It Ain't Easy Being Indian: May 2015

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ricey wild.jpg … My bad. Or am I?

Whilst ‘Under the Clock,’ which is

a euphemism for being in city jail, I experienced some of the

greatest terror and trauma up till then in my life. My repeated

queries as to why I was being detained were only answered with

“probable cause.” Being the law-abiding citizen that I am I

didn’t know what that meant. Now I know it means that any and all

law enforcement can pick you up for no other reason than they feel

like it.

Just because. Because there was a lull

in arrests and the officer was getting bored and didn’t like the

look of you; because someone did something somewhere and the vague

description is most likely you especially if you walk around being

brown, black and not-white. Because of false accusations that are

probably a cause so you get taken downtown cuffed up in a cop car in

a state of utter panic and disbelief. Because I found myself wearing

big white underpants in orange scrubs and some type of plastic

sandals on my feet carrying a small toothbrush and toothpaste, a thin

mattress and blanket and later at some point I got a nubby pencil

with no eraser.

Later I found out I was placed in the

less-violent cell block so my new companions were prostitutes,

junkies and women who committed misdemeanors (I guess). I shared a

cell with the trustee; I had the top bunk and tried to sleep with the

light that never shut off. No sleep was to be had anyway as I had no

actual contact with guards at all in order to question them. There

was only a slot just big enough to slide food trays through and that,

except for a static voice that gave orders or reprimands on the

intercom was the only contact to be had with the outer world. The

large windows were frosted over too.

It was Saturday afternoon when I got

there and time as I knew it became very, very different. Really

different from what my plans had been for sure! I had been napping

because I was out the night before and later I was gonna shop at the

Super Ghetto-Mart for necessities. Then I answered the door wide open

to the cops and I even had a chain-lock! Over and over in my head ran

the same reel: I know very well I didn’t do anything that could

probably cause my stay in jail; I had not been read my rights; no one

knew I was there; WHY was I there? WHY DID I OPEN THE DOOR???!!!

I was overcome with anxiety and panic.

While sitting on the hard, cold floor I wanted to start banging my

head on the cement walls just for a reason for my agony and one thing

stopped me, the vision and comforting love of my Grampa who had

passed on and was one of my rocks. Paw was laid-back but had a keen,

dry wit, he was a center of calm in an insane world so I channeled

him, began to breathe again before the next round of unanswered

questions began again.

Of course I blundered through jail

protocol. The guards come and count you in the mornings and during

the day. I was bathing when there was an inspection and had to slide

through toward my cell door and mate in wet, soapy, soggy underpants.

The guards would revoke privileges if we inmates were not in order

and if anyone was the cause of such loss? Well I don’t actually

know but how can you shun or shame anyone who is being subjugated

with loss of freedom? I was humiliated each and every time this

occurred but had no recourse to stop it.

One time during a meal I was asked what

did I do? I replied that I am a writer and the woman looked puzzled

for a moment then said, “Oh! You forge checks and things!” I was

aghast and said no not like that! LOL I was replying to a normal

question as if I was at a ladies luncheon! And I was struck by the

fact that I could not possibly be innocent of anything if I was in

that place now could I? Ennit?

Come Monday morning names were being

called and then mine was … finally. I met a sheriff and he asked me

what had happened? I cried telling him the story and he sighed then

said, “If I had been here none of this would have happened.”

Hearing that I completely broke down and sobbed uncontrollably. The

officer gave me a ride home and asked me how I had been treated in

jail? Furious I said well I didn’t get beat up if that’s what you

mean but I’m gonna sue for false arrest!

My mother had a friend of hers who

worked in the courts try and get the arrest records. He said well she

hasn’t been charged with anything and in further research there

were no arrest records at all, no proof whatsoever of my being

detained so de facto it never happened!!! Well played crooked cops,

well played.