This story also includes the Your Daily Word Prompt word – ‘Equality’
This is what I came up with …
Police Sergeant Eddie Clark raised a hand through the drizzle and pointed forward. The signal to “Strike, Strike, Strike!” he bounded across the road and covered the short distance to the old warehouse. His team closed in and took control of all the exits.
“Rear doors clear and locked.”
“Side doors, sealed no sign of workers.”
“Roger that. My team will go in first. Hold your positions until we have control.” Eddie nodded to the officers flanking him.
Officer Reynolds moved in and opened the reception door. Nobody was inside but the sounds of music and rolling conveyors told of workers in the main warehouse.
Eddie led six officers inside with his stun gun drawn. “Everybody on your knees! Nobody moves!” he yelled as he dropped down a flight of concrete steps, grabbed a man in a red boiler suit, who’d started running and cuffed him.
The officers shut off the radio and rounded up employees from amid the pallets of boxes and conveyor belts in a swift but friendly manner.
Shouts of fear and anger erupted around the warehouse as someone escaped through a rear door and got collared by officers there. Those officers used the chance to enter and fan through the building.
Within ninety seconds, Eddie’s team were in full control of the building. They’d rounded up all six employees and two managers.
“I’m the owner of this warehouse, Darijus Mantas. I believe you attacked my building because we are not English.” said a suited man amid his employees.
“On behalf of Sergeant Clark, I can tell you this is not an equality or racial issue. We have intelligence that illegal products are passing through this building. Our warrant gives us permission to come in and detain you all for a search of person and building,” Officer Gemma Staley told him.
“Ha, I’m Lithuanian so I do drugs, right?” Darijus let out an angry sigh and stood to face the female officer. “I will have all your badges for—”
“Ah, shut up, and sit down.” Eddie pointed to the floor where the other workers were sat quietly. “If you wish to complain about what we’re doing, you’ll have a chance later. I’m conducting this search based on intelligence about events taking place in and around this building. Your nationality has absolutely nothing to do with it. Moreover, we never said anything about drugs – want to tell us what you know?”
“I tell you nothing! You lie. I…” Darijus saw big Officer Reynolds coming and silenced himself.
“Sergeant Clark, we have something,” he said.
Eddie took a step toward him and stopped. “Mr Mantas, for fairness sake; I’d like you to come with me to witness what we discovered.” Eddie put the owner of the building in front of him and walked him through the conveyor belts and stacks of pallets.
Officer Reynolds led the way into a back room. This space was also lined with shrink-wrapped pallets of boxes. “There, sergeant.” Reynolds indicated beyond a shelving rack of equipment, a ladder and an old forklift truck. The wall there had a metal pipe with a set of handcuffs attached to it. A dog bowl lay on the floor and several suspiciously red spots spattered the wall.
Eddie looked the whole area over with his torch. “Get forensics in here.” He rounded on Darijus who seemed a little hot under the collar now. “Want to explain the equality issues of cuffing people to water pipes then?”
“We put employee in cuffs for fun. We lost key so we couldn’t take them off the pipe, that’s all.”
Eddie narrowed his eyes, the man was sweating and appeared nervous. “Really? Doesn’t look fun to me. Who did you prank?”
“Inga, we only put her in cuffs for five minutes,” Darijus explained.
Eddie was beginning to dislike this man as he took up his radio, “Officer Staley, can you check if there’s an Inga among the employees. See if she knows anything about the handcuffs,” Eddie said without taking his eyes from the manager. “More equality issues, I don’t suppose you’d put a man in these cuffs would you?”
“I … Er-erm…” Darijus fell silent.
“I thought so. Let’s go.” Eddie marched the owner back out to his employees. “Sit down.”
“None of these people is Inga, Sarge,” Gemma said.
“Thanks, Gemma.” Eddie looked at each employee in turn. “Okay, at this point, you are all going to be arrested for the false imprisonment of a person—”
“No!” yelled one man trying to stand. An officer put him back down again.
“Until we identified the person who was chained in that room and the truth about what happens comes out, we have no choice but to detain and question you all on the matter.” Eddie watched two of his officers lugging large evidence bags into view.
“We found the cigarettes, Sergeant,” said one. “We got another eighteen bags worth in the rear office.”
“Nice.” Eddie looked to the owner. “Darijus Mantas, with all due respects to equality and racism, I’m also arresting you for the importation and distribution of illegal cigarettes. You don’t have to say anything, but anything you do say or do, can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Eddie nodded to an officer. “Take him to custody.
“No, you can’t do this!” Darijus protested.
“Sure, we can. We have the warrant to come in. We have the authority to arrest whoever we need based on crimes we discover.” Eddie waited for him to be handcuffed and led from his employees. “Now, the cigarettes are not too severe a crime. Tell us who you had handcuffed back there and maybe this minor offence can be overlooked.”
Darijus said nothing and was led away to be driven to police headquarters for a few hours in the cells.
Eddie walked between the employees, he had each show his or her wrists illuminating them as the one who was cuffed to the pipe. “You, what’s your name?” he asked a lady with golden blonde hair and a fresh bruise on her cheek. He reckoned her to be in her forties. She looked terrified of him. “It’s okay, we’re the police — the good guys.”
“Hello, Paulina. Your wrist is chaffed and sore. You were the one handcuffed to the pipe, weren’t you?”
Paulina nodded. “He punish us if we not do as told.”
“And here he is complaining about equality and justice.” Eddie looked among the employees. “Your ordeal is over. We will interview you all and Mr Mantas will be charged for his crimes against you.”
Eddie had bigger issues. By the time his investigation was completed, he discovered none of the employees had legal right to work in the UK and four listed employees were missing which covered Darijus Mantas in a world of trouble.
Have a great day!