Vigilantes (a story)

Maybe my friends and I watch too many cartoons. We could either be crazy or jaded. They say we’d be the last to know. Probably true.
But every night we go to the worst parts of town. With knives in our black boots, throwing stars in our pockets, and whips in our hands. We wear dominos, black leotards and black jeans.
And we walk around looking for people who are being bad. Breaking the law, threatening people, and selling illegal goods.
Why would we do this, you might ask? Because we are tired of the system as it is. People who are innocent are getting locked up and people who are guilty are going free.
So we came together to do something about it.
We’re not the police and never were. We’re not the military and never were. But we are fit and fast. And furious. Because each of us has come up on the wrong side of the law, and barely survived it. Some were victims of crime. And some were accused falsely. We no longer trust the police to do right by the citizens of your city. Of our city.
We have stopped people being assaulted. Or raped, or murdered. We have stopped criminal acts. And all without shooting someone who was unarmed. All without profiling people by their neighbourhood, upbringing, family name, gender or skin colour.
We hold the trial out there among those who are impacted by that person’s acts. We don’t allow deals with the prosecution. And no judges are politicking in back rooms.
That makes a difference to how the truth gets heard. Their neighbours know their circumstances, unlike the lawyers and police do. They know how often there’s yelling in the house and cops at the door. How often a kid has a cast. How snotty or scared the kids are. How many empties are in the garbage bins.
And since we’re not cops or lawyers, they talk to us. So we get it all.
We get the context the court rarely does.
We take more than the five minutes doctors take to find out why this person is having a hard day. And whether or not they can be helped.
We don’t allow mobs either. We offer them participation in the trial. Truth. And that helps more than you know. The victim gets heard without being put on trial themselves. We hear from the family of the people in trouble.
You may call it a kangaroo court. But what is the alternative?
Lady Justice left the building long ago. Didn’t she?

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