My entire life like everyone else's, has had enough drama to keep the ink fresh on the Daily News and the ears moist with whispers. But what I went through recently with the NYPD, the Department of Corrections and the 'Justice system', was a life changing event that has significantly altered my views on certain issues. Here is the tale of my time spent with the self made 'Gods' with a badge.
On the morning of my birthday June 27th 2009, I had never personally had a problem with the NYPD or any of their accomplices such as the Department of Corrections and the 'Justice system', they let me off easy a few years back and I kept my side of the deal by steering clear of any trouble. By that evening, the above mentioned would have magically changed the way I feel about my Country, State and 'friendly' neighborhood Police Officers. I also got a chance to see what happens after whom some people call "Devil white Cops" are done with you, they turn you over to the "Devil black Corrections Officers".
If you ask any of my friends, family or associates, I was never the one to label myself a Liberal/Democrat or a Conservative/Republican. My views on topics such as the war, abortion and politics vary. If you talked to me three weeks ago I might have come off as a law respecting, country loving patriot type, if you talk to me now, it would be more like talking to Rev. Wright or Sharpton.
I grew up in the inner city, the hood or whatever you know it as, made the typical choices you've heard about, and barely made it out alive just like most who are born there. By the time I was 25, I had done everything your parents taught you not to. I had no education or job, four children out of wedlock, an in and out baby daddy, welfare, sect 8, 9 and 10 and was basically a walking vegetable. I happened to meet a friend of my grandfathers named Herb Weitz who makes custom photo albums for celebrities, he is now my best friend. He gave me the foot in the behind that helped me get off my ass and start to dream bigger. He taught me that all white people didn't hate me and neither did the police, I don't believe the latter anymore.
I seperated with the father of my children and he took custody of our two sons, we also have twin daughters who live with me. Herby offered me the chance to live on the Upper East Side rather than East New York and I took it. The girls flourished in this new environment as did I. I started working in the restaurant industry and also learned a great deal about fine hand bookbinding. I showed Herby (Herb Weitz) ways to expand his business and created a division of his company that markets toward the entertainment industry called BlingBooks. I am emotionally, verbally, mentally and physically a much stronger person now, able bodied and stable enough to make choices that will give me and my kids a chance at life.
The week leading up to the day of my newly found disgust with the City of New York, I had a job at a place that just didn't pay enough for me, so I left. I know in these times you should be grateful to have any job at all, but I just felt I could do better. This caused Herby to get pissed at me and basically shut me out. We had a small spat at 8:00am on the morning of my birthday after he told me he wasn't going to give me a dime or a gift and I got upset. I grabbed some of his belongings including a $5000 pool cue, a $4000 dollar custom photo album and something I wish now, I had just thrown in the trash then...an old revolver. I had asked him several times to get rid of it to no avail. I threatened to keep the stuff and get him locked up for the gun, he went to work in Coney Island and I continued about my day.
I stayed home with the girls most of the day because it was raining on and off and I was kind of broke. So we cooked and cleaned and played. I remembered I had Herby's gun, and decided to put it somewhere the kids couldn't reach and Herby couldn't find. So I took an old beat down teddy that had a zipper on it, I put the gun inside and put it up on a 14ft. high shelf. At about 6:30pm my sons showed up to surprise me for my birthday and we talked for awhile. I sent all four of the kids in the hall to play because my apartment's about the size of tinker bell's shoe box and it was very humid inside. I was sitting at my desk when my youngest son came running in,"Mommy the cops are trying to get in the building". I got up thinking someone called about the kids making too much noise, I peaked at the door, saw them talking to a neighbor and decided it wasn't about the kids. I turned to go back inside just as the police gain entry to the building and one of them says to me "Why are you running"? I state that I was only going back inside officer and he yells "Do you live in that apartment"? I say yes and he says "We got a call about a disturbance involving a woman waving a gun and there's children around". I tell the officer he must be mistaken, I have been here with my children all day and there is no one else here with me. They tell me to stand against the wall their going to search the apartment for a gun.
I mentioned to the officers that they had just witnessed my children playing from the vestibule and saw no obvious conflict, they stared. They line my children up like the St. Valentines day massacre while they question me on the whereabouts of the GUNS. I see Herby walk in with the cops and I immediately figured he had set me up because I made the threat to get him arrested first, I don't remember saying it, but my son told me I cursed herby with the demise of choking on a corned beef sandwich as he entered the apartment with the cast from "Cops, the musical". After about ten minutes of the Police destroying my apartment, I hear over the radio what I thought to be confirmation of the weapon being located, I scream. I knew that as a black uneducated woman, I was going to end up with the charge rather than the old Jewish business man.
I cried and yelled for someone to help me, and that I was being framed and set up. I begged the officers to let my kids go else where during the commotion to which he replied "The kids are not going anywhere". My neighbor, a guy I only say hello to when I see him from time to time, tried in vain to retrieve the kids from the venomous prey called the NYPD and was greeted with a very 'Courteous, Respectful and Professional' response from the cop as follows "Go the F- in your apartment and close your F-ing door". I am kept there for another twenty to thirty minutes, while arresting officer continues to inquire about guns and their location..
Me and my children were eventually hauled off to the precinct, me sporting a pair of fashionable NYPD designer cuffs and a look of sheer torture, embarrassment and concern for my children etched in my face. In the holding cell screaming over and over at the top of my lungs for them to arrest Herby because it's his gun. I am told by the arresting officer to "Calm down and shut up or you'll never see your f-ing kids again", I almost went into cardiac arrest at that point. I was tormented with this taunt several times, huh, water board me any day before you torture me with that idea! My children were showered with pizza and soda, a consolation prize given by the cops for the kids losing their mom I guess. I am then handcuffed to a bench outside the cell with another female prisoner and for two hours I listen to faint sounds of Herby's loud and brooklyn accented voice when suddenly, he appears before me in a pair of cuffs. As he walked by, I fought the urge not to spit.
As soon as he sat down he turned to me and said, "I didn't mean for it to turn out this way, I wanted to turn in the gun&". He then explained how he'd walked into the precinct before he came home and told the officer he has a gun that he wants to turn in, the cop tells him to dial 911. He states to the cop that Its not an emergency and the cop refers him to 911 again...he calls, they show up. He said he thought they were just going to pick up the gun and leave, he continued "I knew my prints were on it, I didn't think we'd get in trouble because I asked about the $100 program they have". I believe him! That didn't stop me from screaming at him a thousand times about ending up in the NY. POST because of this, and reminding him that he is Oprah Winfrey's bookbinder, we ended up coincidently? Making the NY Post's Monday June 29th issue, not the blotter, but an article titled: "Book Binder finds himself in a bind".
Question: Why was either of us arrested?
June 28th, 2009
At about 3:00am I inquired for the last time of many, about the comfort of my children and if they had somewhere for them to lye down, the cop replies "Their fine, their up watching movies". I believe that if your able to come up with pizza, soda and movies, you should have access to blankets and pillows also. Me and the other female inmate stayed handcuffed, sitting up for eight hours while Herby and another male were afforded the luxury of lying down on the benches inside. At around 6:00am I watch my children walk away with their grandma for what I believe to be the last time. This was due to my torture sessions with Guantanamo's rival twin, The NYPD. Herby was then hauled out of their first and I was arrested at least three hours before him. He was taken to Manhattan's Central Booking and arraigned on misdemeanor criminal possession of a firearm charges and given a $1500 bail. Some of his friends bailed him out.
I arrive at C.B and am put into a cell with no running water or soap, just a little cold water trickling out of the mildew infested sink. I politely asked the C.O if she could turn on the big ass fan that was directly in front of the cell to which she screamed "I said give me a minute"! This turned into hours, anything I asked for was returned with a hostile exclamation. As one of the C.O's walked by with a large bottle of hand soap, my mouth drooled and my eyes were anxiously calling for her to come my way, she instead made a right turn and went into the employees bathroom. I watched the other inmates being ignored as they called for the C.Os assistance, they were too busy laughing and talking about where they got their "Nails did".
I accepted the fact that fresh air was not on the top of their list and resolved to conversing with a white female prisoner about my charges when out of grave comes a scaly crack addict, who was lying on the floor eating one of the feces filled sandwiches the city provides, she chimed in "Oh you got a gun charge" all while continuing to smack on her 'samich',"You ain't never gettin' your #$%*@& kids back". I said "Miss I really don't want to hear that right now I'm realy stressed", she said "I don't give a $%#@ what you wanna hear I wanna say it". So I stepped closer to her and told her to shut the @#$% up, she said make me. I knew if I hit this beast I would be charged so I'm sorry if your offended but; I spit a large amount of saliva on her and her gourmet lunch.
One of the African American C.Os breaks fool, forgets she has a badge on and starts a 'Shenenayesque' tirade that went like this."Uh, Uh, you don't spit on nobody that's nasty, and she did it in front of me, Ima' Mother#$%^ C.O, she gotta respect me"! Well miss thang, I was taught to respect those that respect me and after being cursed at and ignored for hours by a group of miserable out of shape broads, I would have did it in front of a judge! The so called City worker then proceeds to threaten me with the following "If I see you on the street I will fuck you up" I promptly dared her to do it now! These C.Os seemed so familiar to me and I knew why, they were nothing more than project girls with a badge. I'm not suggesting that everyone girl from the P.J's is a ghetto bitch, but if you are, you know who you are!
June 29th, 2009
I am anxously awaiting my turn to go to court and inquiring to several of the male C.Os who seem to be more content with their choice of employment, about my fate. They say "Oh, you ain't got no previous charges, you gonna be Released on your own recognizance". I feel overjoyed, I just know I'm going home soon. "Erica Conyers", one of the C.Os announce. I jump up, say goodbye to the few girls I had become friendly with, and made my way down what I call "The dead carpet". I sat in the courtroom listening to several cases called before me. Most were immigrants, petty career criminals and crack addicts. I watched as the D.A which I now believe stands for "Dumb assholes", let people without proper I.D or valid verification of citizenship walk into the arms of their family because they had a job and a baby on the way. My turn up at bat, I look at the judge straight in the eyes and hope this maneuver proves I am an upstanding citizen with nothing to hide and children I want to go home to. The D.A starts, Your honor the defendant has no prior arrest convictions but we feel becasuse of her children she may be a flight risk and the people are suggesting a $750 bail...Judge agrees, "I watched my flag burn itself that day".
I scream as they take me back through the gates of hell and again I almost have a heart attack. The C.Os escort me back through the holding area and some of the girls I had been friendly with scream out, "Yo E, keep your head up yo"...I cry. I am now in another holding area where I try to make a phone call I was interrupted by the scream of a guard, "Ladies, the bus to Rikers is here", here we go I thought to myself. I hung up the phone not knowing when I would get to contact my friends and family. I get on the line where I am hand shackled to a girl who thought she was a comedian. She gave the newbies to Rikers Rose M. Singer facility an impromptu introduction tour of the outside architecture such as being surrounded by the ocean, spacious recreational areas and a whole lot of other little hilarious statements. I tried not to laugh, but it was funny.We arrive to the Intake section where all the embarassing procedures are done like squat, drop and roll, it also epitomizes the meaning of the term 'Public Restroom.'
I immediately go into the survival mode the father of my kids told me about, he said the first person who tries you, whether verbally or physically, you have to shut them down right away or others will see you as bait. But I soon realize that the real enemy is not my cell mates, it's the C.Os who are not happy with themselves or their job of choice. I watched quietly for about two hours as inmates wre refused mandated toiletries like soap and tissue and could only hope that when it was my turn I'd get someone with a little decency in their soul. So I get the heart to approach them about my right to take a shower and they reply "Wait a minute I said, I ain't get you locked up"! I ask several officers and I get the same verbal response, I was starting to believe that the only way to attain employment with this agency was to be as uneducated sounding as you possible, out of shape and bitchy. I come across a C.O of caribbean decent and she promises me I can shower after the count. The count was over and she was gone! So I asked the new tour if I could shower and an obese chick at the intake desk screams "I didn't promise you no shower, you should have done that on the last Tour. I tried in vain to explain that I did ask earlier and all I got were blank stares and shoulder shrugging accompanied with the verbal taunt of, "Bitch, don't get locked up".
"I was sitting on the floor of the cell when my menstruation decided it was time to help make my experience become even more miserable. I jumped up and begged the C.Os to let me shower, they all appeared to be deaf and I sat there trying to keep it from staining my pants. Another inmate who had witnessed my torture tried to help me get the attention of those criminals called C.Os, when finally a human one came over and allowed me a shower. After my shower, which was given to me after 10hrs. of my initial arrival, I decide I was no longer going to let the people who my taxes pay treat me like this anymore. So I decided to exercise my right to Freedom of Speech; and verbally abuse the law as they had done to me since my arrival at the at the first floor of hell, the 19th Precinct.
Without mentioning the threat of death or physical violence towards them or their families, I preceded to tell them how I felt, ridiculed the way they talk and behave, mentioned how sloppy and out of shape they were; and a slew of other taunts that would make Kat Williams sound like a saint. I got support from my fellow cell mates, but the some of the women in the other cages were upset with my persistent verbal onslaught of the C.Os. I was told to shut up by several dykes who were sentenced to time on Riker's and were told by them that I had to respect the C.Os. I don't have to respect my mother if she doesn't respect me! Some inmates kiss the big black buttocks of the C.Os in order to gain access to outside treats and inside special treatment. "I'd die first"!
June 30th, 2009
So, finally my friends come and bail me out, but it takes a couple of hours. I am temporarily housed in the dorm and get the real inside look at where I could end up spending some time because of this gun charge, not a happy mood in that room at all. I peered out through the mesh of metal called a window and vowed revenge for the injustice that I had been faced with since my birthday, June 27th 2009. Let me make my position on this issue clear. I am not complaining about the food and decor, the company or the misery, I am strictly concerned with humane treatment at Rikers when it comes to mandated toiletries and showers. So as Rosa fought for fair treatment, Martin for freedom and Obama for change, I will fight for for the civil rights of inmates. It takes one stubborn individual to make it happen, and the City of NY has met it's match.
In: Your Say
Tags: Rikers Island, NYPD, NYS Courts, framed, $100, gun program, prison, jail, inmate, correction officer, police, injustice, guns,
Location: New York, New York, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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