I watched, the first cop turned his tazer on the clerk, who was unarmed and not a visible threat. I saw him hesitate, saw him considering the action, before he pulled the trigger – and then RAN when he realized he had shot an innocent pregnant woman on, what seemed to me from where I watched, purpose. By now neither cop had bothered to even glance my way, and when the first ran and the second began ignoring the unconscious pregnant woman in favour of Ms. Martini, I began to get suspicious that this was NOT going to go well for me, either. I was one more innocent women of three, the odds were NOT in my favour. It didn’t occur to me that I might be protected for claiming friendship to Martini, I knew no one and had no reason to think anyone would be on my side.
Then the officer turned to the just-then-regaining-consciousness Clam clerk. Out of fear for myself, and at that point unaware that the woman had miscarried, also unaware that the officer would go SO far out of procedure and professionalism, I left. Along with some of the other observers and bystanders. This officer had seemed out of it, but he had helped and released the first innocent woman; wasn’t it reasonable to expect him to do so for the second, to call her an ambulance to see to it that her baby was fine? Even the worst cops in Detroit wouldn’t have left a wounded pregnant woman on the streets, I should know since I’d been there. I rieterate at the point when I left the scene, the woman had just barely begun to reclaim consciousness and was only just then sitting up. I was gone before the miscarriage was revealed and did not see the evidence from where I was standing just after she was tazed.
When I circled around later, I was able to find out that this woman had not been handled appropriately, that she had been cited with fines, and that she had lost her child and been left there – all information I found out once I had sourced the few witnesses and some hospital staff (all who will remain nameless) giving the woman’s description since I had no name at the time.
It was literally maybe half-past 10am the next morning when I ran into the clerk at the gas station across from the Gein restaurant, our first meeting since the incident. I had been on my way to the Observer office to see if anyone had shown up for work before intending to see if I could find this woman at the hospital the next day. Instead she found me immediately. Thinking that I would simply rearrange the order of those two things, I took what I thought was an opportunity to introduce myself and ask for her side of the story. I began with inquiring as to her health, mentioning what I had heard, and offering my condolences and apologies. I was immediately met with rage and the angry assertion that I was to blame, that I had left her there and that I would be sorry. I was threatened at gun point, told that she and the baby’s father would be after me, and nothing I tried to say from that point on or since has been met with anything but rage. I was, quite literally, UNABLE to get the statement – and the article had gone to print without editing or even a word to me that I had been hired.
It was, quite simply, a mess that I could not get out of. My mistake in accepting the ruse of friendship may have contributed to the cop’s reaction – but if so, it helped him shoot Carly Martini, who was the first target. In actual fact, it seemed to me that my words and voice weren’t even considered, I was as dust on the wind, completely unnoticed, even when I left the scene – once it had been (what appeared to me as) taken care of. I tried on several occasions to reach out and express all of this to the woman herself, the apologies were given, even telling her the truth about why the woman had been standing there staring in – but all it seemed to do was make things worse. I would also mention that I have not since seen Ms. Martini and never bothered to attempt to contact her for the money; it seemed and was very much wrong to do so in light of the outcome of that scene.
This reply was to provide my side of this story, the side told from the only woman involved who was NOT tazered into temporary unconsciousness and who watched all but the ending scene. I may have been wrong to leave the scene before released by the officers, but neither of them even noted my presence or tried to take my statement before either woman was unlawfully handled.
I was not stalking her, I did not have any particular focus on her. The subsequent article that was printed involving her was because she… well she tazed a cop with her own taze pistol! In broad daylight, after allegedly pulling her weapon on the two officers from the night before. It was news, and I reported it – what IS true here is that I was insensitive and wrong to have published the first article with names and pictures, without permission from the victims; that presenting her in the media under the title of victim and blasting her loss across the front pages was incredibly heartless and something that was done without thought to the fact that it would make this woman into a victim and only that in the eyes of the public. This was wrong of me to do.
Now, let this be the end of it; let someone else report it, if this woman manages to attain her goals for vengeance.