Cortez Washington (lower-left), aka "C-Note" on his Facebook page, stuck a gun in the face of a 21-year-old female employee just back from maternity leave at Wendy's on Tuesday night. His actions, including shooting his weapon at Omaha police officers, led to the death of Cops sound tech Bryce Dion.
Each question you may have about why the officers did this or didn't do that is answered by taking a good, honest look at the question "Why did Cortez decide it was a good idea to commit armed robbery and shoot at police officers -- especially with a weapon he knew wouldn't hold up against what the authorities were packing?"
Should Cortez "C-Note" Washington have been on the street Tuesday night to begin with? Among the charges in his rap sheet from Missouri and Kansas was one of "accomplice to robbery" in Raymore, MO in 2010. I thought, "Accomplice? Did he drive the getaway car? Or was there more to it than that?"
I did some digging, and talked with Mike Noe of Noe's Jewelry in the Kansas City suburb or Raymore this morning. Mike was there the morning of April 30th, 2010, and had just opened the store.
Cortez and an 18-year-old girl whose mom worked at the Walmart near the jewelry store backed a van up to the front door of Mike's shop. Cortez busted through the door armed with an AK-47, and pointed it in the faces of the two customers as well as the store employees, including Mike's.
While Cortez trained the gun on another employee who was putting jewelry in a bag for the thieves, Mike saw an opportunity to hit the panic button just a few feet from him. The female, 18-year-old Markieta Clark, saw it and yelled, "He pushed the button, we gotta go!" The two criminals ran from the scene. Cortez was arrested days later at a relative's home in Omaha.
Putting an AK-47 in someone's face is "accomplice" to robbery?!?!? [Insert rant about slap-on-the-wrist charges, lenient jail sentences, good-time laws, and overworked parole officers here.]
I told Mr. Noe about what happened Tuesday night, and he said he wasn't surprised to learn the criminal at Wendy's was the same guy he encountered just more than four years ago.
"I hate to say it this way, but I'm relieved," said Mike Noe. "I always wondered if he'd come back."
Cortez Washington is not coming back. His relatives who are making excuses for his behavior this week probably have made excuses for him his entire life of crime. Judging by a few posts on his Facebook page, it sounds as though Cortez lost his father at an early age. Why he put his children (six or seven, according to differing news reports) through that same, tragic path, we'll never know.
Unfortunately, due to Cortez's actions, we'll never know if Bryce Dion would have started a family, advanced in his career, or enjoyed his last week working in Omaha before going back to California to spend a relaxing Labor Day weekend with family and friends.
(If you're looking for the podcast of this morning's radio show, I'm looking for it, too. We apparently had some technical issues in recording it. If I can post any part of it, I will, and it will appear on the right-hand side of this page.)