In Atlanta, a drug dealer is asked to become a confidential informant for cops in a narcotics unit. He ends up turning them in when the officers try to cover up a botched drug bust that ends up killing an innocent woman:
You made a buy today for us,’ Smith explained. ‘Two $25 baggies of crack.’
‘I did?’ White asked. It took him a moment to register. ‘O.K. Who did I buy it from?’
‘Dude named Sam.’ Smith described the imaginary seller, told how Sam had taken his money then walked White to the back of the house and handed him the drugs as Smith and a fellow officer, Arthur Tesler, watched from a car across the street.
‘O.K.,’ White said. ‘Where?’
Smith said: ‘933 Neal Street. I’ll call you later.’
Now in the living room, the TV reporter was saying how a 92-year-old woman had died in the incident, and people were suggesting that the police had shot her. Two and two came together in White’s mind. They did it, he suddenly knew. They messed up. They killed that old lady. Now his heart pounded as the implications became clear. And they want me to cover for them.
“A Snitch’s Dilemma.” — Ted Conover, New York Times Magazine