The moment I step outside I am aware of a deafening whirring sound coming from somewhere above my head. Then as I look up, I see a glaring beam of white light and then the underbelly of police helicopter hovering above the roof of my building. The car park is jammed full of people and I push my way through the crowd. As I move forward I happen to over hear a woman speaking to a man about the incident, which has just taken place. See her? says the woman. It was her flat they forced their way into As the woman is speaking, about twenty riot cops, wearing full body-armour march by. I look across and see the white girl the woman is talking about. She looks to be in her mid-twenties and is shivering noticeably. She is wearing a pair of yellow poker dot pyjamas and has a grey blanket across her shoulders. Her eyes look puffy and in her left hand she is holding a white polystyrene cup, while she nervously smokes a roll-up cigarette. Not far away from she is standing, a policewoman is attempting reassure a group of elderly tenants wearing winter coats and bedroom slippers, that there’s nothing to worry about. It is around 10.30 pm at night. Thirty to forty minutes have elapsed since the riot cops arrived and so far, no attempt has been made to enter the girl’s apartment and subsequently bring the siege to an end. From what I have been told, one of the guys currently hiding in the girl’s flat was either shot or stabbed. The story goes that both guys jumped out of a taxi. Why they came to this particular girl’s flat, at present is still a mystery to me. Just then, two particularly hyped-up looking riots cops turn their attention to the crowd, singling out the faces of the young black males, dressed in baggy jeans, track suite, baseball caps, Timberland boots and Nike footwear. The young men seem unfazed and glare back at the cops with cool amusement. Another cop with a moustache, who is standing close to the girl adjusts the peak of his cap, looks across at the building, and begins speaking into his police radio. About a minute of so later, a tall black guy, wearing a dark blue bandanna comes peddling at speed into the car park on a red mountain bike. He throws down the bike and runs across to the girl, who is now screaming hysterically at the cop with the moustache: I want them out of my flat, she screams. I want them out right now you hear me! The cop attempts to placate the girl. He grabs her wrists, but she manages to free herself by twisting to the side and then almost dropping to her knees. Hey, says the black guy with the bandanna. Can’t you see my girls upset? All at once, the cop whirls round, and hurls himself at the boyfriend, and within seconds, seven to eight other officers come to his aid. They violently wrestle the black guy to the ground and several of them scream at him to hold still and stop moving. I said stop struggling, barks one of the officers. The boyfriend isn’t struggling. My arm, yells the boyfriend. You’re gonna break my ******’ arm. Then stop struggling, barks another cop, sliding forward to adjust his position and jamming his knee hard into the boyfriend’s spine. People begin booing and yelling at the cops to let the guy go. Somebody from the crowd hurls a coke can, which explodes against the building wall, spraying its contents everywhere. Police brutality, somebody yells from the crowd. Meanwhile the officers drag the guy across the car park and put him in the back of an awaiting van. I backed away from the area where the scuffle just took place, having no desire to get myself arrested. An ambulance arrives. After another half and hour of standing around, the riot squad and the ambulance guys begin moving towards the back entrance of the building, where they stand about ten feet away from the girl’s flat-where the two guy’s are still apparently in-hiding. The first stretcher to emerge bounces along the rutted tarmac as two medics attempts to manoeuvre it towards the waiting ambulance. As it rattles by I catch a glimpse of the face of a young black kid, a little younger than myself, possibly nineteen or twenty. The kid has an oxygen mask attached to his face and one of his thin arms hangs dangles over the side of the stretcher. Two minutes later, the second stretcher rolls out. He’s dead, I hear someone behind me say. It takes two or three seconds for me to understand what the man is talking about. Then I notice that one of the medics has used a grey blanket to cover the second kid’s face and a cold chill runs down my spine. The riot squad, the ordinary cops and the ambulances guys leave and not long after, people begin to disperse. It’s feels strange because in an odd way the conflict has brought us all together. This is the only time since I’ve lived in this place that I’ve actually seen the residence out on mass. Normally everyone keeps to themselves. Probably because you’re already living in each others pockets, in a claustrophobic-fear-inspiring-complex; surrounded on all sides by the strange invasive sounds: domestic quarrels, barking dogs, alleged gun fire, supersonic speakers vibrations, and inexplicable garbled screams of 'the unknown victim' at four am in the morning...and there’s no escape from any of it. I shuffle over to where the girl is now standing and ask her if she’s ok. She rubs her cheek and nods her head. Why did it take so long for the police to go in? I ask. They thought they might have a gun, says the girl. And did they? I ask. I don’t think so, says the girl, her face white as a sheet, and expressionless, as if she is still trying to compute the fact that two kids she’d never met before, forced their way into her apartment, and then after bleeding all over her carpet and sofa, one of them eventually dropped dead. I’m about to ask her if she perhaps she did know the kids, when a woman, wearing a coloured headscarf, pats the girl on her arm and the two of them turn and walk away, arm in arm. I head around to the main road, take two deep breaths, and as I bend down to redo the laces of my training shoes, I notice that my hands are shaking badly. I cross the road, turn on my Sony Walkman and start jogging, the sound of John Coltrane’s, But not for me, thumping clearly in my headphones as I head up the street.