Normally one of the most anticipated days of the year in my book, this year’s coming of April 1st didn’t exactly pan out the way I wanted it to be.
No the joke wasn’t on me, but neither was it on anyone else because of yours truly.
But I’m pretty sure 125 people thought it was just a joke when police showed up at their place around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning for their arrest.
It’s what I’ve been covering most of the day: the single largest simultaneous raid and executed warrant for arrests Toronto Police have ever done. Along with other regional police crews (Durham Police, York Region etc.), it was all part of a new police project that targets guns and gangs and other organized crime Toronto.
Why I was covering it? The biggest arrests took place in our newspaper’s coverage area – the headquarters/central area for the gangs that were targeted. And because my beat this cycle is Police/Crime etc. For that, and after numerous emails sent back and forth between editors and professors, I had to drag myself (or should I say my mom had to give me a lift – laugh all you want 😉 ) to East Scarborough, only to learn that a press conference about the raids will be taking place downtown. After mulling it over, and taking care of a source for my already assigned stories, then I dragged myself (for real) downtown to the Toronto Police headquarters for the press conference.
What an interesting experience it was to be apart of that conference. I actually found myself sitting on the floor right just in front yet underneath television cameras simultaneously taking notes, recording and taking pictures of all that was happening. Then there was the constant movement of those fellow journalists and photographers moving around to get better views and angles of the speaker. As much as I tried to focus on gathering information, the whole experience of it all was a little overwhelming, yet fun to experience.
Then came the questions. Honestly… it’s a competition, an all out battle royale to get your question out there. There’s no putting your hand up, no requests, just ask without hesitation. If two people ask at the same time, the one asking quieter loses. Or the one who gives up because the other is louder and more persistent wins. It made me realize that there’s no such thing as passive journalism.
Once it was all said and done, and I actually got in my word with the Chief of Police, then it was off to getting lost on the moronic P.A.T.H. – the underground shopping tunnels in downtown Toronto, which is supposed to save me time and money if you can figure out the way to where your going. That caused me to just miss my train (it’s the only way I travel when getting back to Thornhill when downtown), but the next one I caught aligned perfectly with catching a bus at the next station (the same station I take my normal bus to school), which brought me straight to my synagogue 10 minutes early for afternoon service at 6:05 p.m.
So it wasn’t my ideal April Fools, but eventful is still better than nothing at all.
Maybe I’ll ressurect the Pac Man costume and find someone to chase me around as a ghost just for kicks.