I had heard of Nikki Santos, I mean, how could’ve I not have heard about her. She was the first female ever to be assigned to the Homicide Division, and from what I’ve gleaned from those who know her, she is one tough broad. I thought she would have to be pretty tough to deal with the horrific shit she would witness as a homicide detective. Plus, the shit she probably had to deal with coming from the guys in her department. Although, I was told a story by Connie Ruiz, who worked Vice, about a party at Tony’s. Tony’s is a bar in the Fillmore, where cops went to drink off stress. Once, a very drunk Dick Murphy, a young single good-looking, “hot-shot “detective who worked the Burglary detail, approached Nikki and pushed her up against a wall while shoving his hand down her pants. Once he felt the cold-steel end of a .357 magnum embedded in his crotch, his perverted sense of romance immediately dissipated.
Connie Ruiz was standing nearby and heard Nikki hiss as she put her mouth close to Murphy’s ear and say, “If you ever intend to have children in your future, you will remove your fucking hand. Do you understand me? You cocksucker!” When I heard that story, I immediately wanted to meet her. She sounded like my kinda broad. I already had much respect for her for the fact that she broke the gender barrier for the Homicide Division. Women cops, for so many years, had to butt their heads against the blue wall of gender discrimination, which was so prevalent in the department.
“Homicide, Santos,” Santos announced abruptly. “Hello, Nikki Santos?” I could hear the chatter of cops in the background, phones ringing, shouting, laughter. It immediately evoked a sense of sadness because it reminded me of how much I missed the mix of camaraderie and periodic chaos that exists in most police squad-rooms. “Yes, this is Detective Santos. How can I help you?” I thought she must know about Mike Garcia by now. Did she also learn about the Chief? She sounded cool…professional…with no indication of her being affected by the fact that her ex-lover recently had his brains blown out?
But what did I expect? She is a cop, and it’s her job to be cool and calm under the most intense situations. “Uh, my name is Sam Grit. You may have heard of me? “I said. “Yes, Mr. Grit. Mark Macias told me you might be calling.” I didn’t know what the fuck to say next. “Did you want to meet, Mr. Grit?” she asked. “Uh, yes, that would be fantastic,” I replied. I felt like a real asshole saying fantastic. It just didn’t seem to be the right word with her ex’s brain matter dripping down his bedroom wall, which is information I’m sure she was aware of by now.
We agreed to meet at Lefty O’Doul’s, a bar and restaurant, on Powell Street.
To be cont’d...