Monday, September 24, 2007

How can you be arrested for resisting arrest?

Lucy paused to observe a police officer talking to a girl and guy sitting in a doorwell. I walked up a few doors and found my own alcove and started to choke, then snivel, then cry... I was a little bit drunk and a lot bit maudlin: I was in search of fun and connection and it seemed increased efforts in pursual made me feel sadder and lonelier. While the details don't need to be mentioned here, I'd had a shitty week and I basically needed to reconverge with my people. It usually takes about 5 minutes for this kind of blitzcry to work, so I came back out of this creche feeling collected and relieved. I blinked away the last few sparkles and looked around to find Lucy talking to the same cop, but this time he was in his cruiser. Sven and Katherine had caught her up, and were flanking Lucy in querying the policeman...
I heard her say, very clearly: "What is the ticket for? What am I getting a ticket for?"
He refused to acknowledge her, so she approached the car. This he noticed: "Get back to da sidewalk, or else I gif you anudder ticked"
She complied and reiterated her question from the sidewalk. Sven joined in: "Sir, what is she being given a ticket for? You have to tell her."
The cop heard that: "I don't haf to tell you."
"Yes, but you have to tell her. Lucy, ask again."
"Sir, what am I being given a ticket for?"
"If you don't lower your voices I will gif you da ticked for da noise."
And this is where I chimed in: "They are forced to raise their voices in order to have this dialogue. If you don't tell her what the ticket is for before you give it to her you will be littering."
Sven says: "Guys, we could just walk away here, he has refused to explain the reason and so Lucy is free to go. Let's just go."
Then the cop got out of the cruiser empty handed. That is, without the aforementioned ticket or Lucy's identification card.
He approached Lucy directly. And then wheeled on me: "Show me a piece of ID."
I replied: "I know I do not have to unless you tell me why."
Sven said much the same: "No he doesn't."
Sven has a law degree.
The next words fell heavy:
"You are under arrest."
My vision flashed and he was grabbing for my arm, so I pulled away and said: "Not unless you declare reason." He grabbed for my arm again, this time making contact, but I broke the hold by pulling away.
He actually had a little mini-tantrum, a quick exhalation and stamp like a pouty child, then put his head to the right and spoke into his walkietalkie. And then grabbed for me again. His platinum blonde partner had somehow materialized beside us and tried to grab me from the other side. I evaded her hand too, saying: "I know you have to present probable cause before you do this, therefore you cannot. Do not touch me." Lucy and Sven were now shepherding me away from them. Then a second cop car pulled up and a uniformed man and woman approached in the process of putting on black latex gloves. And pushed past Lucy and Sven to extract me. Lucy's glasses were broken in the process.
They pulled apart our circle and somehow plucked me out. I was brought down to my knees, but I got back up. Each was trying to get a leg out from under me, not realizing that they were rooting me with their combined weight, so much so, they were falling over each other trying to do it. Then more weight was added and I went to all fours. Excruciating pressure was suddenly applied to my neck and armpits and I fell onto my face. They were still trying to get my arms behind my back, the left side by thumb manipulation, the right by force. My right shoulder was taking all the weight. My legs had somehow been pinned, then a hand came down on my head and I heard a crack against the pavement. A knee came down on my back and the strength faded from my arms, they came round like toffee. My neck was pinned, the weight of the assailant pushing my chin round. I was starting to get dizzy. My wrists were cuffed, and then my legs. I heard someone ask, "can you breathe?" And I couldn't say no. I literally couldn't say no.
This query made me focus on my breathing and my breathing alone. I was held there for what felt like a while. I regained my breath and told the man who had my throat that he was hurting me. He didn't budge.
I'd repeatedly asked "why?" and asserted "you have no right unless you give me reason" during the course of the whole event, which could've been eight seconds or half a semester for all I knew.
Then I was repositioned and I saw the maelstrom. Everything seemed a bit achronological and I reasoned I'd either been concussed or throttled out as I couldn't really comprehend what was happening. The street was cordoned off, gaggles of ogglers all stood watching down at me stoically. Cop boots marched past in all directions. I could hear Lucy's voice somewhere, but couldn't see her. I saw Sven getting directed into a cruiser. Then I my vision tilted as I was lifted to my feet by the handcuffs. I took the opportunity to look around, to look for friends, to look for sympathy, to just make eye contact, to see if I could tell what the DJ was playing at the Green Room, to see if I'd urinated or anything. I just needed my bearings. About a dozen cruisers and minivans gagged the street. Then I was thrown into the back of a cruiser, the seatbelt pulled across me and I was left there, I guessed at the time that it was to psych me out somehow. But I had no idea why.

At first I laughed a bit, looking at my situation. I still hadn't been given a reason. The cuffs had made my hands numb, and the manacles (I later asked a cop if they were called pedacles) just seemed absurd. I popped the seatbelt and looked through all the windows. I could see Lucy, I wondered what had happened to her pink wig. And where had her glasses gone? I tried to get her attention, but she couldn't see me. So I counted the cop cars. Ten that I could see. This is just a stupid waste of resources, I thought, and beat my head against the window. The cops were all leaning against the cruisers, and a few came over to peer in. "You still have not declared yourselves. I want to talk to the supervisor." They jeered and I started crying again. "You have no idea what you are doing, do you? You inept fucks! You are obliged to let me know what is happening." One cop, member of the glove-squad said "stop crying" and plugged in my seatbelt again. I immediately undid it. It was all I could do.

Time passed, and then glove-squad guy got in before his partner, saying "Shut up, bitch" as he sat in the driver's seat. I was quiet at that point, saving my water, and so I said: "What did you just call me? Did you just call me a bitch?"
"I don't understand you" he quipped.
"I don't understand you either, maybe because of the cock in your mouth" was my awkward and ungainly reply. "So if you don't understand me and I don't understand you, I will not be speaking to you at all. I will be speaking to your partner."
He rounded to retort, but he was chided by his partner in French. He winced out the window.
So I spoke to her instead. "Nothing has been explained to me here."
"It will be," she said, and closed the divider.
"Hey, I know now's not a good time, but while you're protecting my rights, can I file a report for a bike that was stolen a few days ago?" No response. But it lightened my mood some. This whole thing was just so damn absurd. Then we started to drive away. I tapped at the window with my foot. "Ey, wat are you doing?" Said Cockinmouth.
"Can you please tell him that I'm waving to my girlfriend."
"Stop dat!" He yelled.
I did, but only to sit up to see if she'd heard. She hadn't. I watched her as we left. She seemed distraught.
For some very peculiar reason, I didn't feel quite as lonely anymore.



Eve said...

Oh my God! That's insane! Waiting with bated breath...

Lin-Zed said...

I'm sending you an email about this...please please please if you do not get it for some reason...please let me know

Lin-Zed said...

I opted for a facebook message. Yes, I'm paranoid but only because I love you.

pagno said...

what?! tom, this is so horrible. photograph any bruises, scratches, etc. and go find simon (mondo fritz version). he had a bad run in with cops a couple years back, took them to court and won...

S'Mat said...

eve - it sucked. i felt like a donut.

linz - yes! thank you so much. that was an incredibly comprehensive email, and helped clear away my foggy abstractions in order to see the pragmatics. thanks! ps. i am paranoid too, but only because you love me!

paggers - simon. good idea... i mistily remember his altercation, something to do with his getting caught in a scrap outside of foufounes. i've got the photo evidence, as corroborated by the medical community now, and all advice i'm getting is to parry THEN thrust. we'll see...

Graham said...

Tom this is all really clumsilly incredible!

I was just reading in the Gazette about a bunch of cases of heavy-handed and thouroughly misplaced justice thumped down on black people in Montreal. THe stories made me quake with anger.... yours is a bad as any of them (except the guy that was shot dead, that fate seems a might bit worse).

I'm relieved to know that you weren't hurt. But the worst thing about situations like this can be the historical handcuffs you can find yourself in, not being able to have your (true) story believed... but gathering from what you replied to Lindsey above, you may have a enough evidence to escape the po-po's power-drunk trap. Let it be so.

I'm waiting to hear the rest.

Eve said...

Are you ok now? Also, since he gave you a ticket, you have his information, right? Waiting for the rest...

Jordan said...

I bet it was the cops who stole your bike.

somewhere joe said...

Yikes. I suspect that was way more exciting to read than to live through. Good luck with your case.

S'Mat said...

eve - itsa coming, i'm still trying to deal with the mental issues
jor - i stole their black latex glove... smell the glove!
joe - you're right, though it was pretty exciting then, in a what-i-thought-was-reality-now-seems-so-distant kind of way...