Conflict of Interest


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Scene Title Conflict of Interest
Synopsis Detectives Shelby and O'Shea follow a lead to April Bradley's place of residence. She doesn't give them what they want, but some information goes both ways regardless — such as the specter of Homeland Security looming over the investigation.
Date May 2, 2009

A brownstone in Morningside Heights

It's a little cooler today, the streets darkened and damp from morning rain. There's nothing falling from the sky now, however; just gray clouds looming overhead, foreboding more precipitation later on. Nonetheless, there are a number of people out on this street in Morningside Heights, despite the humid and damp air. Some are weeding flowerbeds; some are jogging, hip-mounted MP3 players linked to their ears; some are just out walking, headed who knows where. The line of brownstones on either side of the street are half-hidden by trees beginning to unfurl their leaves; one brownstone in particular has lights on inside, suggesting someone is at home this fine Saturday.

Detective Shelby and Detective O'Shea pull up to the side of the street opposite the occupied brownstone. Coren is driving; he always drives. His rust-bucket sedan has been long repaired since a boot, or a brick perhaps, hit his windshield during a riot back in March. "I do hope Agent Bradley has answers, because this case needs a real break," Coren says to his partner as he pulls his keys from the ignition and opens his car door. He locks the door before stepping out. No power locks on this old beast.

Cassidy squints through the fine cracks of the window and slowly shakes her head in wonder at how someone can stand trying to see out of that. She takes a sip out of a cup of Starbucks Coffee; obviously she's not a morning person. As soon as the engine dies, she sets the cup in a holder and slides out of the car. Without thinking she hits the lock on her side at the same time as Coren. "Something needs a break." She says with a sigh glancing over the roof of the car at her partner. She makes her way to the curb while studying the house carefully; no surprises. Once satisfied she checks both ways and starts across.

Coren, meanwhile, does not check, but merely starts walking alongside Cassidy. Once they reach the door, he knocks a firm knock, three hard taps against the door. No need for doorbells here.

The knock against the door first elicits a comment from inside; a woman's voice, slightly muffled by intervening obstacles, but the call sounds enough like just a minute to be comprehensible. It isn't a minute before April gets to the door; a rather shorter delay, in fact, before a young and dark-haired woman looks Coren in the eye, then past him to the smaller Cassidy. "Hello," she greets, in the faintly bemused manner of someone confronted with unexpected and unfamiliar visitors.

Cassidy takes a deep breath as she reach the door. Her hand lifts to knock, just as Coren does, but stops herself. She gives a bit of a grin and says, "He drives… He knocks… Gonna be the bad cop too?" Her tone is teasing a bit, since the woman probably doesn't look the part. When the door opens she gives the woman a pleasant smile as she steps up beside Coren. "Afternoon, Miss Bradley… " She moves the edge of her trenchcoat so that her badge is visible on her belt. "My name is Detective O'Shea, and this my partner Detective Shelby. We'd like to ask you for a few moments of your time?" She glances briefly at Coren as she talks.

Hazel eyes narrow at the sight of Detective O'Shea's badge, the expression perplexed and thoughtful. "Of course," April replies, opening the door and gesturing for the two officers to enter. "Come on in. Living room's on the left."

The entryway is short; hardwood flooring, a coat rack, a small closet. The indicated room is carpeted in a smoky gray shade, its walls amber and crimson; a brown couch, two chairs with russet cushions, and an oak coffee table take up most of the space; there's a television set on a stand in one corner, currently off, and thin curtains drawn over the window. "Would you like something to drink? Water, coffee, iced tea…?"

Detective Shelby enters, removes his footwear, and walks with his black socks into the living room. His coat, however, remains fixed in place. "I am quite all right, thank you, Miss Bradley. Hopefully we won't take up enough of your time to warrant the need for refreshments." Or it's quite possible they'll be had elsewhere. He waits until April is seated before he himself takes a seat. The detectives take the chairs, leaving the couch for the resident.

"We appreciate this." Cassidy says, putting a friendly tone in her voice. She steps through the door, eyes sweeping the place automatically for anything unusual or dangerous, even if there is no threat. Coren gets an odd look as he slips out of his shoes. Hers will remain firmly on her feet, thanks. She follows, giving a shake of her head. "No thanks, no drink for me, I've had a ton of coffee today." She doesn't seat herself til the others have.

"Fair enough," April agrees, as she closes the door behind the two detectives. The woman moves to sit on the couch, her demeanor curious; she is slightly on-edge, though there are any number of reasons for her to be so. "What can I do for you, Detectives?" No threats. No apparent surprises. Just one young woman in black jeans and a tan-colored blouse, feet bare on the gray carpet. Of course, she is a tier-2 forcefield manipulator…

And out pops the digital recorder Coren is famous for. He holds it idly in his hand, switching it to record. "Miss Bradley, where were you the day of Wednesday, April eighth of this year — two thousand and nine?" It's not an accusatory tone, but one of curiosity. Does he believe a Homeland Security agent mugged some poor bastard in Brooklyn? Maybe, maybe not. The forcefield manipulation would definitely explain the manner in which the man was strangled, but it does not explain why. His earlier theory of a telekinetic may still be accurate.

Settled with both feet planted firmly on the floor, Cassidy is straight-backed on the edge of her chair. Does this woman even know how to relax? She pulls out her coat enough to extract a little notebook all law enforcement can't seem to live without and flips it open. A pen is produced and she starts writing, glancing up at the woman. She doesn't say a word as Coren askes the question.

"April eighth?" the interviewee echoes, a contemplative frown crinkling her brow. "I was mostly in the office that day, doing paperwork," she replies after a moment's thought. "Why do you ask?" The frown doesn't go away as April waits for some semblance of explanation — in fact, a scrutiny of her expression might suggest she has some suspicions about the why.

Detective Shelby turns to his partner. "Well, that should make things easy," he says to her, before turning back to address April's question. "A man was mugged on April 8th in Brooklyn by a woman who strangled the man from afar. She then proceeded to steal his jacket, wedding ring, and wallet. The wallet was recently recovered, and from it we pulled a number of fingerprints. A partial found on the man's Mastercard was matched to the fingerprints we have on file for you. There were also a number of hairs on the man's clothes from when his jacket and possessions were taken. If you'd be so kind as to provide us a hair sample, we'd like to rule you out as soon as possible so we can get on with our investigation."

"Indeed." Cassidy says to Coren, not looking up from her writing. She pauses to dig in a pocket, removing a few items (such as a flashlight, keys) before finding an evidence baggy. She looks triumphant as she pulls it out and shoves everything else back into the pockets. The baggie she offers to Coren. "And any idea how your print might have ended up on the mans credit card?" She asks curiously, glancing at the woman.

Brooklyn. April's eyes narrow again; this time in what might be recognition, or perhaps the sense of finding another piece in a familiar puzzle. Doppleganger. She looks away towards the curtained window for a moment, then back to Coren. "I'm afraid I can't help you, Detectives," the woman replies, honestly apologetic. "I can give you a contact for video footage from around my office, but that's the best I can do right now. I'm not even sure they'll release that without a formal warrant."

Coren nods along with Cassidy after taking the evidence bag from her, only to hand it back upon hearing April's decision. "You mean won't." He shrugs and stands, pulling his card from his pocket and holding it out for April. "Please do that."

Cassidy's brows lift at the woman and then she glances at Coren. The pen is replaced so that she can take the baggie and stuff it in her pocket with a small frown. She also rises to her feet, taking Coren's lead, replacing the notebook as she does. "Thank you for your time," she offer politely. "Please, don't hesitate to contact us if you can tell us any more." She glances at Coren again, but she keeps her expression neutral.

"Can't," April reaffirms. She does, however, hold back the rest of the explanation that wanted to be forthcoming. Also rising, the woman accepts the card offered, glancing at the information on its face. "I'll get you the information before the end of the day."

Detective Shelby remains silent as he leaves the living room and steps into his shoes. "I'm sure we'll be seeing you again sometime soon. I do hope we haven't disrupted your day too much. If there's anything else you need to tells us, please do, otherwise, my information is on that card. You can leave me a message or call me at most hours of the day and some of the night."

Cassidy can't help but look somewhat amused as Coren slips back into his shoes, but she doesn't say anything about it. Everyone has weird habits after all. She moves around him to open the door, turning to give the woman a friendly smile. "Hope the rest of your day goes well." That said she waiting only for Coren before stepping outside. She gives the sky a glare and pulls out a pair of sunglasses slipping them on.

She looks out through the doorway into the small foyer, nodding slightly in response to Coren's words. "Detective Shelby," April calls a moment later, before the duo can disappear out the door. "The mugging — did it occur near Red Hook?" Oh yes. She knows something.

On his way out, Coren too pulled out his sunglasses, and then stuffed them back into his jacket. It's not bright enough to warrant them. He turns as April calls to him and he nods, "It did, yes. Why do you ask?"

Cassidy pauses as she hears the woman calling her partner back, she takes a few steps back, pushing the glasses up on her head. She glances at Coren and arches a curious brow as she listens for April's answer. Quietly she reaches into her jacket for her notebook to jot something down and to maybe add whatever is said.

She probably shouldn't have asked. But the information, the confirmation, is nonetheless appreciated and filed away. April's lips twitch sideways in a rueful, ephemeral smile. "It pertains to my own work. Thank you, Detective." That is all.

Coren turns the digital recorder off after April has closed the door, and he walks across the street to his car, unlocks it, and gets in. "I'm going to regret telling her that, aren't I?" he asks of his partner once she's inside. "Just watch Homeland Security come sweeping in to steal our investigation. Three words: Conflict of interest." He puts the keys in the ignition and his car sputters to life.

Shoulders slumping a bit, Cassidy puts the notebook away with a soft sigh. "Good Day." She calls cheerfully, though Coren would see she's less then thrilled. With the flick of her finger she drops the sunglasses over her eyes again, overcast or not. She pauses to let Coren catch up as they move towards the car. "Seriously, I haven't seen so much side stepping of an issue in my life…" She pauses and looks thoughtful. "Okay.. not true, but it ranks up there." She slides into the seat next to him and sighs. "Doubt we could get a unit placed to watch the place?" She asks blandly, picking up the coffee she had before. She takes a sip and grimaces. "Cold coffee. You hungry?"

She waits until they're gone; until the car has disappeared around a corner. Then April picks up the phone and starts placing calls. One to Faith. One to Minea. One to her supervisor. James Silver is the last person she calls, but far from least.

After that, April Bradley goes to fetch the vacuum.


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