I am certain you are all aware of what happened during yesterday's bank robbery/hostage situation, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to clear up a few things. Let it be known that I am not proud of my actions, and I realize that many people suffered as a direct result. I cannot change what transpired, but I wish that I could. It is my sincere hope that we can put this entire incident behind us and move forward together.

First of all, let me just say that I could have sworn that the safety on my MP-5 submachine gun was on. In my entire six months as a member of the SWAT team, yesterday was the first time it was necessary for me to discharge my weapon in the line of duty, and I swear to you that up until now I thought the red indicator on the safety switch meant, “Stop you idiot, you can't shoot this thing when the safety is on.” I now know that it means, “DANGER! Safety is OFF.” It is a mistake I will not make again. I realize this is little consolation to Officers Ramirez, Riley and Henderson, but I understand that even in their conditions it is possible they still hear and understand what is being said around them, so I hope that someone is able to read them this letter.

In my defense, I was startled. As we were preparing to break down the door, Sergeant Perry yelled, “Go!” very loudly—much more loudly than was necessary. I thought the volume was particularly uncalled for as we were all very much on edge. I have asked Internal Affairs to conduct an inquiry into Sergeant Perry's inappropriate use of his outside voice, even though we were outside at the time.

To be fair, the situation was worsened because I was trying to hide the fact that I was crying. I realize one does not expect SWAT team members to cry while making a tactical entry, but I feel we should be more accepting of a diversity of styles. It was precisely because the rest of the team being so unaccepting of my crying in the past (i.e. on the obstacle course, in the shower, during our departmental Oscar party) that I was attempting to hide my crying. Unfortunately, my tears collected on the inside of my Lexan face guard and blurred my vision. Also, I had forgotten to put in my Pure Optical contacts before leaving the house in the morning, rendering me legally blind.

In retrospect, I should not have been eating at the time, and I should not have discarded my banana peel so carelessly. This was inexcusable on my part. I also should not have brought the hibachi grill into such a tense situation. I honestly did not think the mesquite would produce so much smoke, or that it would affect my asthma so dramatically. Now that I think about it, the grill seems an even worse choice since I’m technically a vegan with a morbid fear of fire. I do regret the burns that Captain Lewis sustained, though, and I can only hope they are able to harvest enough skin from his posterior to restore some semblance of a nose.

I'll be the first to admit, I probably should not have been drunk. I thought the amphetamines would help to keep me alert while the alcohol calmed my nerves, but in truth, the combination made me jittery, overly-aggressive, and paranoid that several other officers were trying to kill me. It is unfortunate that these officers were standing in front of me when the shooting began. I realize that shouting “Die! Die! Die!” as I accidentally began shooting them, and calling them by name as I continued, is simply inexcusable. I also regret that I continued shouting this before, during, and after reloading. I was obviously working on pure battle instincts at the time.

I also do not know why I took their wallets. Again, it was the combination of drugs in my system, and I believe I was still under the effects of said drugs when I began making the now infamous phone calls to the officers' children. I hope the nightmares stop soon.

It’s anyone’s guess as to why I pulled the pin on the grenade. In truth, I am puzzled as to how I came into possession of the grenade in the first place, as it is not standard issue. I vaguely remember placing a drunken bid on eBay months ago, but I cannot clearly recall it. In my defense, it was not my fault that the school bus drove by at that precise moment. It was an unfortunate coincidence of the worst nature. I would like to thank little Billy Tompkins for his quick thinking and poise beyond his years, and I apologize for the irreparable damage done to his baking soda and vinegar volcano.

I regret giving the bank robber/hostage taker my gun and the keys to the Armored Personnel Carrier. I realize now that I should have asked for some type of identification when he claimed he was the Pope. At the time I accepted this statement largely because he was wearing a hat.

I know it will be difficult to move past this incident, especially after what happened to the neighboring orphanage and the baby panda. However, I hope you can grant me the second chance that I didn't grant the department's German shepherd when he tried to subdue me. After yesterday and last December, all I can say is that I am truly sorry, and it will not happen a third time. Thank you.

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