I’m know you’re all dying to hear how my second week went. Luckily for all of us, none of my days ended with me in tears. By week two, I kinda knew how to navigate the subway system and sorta understood my assignments (key words being kinda and sorta). Still better than being totally overwhelmed and utterly confused!
On Monday I was sent to Brooklyn to check out a scene where a suspicious package was found. I used the life-saving HopStop app and made my way there. It turned out to be nothing (I think), but it was still cool to see police tape and the bomb squad.
Tuesday was definitely the coolest day so far. I was back in the Sylvie Cachay murder trial (same one I was in last week) to hear testimonies of 2 friends, the 911 dispatcher, and the paramedic who did everything she could to resuscitate Sylvie. There was a monitor in the court room and both sides argued over which pictures to show the jury. It was heartbreaking but fascinating (sorry!) to see pictures of the hotel room where Sylvie died, her half-naked lifeless body soaking wet on the floor. Her lips were blue. I’m not sure I’m allowed to say more so I won’t, but as a journalist who is supposed to remain neutral, I had goosebumps and wanted to cry.
Wednesday was awesome because I was on the scene of some breaking news. It was a rush. There was more police tape, other press people everywhere, a helicopter in the sky, and the hostage negotiation team running around. We were on the border of Chinatown and Lower East Side. I’m not sure if that’s even a place but hey, let’s go with it. Anyway, apparently, a man was inside his mother’s apartment holding his family hostage (he ended up not even being there). The police had a warrant for his arrest so they went looking for him at 6 a.m. but “he” refused to open the door. The arrest warrant was either for drugs or a murder, I forget which one, but he was definitely involved in both drugs and murder. Over the course of the event, a man in a suit and an orange tie, who I believe was either a detective or someone else of significant importance, came out every so often to update us but he wouldn’t say much. I was trying to ask people questions to see if anyone knew the man or lived in the same building when a lady told me to go f**k myself. I know I shouldn’t have cared at all but of course I was like …okay. It was a first. Usually people just walk away or say they have no comment. Now I’m laughing about it but at the time I was thinking, “Hey, I’m just an intern, don’t be mean to me!!” I can be overly sensitive. Not good for an aspiring journalist.
Thursday was another fascinating day. I attended a press conference by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for his “Secure Our Smartphones” initiative. To summarize, he wants companies like Apple, Samsung, etc. to create a kill switch that will disable cellphones when stolen which would in effect eliminate a thief’s desire to steal the phone. If the owner can kill the phone after it’s stolen, why steal it to begin with, right? Also speaking was Megan Boken’s dad and sister. Megan was murdered in August just because someone wanted to steal her iPhone but she resisted. It was, again, heartbreaking to listen to them talk about Megan. She was only 23.
Friday was a fun, easy day. I got to attend the graduation ceremony of the latest MTA K9 bomb-sniffing unit. There were eight dogs graduating that just finished 14 weeks of training. Each dog was named in memory of a former officer or member of the armed forces that was killed in action or after. Dog Matty was named after Spc. Matthew Baylis who was killed in Iraq in 2007. I spoke to his mother and father. It was touching. What I loved about this assignment was that at first I was kicked out because some lady thought it was a private ceremony. I called my editor and then the MTA press office and they spoke to that woman and corrected her. She was pissed but in the end I got in, along with all the other press people, because it totally was a public event.
Even writing this post about my second week makes me feel much better and thankful that it was not a repeat of the first. Not that week one was horrible, but, well, I’m glad it’s over! The second week brought more bylines online and in print (bought every one my name was in) and a ton of new reporter friends and life lessons. I only got lost a couple times. I also bought a portable iPhone charger because my phone dies so quickly. I’m learning!