Remount Road… my guess is you’ve never heard of this place.

After I finished at the academy and became an officer I was assigned to Darius Henry who was my TO. I know I’ve been hard on CPD but Darius was one of the good guys. I’m not saying this because of nostalgic bullshit.  He was big on community policing and it seemed like he knew every single person in Chesapeake. People loved him. He had that kind of warm personality– much like a grandfather.

We all know the story about broken cops or maybe those are the stories we pay attention to because no one wants to listen to someone who has their shit together. I get it. But Darius wasn’t a broken cop. He was far from it. He was happily married. His wife, Taneesha, was a manager at Food Lion and their two kids Tyree and Lola were on their way to college. I’m not talking about some backwoods community college. Lola attended Columbia and Tyree studied at Middlebury. These kids were smart and their parents must have done something right. Are you getting the picture?

Bear with me but I need to drive this point home further so you really understand Darius’s character. One night we got a domestic disturbance call– actually it was closer to morning at about 4:30 AM.  As we pulled up to the house a man jumps out of the bushes completely naked, climbs our car and jumps on roof spewing God knows what then he finally jumps off and runs in the opposite direction. Darius wasn’t going to chase the naked perp, that was my job as a rook. So I chased the naked guy and finally caught up to him and tackled him to the ground. The guy was yelling and saying all kinds of crazy shit and I realized he was having some kind of breakdown or maybe he was on meth or something. I dragged the naked fuck back to the house. Darius was already talking to the wife and she mentioned that her husband is mentally disabled and they ran out of his prescription, money was tight etc. The wife feared for her life any time her husband was off his medication so Darius said we would stay with her till morning to make sure she was safe and that’s what we did. In the morning Darius had me wait with the woman while he went to the pharmacy. He picked up the prescription and paid for it with his own money. This is who Darius was.

I never learned this type of police work at the academy.  The guys at the station had a name for Darius… black Jesus, which they never said to his face. It wasn’t meant as a compliment and he was an outsider within the department. He never went out for drinks with the guys and I think that was wrong. Darius had the tendency to take the moral high road which sounds good on paper but in reality is fucking pretentious. Police work is complicated and having drinks at the end of the night is basically telling the other guy ‘I understand you.’ It’s camaraderie. It’s like communion in the church. Darius refusing to go out with the guys was him saying I’m better than you, whether he believed it or not is one thing but life is about politics and knowing how to read and manipulate people. Yes I said manipulate because that’s what we do. Accept the word, it sounds harsh but we are constantly manipulating each other for outcomes that are beneficial to our desires. It’s not sexy but it’s true.

Darius made it about race, said they didn’t like him because he was black, I didn’t see it like that. What you get out of any relationship/friendship is equal to what you put in and Darius didn’t put in nearly enough. He was not a politician in this sense.

I started meeting the guys for drinks without Darius and they would talk about him though I suspect that deep down they respected him. You are probably wondering why I’m telling you all this… well I had to give you context for the first time I went to Remount Road.

Remount Road is a strip in the southwest corner of Chesapeake. If you live in this part of town you’ve probably done at least two tours in prison. There’s a cluster of motels in the 1800 block of Remount Road that is often referred to as ‘Hookers Row.’ Pimps and prostitutes conduct their business here. There are constant police raids but nothing really happens. I’ll clue you in on a dirty secret, those raids are just for show. Police don’t care, in fact some of them frequent the place and are loyal customers. Drug dealers also conduct a lot of their business here… There’s an unspoken agreement with certain members of CPD brass and the drug dealers– The dealers pay tax and they get protection from CPD. CPD conducts raids of the various motel brothels but with ample warning to the dealers so nothing ‘of value’ is seized. ‘Only’ the hookers are arrested, they’re booked… three days later they’re back on the streets working. I told you this town was fucked up.

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So the police basically waste taxpayer money, knowing that nothing is changing. All they are doing in maintaining the peace in a way. Of the murders that happen in Chesapeake, the ones that lead back to Remount Road rarely get solved. Some murders are even sanctioned by the police… not a lot but a handful. Detectives might have an idea on the parties involved but that’s a landmine no one wants to navigate through.

There’s one motel, however, that’s untouchable on Remount Road– Atlantic Inn Motel. It’s run by a guy that goes by the name of Blanco.  I don’t know much about him though I’m trying to find out. I’ll keep you posted on that.

His name swirled around a year before my incarceration so I’m not sure how much of a boogeyman he is but Atlantic Inn is like Switzerland… you just don’t fuck with it. Whatever deal Blanco has with the police must be incredibly beneficial to both sides involved.

Atlantic Inn Motel. A brothel where you can find male and female prostitutes, even children. Drug dealers conduct most of their negotiations here because it’s protected by the police.

My first experience with Remount Road was at the Atlantic Inn Motel. We were responding to a 911 call, a woman was screaming for her life, saying that her man was going to kill her. We arrived and it was a hooker and her man Tony Guinn… a cop. He had no pants on and was pacing back and forth on the balcony yelling at her, drunk out of his mind. The bruises she suffered were very visible. Other patrol cars showed up to assess the situation. It was decided that Guinn would be let go, taken somewhere to sober up and that was that… Darius had other ideas.

Darius wanted to take Guinn in and charge him with battery. You may be thinking this is noble of him but I thought it was incredibly stupid… still do. Humans can’t be on the moral high ground 100 percent of the time. It’s just bad politics. You have to have some grime on you to be trusted.

Darius was outnumbered and he should have just accepted this as a loss. Now I know you’re thinking but what about the prostitutes, her rights etc. Look life isn’t a clean puzzle. Most pieces don’t fit. You have to play the long game here and Darius was using up all his currency for a woman that would most likely return to the same place a week later.

Darius arrested Guinn and booked him and this act of defiance was the kiss of death for Darius’s career at CPD. They made life miserable for him. No one responded to his back up calls. They did shit to his car, his desk. He was sent on bogus calls. They even started harassing Taneesha. Me I was just trying to survive so I did my best to distance myself from Darius. He was a good man, I know, but I’m about survival. If you don’t like it then my thought it you don’t know how to survive in this world. We subconsciously make decisions like this on a daily basis.

Darius ended up retiring early and moved his family to Florida. I haven’t spoken with him since. I wish him well, I truly do. After I got my wings I frequented Atlantic Inn Motel, cultivating my CI’s and I’ll admit I indulged.

I accepted Remount Road for what it was but that all started to change when one night I was visiting a girl. I heard commotion outside and I peeked out the window and saw  Dallas Hess loading three young boys into his SUV with police escort. The optics of it messed with my head. We’re police and we’re not even concerned with protecting the most innocent among us, instead we’re just catering to the rich because of the annual check they throw at us as the end of the year. Fuck that. Looking back I think that’s when questions started to swirl. What the fuck am I doing as a police officer if I was going to condone such before. I was a coward because I saw what they did to Darius. I didn’t want that but  life has a way of smashing us into a wall if we try to resist our true path. That moment changed everything for me and things got a lot more fucked up after that.