Thursday, October 19, 2006

After working a ten hour shift at Normic that started at 3:30 pm Tuesday October 17th and ending 2 am on the 18th, I was driving home on South Airport Road. A few minutes after I turned off Park Drive on to South Airport, a car drove up very close behind me. The headlights were lighting the interior of my car and it was making me very uncomfortable because it simply wasn't safe. If I suddenly had to stop, the other car would have rear-ended me. I turned on my signal and moved into the left lane. The car advanced and I saw it was a police car. I thought he was in a hurry and would pass. Instead, he turned his flashers on. Confused, I turned on my signal and pulled over back in to the right lane, then off to the side of the road, turning off my car and rolling down the window. The officer walked up and I asked "What? What did I do?" He asked me for my driver's license and registration. I told him it was in my purse and pointed to the backseat. He told me to get it, so I started opening the door. He got angry and slammed it shut. He demanded that I get it by reaching around the other way. There was no way I could reach it. He yanked open the door and ordered me to get out and go to the back of my car. I did what I was told, asking what did I do. He refused to answer. Moments later, he walked around riffling through my purse. He asked me if I had anything sharp that would cut him or a weapon. I have a small atheme that I carry for when I do ritual in the woods. It's a set of two knives--two inches and one inch. Since most people don't know what an athame is, I called them knives. I bought them on Ebay for 99 cents. He dug to the bottom of the outside pocket and found them. He again looked through the main pocket, then gave me my purse back and demanded I give him my license and registration. I asked him to hold his flashlight over my purse while I looked for them; it was even a bigger mess than when I gave it to him. After I gave him the forms, I was handcuff and put in the back of the squad car. I kept asking why and neither officer would answer me. I asked to talk to a supervisor and was told he knew, but he was too busy to talk to me. Where the second officer came from I don't know. I was so overhelmed, I didn't see if there was a second car. They searched my car without my permission and arranged to have my car towed. They took my keys and drove me to the jail. The handcuffs were so tightened they make my hands numb. Wednesday I woke up with my right wrist hurt and swollen.

After we got to the jail, I was informed that my car was swerving and that is why I was stopped. They arrested me because of my carrying a concealed weapon. I was totally amazed. They took off the handcuffs and I was processed. They took all my jewelry, including my pentacle necklace, and I was searched. During the processing, I was searched twice more, which I didn't understand. Except for going to the bathroom, I was always in their sight, so why would they continually have to search me? Another person was being given a breathizer test. I asked to be given one as well. I wanted it as evidence that was sober and I had never done it before. I asked to talk to a supervisor and again was denied. I asked for an attorney and was denied. They placed me in a hallway. There was a payphone, but I didn't know who to call and I no longer had any money. The longer I waited, the more nervous, I became. Stress is the main trigger for my asthma. As the attack started, I asked for my inhaler; they refused to give it to me. It turned into a major attack to the point of throwing up and peeing on myself. An officer walked in and told me to stop making myself sick. I told him the best that I could that I have asthma and needed my inhaler. A few minutes later, he allowed me to use it, but it took a little while before I was able to talk. During that time a dark haired officer with a mustache, who claimed he was a supervisor came it. I told him that I could talk yet and to come back in a few minutes. He never came back, but another one did. He said he was the shift sergeant who arrest me and that the other was the supervisor for the jail. I explain to him what had happened and the actual size of the knifes. He didn't understand why the officer decided to arrest me--that he had the option of not. He also said that the officer contacted him and told him that the knife was three inches long; it was at that point he gave the officer the option of arresting or not. He said at this point there was nothing he could do, but at the 9 am, I would be given my bond hearing and that I would most likely be let go without having to pay a bond. I told him about my asthma, allergies, and hypoglycemia. He said he would make sure that I had access to my inhaler and given something to eat. I told him I would be missing two dozes of my allergy medication because I didn't carry them with me. There was nothing he could do. I asked for an attorney and why my rights hadn't been read to me. He said my rights didn't have to be read to me because they hadn't asked about the knife, but ignored my request for an attorney. Before he left, he again said he didn't understand why I was arrested and was sorry that he couldn't help.
Later I was put into a holding room and bagged lunch with two sandwiches, cookie, juice and an apple were given to me. The juice was high in sugar so it helped bring my blood sugar left back up. The sandwich tasted strange and the bread was all dry. It made me sick. I forced myself to eat half of it because I needed to eat and nibbled on the stale cookie. It was so bad I didn't know what kind it was. I rationed out the juice to keep my blood sugar up. For the rest of the night, I sat on the mattress and walked the parade of people. Every few hours my chest would start to get tight and I would ask for my inhaler. It was hard to get their attention, but eventually it would be provided. Each time the officers were getting nastier about it. Breakfast was served to the other inmates but I didn't receive any, nor was I asked if I wanted any. There weren't any clocks so I lost track of time.

Eventually I was let out to talk to the "magistrate"--the woman who set my bail. I tried to tell her my side; she wouldn't listen. No one would. She was more interested in my income and what property I owned, than finding out what my history was. I tried to tell her that I had never been arrested; like everyone else, she ignored me. She told me I was to go before the judge at 2pm. My bond was set at five thousand dollars with ten percent down. The only person I could think to call who would have access to that kind of money was my employer. I called him and he said he would see what he could do. Later, I was able to use the phone twice more to get bond. My sister-in-law wasn't home; my credit card wouldn't increase my limit. I didn't know what I was going to do. No one would give me any information nor help me understand the process.

For most of the morning, I sat with my back against the wall, crying. Lunch was served, but by that time I had waited to long to eat. Looking at it make me feel nauseous, eating would only make me vomit. Instead, I curled back up in my corner and drank the Kool-Aid type drink they gave me. I continue to ask for my inhaler regularly. The officers were getting hostile. At one point, they nearly refused, but they gave it to me and told me it was the last time. Another officer mentioned that they should send me to the nurse to be checked out. However that wasn't done.

It seemed to be getting late. I started asking about the time. I was told I had to appear before the judge at 2pm. I was already in enough trouble already; I didn't need more by being late. The officers told me not to worry about it; the paperwork wasn't filled out yet, but it would be soon. There was an announcement made for something at three o'clock. I again told an officer about the 2 pm appointment, he told me the paperwork still wasn't ready. Later I asked again about the time, the officer said it was nearly four. Another person and I would be arranged before five. The was a problem with the transfer of a person and there was chaos for about 10-15 minutes. The officers had a good time beating up a young man who was being difficult. They laughed and joked about how they wanted to punch him bloody. After things had calmed down, my court appearance had been pushed back to Thursday at 9:45 am but my bond had been posted. They were just waiting to get the receipt.

After dinner had been service, I was finally let out of the cell and my paperwork processed. They had taken all the cash I had on hand and deducted cost of my stay, returning the rest in a check. They wouldn't give me copies of anything bond the receipt of my bond being paid and the check. They allowed me to use the phone. I called my employer to tell him that I had been released. He told me that he had tried to pay the bond earlier, but was told that I would be arraigned at two and that it would be reduced. When he called before three and he found out that I hadn't been, he made arrangements to pay it before 4. I wasn't released until after 5pm. It was too late to contact an attorney.

By the time, the cab picked me up and the tow driver returned to the lot, it was after 6:30pm. Neither of them would accept a check and I ended up going over my limit on my credit card in order to get myself and my car home. On Wednesday, I arrived at the courthouse at 9:30. I asked where I need to be and for my paperwork. I was told I didn't need any and was directed to the courtroom. While I was waiting, I talked to a man who also had been in jail at the same time. He heard the officers joking that my paperwork had been ready for a while, but since I had been a pain they were going to teach me a lesson. It was after 11:30 before I was called before the judge. He finally read me my rights and gave me a phone number to call the next day to get an attorney. I told him I had never been arrested before and he agreed to give me back the ten percent my employer paid. I was able to leave. I was cooperative from the beginning and through the whole ordeal. I keep asking why, because I wasn’t being given answers. The couple of times in the past, when I had been stopped the first words the officer said was did you know you were speeding. The arresting officer wouldn’t tell me anything. It was as if he was looking for a reason to arrest me and wouldn’t stop until he found one. I didn’t know him and don’t know why he would want to hurt me. I lost two days of work, cost me money I couldn't afford, and has made me physically ill. I didn't do anything wrong.