The Objector

Weekly Writing Challenge: Dystopia

Jewellery Store Murders – Man Guilty Of ‘Cowardly Act’

A self-proclaimed pacifist faces life in prison after a jury found him guilty of failing to carry a weapon, resulting in the deaths of two people during a robbery on a Manhattan jewellery store.  Marcus Foley, 27, from Guttenberg, New Jersey, is the latest follower of fugitive radical peace activist Brooke Kingston to be convicted of breaching the 28th amendment.

Ms Kingston’s message of tolerance, acceptance, unarmed protest and a return to 20th century values of “social care and political responsibility” continues to be spread through her peace manual, Enlighten magazine, which is still readily available online despite attempts by federal security services to stop its spread.  Her lectures and speeches can also be viewed on underground audio-video sharing sites.

The court heard how Foley was recruited and radicalised whilst an undergraduate at NYU, attending conventions and rallies at which Kingston’s associates addressed the audience.  He even travelled to Washington state in 2028 to see Kingston herself make a keynote speech at the infamous Seattle Peace Gathering – an event which led to mass arrests of sit-down protesters in public parks in the weeks that followed.

In the five years since graduating, Foley has been self-employed, owning and running his own coffee house.  It is thought that this may merely have been a front, allowing him to gather and indoctrinate new recruits for Kingston’s movement.  Investigations into the business and customers are ongoing.

Guilty of conduct unbecoming a citizen of the United States of America, Foley was, prosecutors said, part of a conspiracy that aims to cause “widespread carnage, death and injury on a massive scale by encouraging followers to not carry guns, leaving themselves and other innocents across the country at the mercy of unscrupulous gangs, murderers and thieves.”

Judge Henry Thompson told Foley: “Your conviction is based on overwhelming evidence and will certainly lead to you being incarcerated for the rest of your natural life.  You are an educated and intelligent man so it is unthinkable that when you left your home on the morning of June 18th you did not understand the possible ramifications of not carrying your government issued weapon.  You knew what you were doing was a federal offence and yet you wantonly abandoned your responsibility to yourself and your fellow Americans, leading directly to two wholly avoidable deaths.”

During proceedings prosecutors told the jury how Foley had left his Beretta M9 pistol locked in a safe in his apartment and travelled to Madison Avenue to shop for a gift for his girlfriend.  Easton’s was the third jewellery store he visited and soon became involved in a discussion with Margaret Green, the store’s retail assistant, regarding the type of necklace he had in mind.  During this conversation a masked man, Kevin Donald, entered the store brandishing a shotgun.

Donald casually approached a startled Lance Michaelson, the store security guard, and shot him twice before turning his gun on Foley and firing once.  The blast caught Foley in the shoulder and left him slumped on the floor, but crucially alive, as Donald demanded Miss Green empty the contents of the display cases into his holdall.  At this point, the prosecution maintained, had Foley been carrying his own weapon, he could have fired upon Donald, bringing him down and ending the heist.  Unable to do so, Foley could only watch as Miss Green carried out Donald’s orders before the robber turned and fired twice more, killing Samuel Moore, the store manager and Miss Green herself.

Leaving Foley for dead, the robber fled the scene, only to be apprehended later that day.  Donald was convicted 48 hours later after signing a confession during questioning by specialist interviewers and will serve 10 to 15 years in a federal prison.

Under cross-examination Foley maintained that he never carried his gun “on a point of principle”, that he did not intend for anyone to come to any harm and that he was sorry for the victims and the families they left behind but he “should not be held responsible for the actions of Donald, a career criminal with a history of violence.”

In summation Judge Thompson said: “We are not here to judge Kevin Donald but to establish your role in the deaths of Samuel Moore and Margaret Green.  In leaving your weapon at home you have cost two innocent people their lives.  Whilst you could not reasonably be expected to have saved Mr Michaelson you are wholly culpable for two of the three deaths that occurred that day.  For deliberately failing to fulfill your role as an American citizen Mr Foley you will live out your days in a United States Penitentiary without the possibility of parole.”

Outside the court NYPD commissioner Arthur Sinclair said: “Foley is part of a modern international crime syndicate.  A syndicate that has already been responsible for many injuries and deaths across the US and one which plans to stand idly by, as Foley himself did, while many more victims fall around them.  This police department and indeed our colleagues across the nation, as the steadfast apparatus of a reasonable, sensible and humane society, will continue to work tirelessly to track down and eliminate any and all threats from this syndicate.”

Chairman of recently formed SUAC, Senator Stanley Wisheart stated: “We cannot let the mindless actions of a minority of radicals undermine the progress made by our great nation in recent years.  A return to the chaos of the past, of an unarmed society and overstretched police resources is unthinkable.  The Senate Unpatriotic Activities Committee will continue to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice no matter which rock they hide under, whether at home or overseas.  We will bring Brooke Kingston to stand before us to answer for her crimes.  We will destroy this un-American and cowardly movement and ensure the deaths of Samuel Moore and Margaret Green are not in vain.  We will uphold the 28th amendment and protect our children from our enemies, both within and without.”