NOTE: Please see an auxiliary “memo” that is pertinent to this article. It’s entitled “Addendum to my ex post facto piece, and an embarrassed apology to D.A Timothy Cruz”.
The American justice system is such a misnomer, in parts of Brockton, Massachusetts anyway, and if the conduct of two MCCPD officers, Christopher O’Sullivan and Sergeant Anne Holland is any example, that for such a label to have become the established and colloquial norm is downright fraudulent, and is thus a crime itself! No, this is not the cynical ranting of a softy liberal. Oh, I am damned well cynical. And I sure as hell am a staunch and proud pro-life liberal. But my rage and outrage comes from anecdotal associations, the consumption of public news, and a sober awareness of the yawning, gaping, behemoth chasm that stretches in agony between the ideal and the real.
My outrage comes from the gall that the unconstitutional and corrupt folks refered to in the article description actually find ME at fault because I, first, failed to read between his very fuzzy lines (in the case of O’Sullivan), and second, in the case of Sergeant Anne Holland, and one particular “deal/settle” assistant prosecutor-guy down at the Brockton Trial Court, I didn’t simply lay down and permit my rights to be trampled, my humanity to be screwed, and simply LET them get away with telling me to “just go sit at the back of the bus, eat at that lunch counter over their” and just “shut the hell up, boy” and don’t make any trouble like some uppity know-it-all who just won’t keep his place!
Yes, I’m pissed. Because these folks actually expect to get away with acting (on the job!!!) like “the process”, getting ‘er done, and their authority actually matters more than the facts, a fair and just outcome, and a truthful and diligent adherence to the spirit AND LETTER of the constitution that is supposed to be THE first and last word in judicial thought AND practice.
Oh, and my rage and outrage, my disgust and disdain for this pathetic excuse for a system that more resembles the snotty arrogance, the sloth, the Orwellian truth-bending and underhanded, smoky back-room politics of Philip Morris, Dick Cheney, or more suburban police departments than you might care to admit – my utter contempt for a system that indeed more resembles the hatred, greed, and faux-elitism and “good-ol’-boy”ism of KKK culture than the so-called precious and blind lady liberty who allegedly holds eternal vigil over the good of all mankind – my bitter and furious loathing of this “justice system” that is a sickening and blasphemous disgrace to and betrayal of the principals of justice, fairness and integrity that actually *mean* something to some of us – also happens to come from some most UNjust firsthand experience.
Now, before you stop reading and dismiss this as the embittered hyperbole of a disgruntled thug, before you take the perhaps understandable but here mistaken position of doubt and disbelief, especially as I would imply such a loaded and cliche’d reference to the trump card of any pre-Obama era soapbox rant – race, or racism – and by calling forth the reviled and nearly irrelevant institutionalized embodiment of its evil – in naming the aforementioned alliterative hate group – bear with me one account of “the real world” the likes of which you never learned about in kindergarten.
-Committing a crime is not necessary to be arrested, coerced or convic… – oh, pardon me, I mean “cwof”ed.-
It was the Friday before last, which was November 21, 2008. Now, wait. I can see the furrowed brow of suspicion and finger-wagging already poised for wielding. Yes, it was a Friday night, but this was at 9:30pm. It did not involve alcohol. It did not involve violence. It did not involve a moving violation or disturbing the peace. In fact, it did not involve any breach of the law whatsoever. But it ultimately did involve a court appearance and a criminal record! Oh, technically it’s “continued without a finding” for 6 months, during which this “open case” appears on my CORI. Did I mention that I work in special education? Did I mention that I work in special ed because of a life long struggle with my own learning and anxiety and neurological difficulties, and the arrogance and stupidity and ignorance and stupidity and maliciousness and stupidity and sadistic cowards and their stupidity for not giving enough of a damn to give a damn at all? Oh, right. Their brave and noble lives are on the line. Please. They’re community college campus baby-sitters. They got pissed because some poor bastard was too tired to get his ass off their precious fucking campus so that they wouldn’t have to stop and check on him on their way to pick up 2 glazed and a “cream with 2 sugars”. They’re barely more than rent-a-cops who shouldn’t have the authority to write a damned ticket, let alone wield the powers of arrest.
And carrying a gun??? With THAT judgment???!!!
So, yeah. And after that 6 months, it goes down as “dismissed”. But it still goes down! Will I thus go down, too??? For not having done one damned thing wrong?
Say what? That’s impossible! How can it be that you’d have a record for NOT violating the law?
So, these insecure and cruel and hypocritically cognitively compromised bullies were out to teach this guy a lesson. A lesson for being responsible enough not to drive until he was safe to operate. Damn that, they say! They have tax-payer funded busy-work to continue!
“Now, where was I…Oh, right, red jack on black queen…”
-“Take a Break! Stay Awake for Safety’s Sake!”-
Here’s the gist. I’m busy. I get tired. I drive. I also, at 36, have acquired little, but enough common sense and have let go of some of the scorn and pride I carried with me in my early 20s. Back then, I scoffed at and thought rather ridiculous the ever-increasingly present blue and white signage with the admonition to “Stay awake. Take a break for safety’s sake!”, thinking that the material world drives us to this rat-race of “keep up with the Jones’s” consumption. Yes – given the inevitable responsibility of keeping my own self up, in the current economy especially, I’ve let go of that silent judgment.
For most of the first half of my driving life – no – for most of the first two thirds of it, I had had more than an acceptable number of “close calls” – including some scrapes, literally, with off-ramp reflector poles and, but for the ingenious invention of the highway “rumble strip”, probably many more.
Or perhaps just one more. In which case I would not be here to write this piece!
In other words, I finally got it.
Or so I thought. I thought I had it. I thought I understood. Yin and yang. Fuel and exertion. Work and rest. And this isn’t just a personal matter. This isn’t just one of those bigger (capital “L”) “Lessons” about how to live a full and happy life.
This is very pragmatic. Ya wanna live? Don’t drive tired! I’m sad to report, although this did not serve for me the function of teaching any lesson at the time, and even now is only anecdotal, that a member of my family died several years ago in a car crash that resulted from her falling asleep at the wheel.
She is DEAD.
My cousin’s wife is dead. Her young daughter’s mother is dead. She’s dead.
‘Dja catch, that, sarge? Ms. Anne Holland, Sgt., of the Massasoit Community College Police Department, wanted me to tell her what part of “don’t come on the property don’t you understand?”. Well, I guess that would be the part where an inconvenienced cop has the right to declare marshall law again some guy who’d rather be alive, you fucking half-wit! I’m having trouble understanding what part of SEPARATION OF POWERS *YOU* don’t understand, you arrogant twit. I’m having trouble understanding how the hell you can confuse “Anne Holland, Sgt.” with “Anne Holland, J.D.”. The latter represents the only credential that gives you the authority to impose judgment, impose penalties and/or restrictionis, or interpret the law. The former is YOU. YOU are on the clock. YOU are supposed to protect and serve. YOU are supposed to respect the law. YOU are supposed not just to respect, but to *REVERE* the constitution! YOU are supposed to serve the law. It is the LAW that governs man, not man that governs man. What part of THAT don’t YOU understand, “officer”?
And you have no such authority nor do any of your fellow bullies in blue. You wear a badge and carry a gun. You wanna pass judgment and bear the responsibility of such power, and the consequences for doing it right, or in your case, fucking up – then where a damned robe and carry a gavel. But that requires some scholarship, thinking, writing and learning.
That would be tiring. And God help those who work that hard in YOUR ‘hood, right? They had just better forget about doing the personally responsible and pragmatic thing and keep the engine off for a spell. Get the fuck off your damned lawn. You’re keeping the baseball this time, right??
Not only is it a matter of pragmatics and personal responsibility, it is one of social responsibility as well. When you drive tired, you put OTHER drivers and non-drivers alike at potentially mortal risk as well! You nor I nor anyone has any *right* to drive tired!
But, as I recently learned, you sometimes, apparently, have no right to sleep or rest either – in your car, anyway. Even when the law says nothing about it being illegal to sleep in your car as, let me be very clear, it is not, despite what some knuckle-dragging dumbass-in-blue might try to tell you – said “leo” (l. e. o. ) may try to- and sometimes succeed at, violating your rights and getting you convicted of a crime you did commit – even though it was not and is not a crime! Here’s the real insult – the real kick in the midsection and the meat for a response of mine which has only just begun: the first officer who ever found me so dog-dead tired, in my car, on their property (of Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA) said very specifically that, technically, I was not doing anything wrong! He just said it seemed a little weird, a grown man sleeping in his car less than 15 minutes from his house.
Let me highlight, isolate, separate, pontificate and otherwise hit you all over the head with this brick again, although clearly the ones charged with knowing this best neither understand nor respect it in the least: one of their very own law enforcement brethren, an officer charged with the same responsibility to enforce and RESPECT the *LAW*!!!!!!! – told me flat out, point blank and dead-on accurate “well, technically, you’re not doing anything wrong…..but…..”
Yes. I heard the “but”. I get the “but”. But the “but” is irrelevant! Being “weird” or tired is not a crime. It is not against the law. YOU TOLD ME THAT I WAS NOT VIOLATING THE LAW!!!!!
YOU TOLD ME THAT I WAS NOT VIOLATING THE LAW!
-One “man’s” prerogative is another man’s burden.-
I guess my next step is to go get those records that that smarmy, cocky DA “late for his 18 holes” public servant to no one “hand waved” in such practiced melodrama as he tried to intimidate me into thinking that I was the scum of the earth. The piss of it is that if I were a “frequent flyer” in the criminal justice system, I’d get more respect just for being familiar. I’d be on a first name basis with the son of a bitch and he’d probably tell me to cut the crap or he’ll have to do his job.
But be someone who is new to this thing, and you’re guilty before you say a God-damned word. And if you dare to utter even one word, the (A.D.A.’s?) “muscle for hire” will chime in that “you know what your problem is..(cough…gag…unfiltered Lucky Strike plegm-ball….HACKKKK!….cough)…ya talk too much.”
Coughing or no coughing, I needed quite the shower after my “day in court” – and not because of the “guests”. The hosts are downright slothful and mean.
Oh, did I mention – I WAS TOLD BY ONE OF THE OFFICERS THAT I WASN’T VIOLATING THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just thought I’d bring that up here.
I didn’t bother to explain to that first officer – WHO TOLD ME I WAS NOT TECHNICALLY DOING ANYTHING WRONG!!!, it just seemed strange – I didn’t bother to relay my complicated health and damned-near clever coping mechanisms – NONE OF WHICH BREAK ANY LAWS!!!! – as I felt reassured of my physical, emotional – AND LEGAL! – safety, that I am also on a large dose of a common SSRI for anxiety and terrible OCD, one of the side effects of which is drowsiness. I didn’t mention it because I feel like I manage this aspect of my health pretty damned well – thanks in NO small part for the blessing of anti-depressant medication and the checking and tapping and repeating and worrying and repeating again that it doesn’t cure but greatly relieve. Have you ever seen the police/detective sit-com, “Monk?”. Please – he is a laid back thrill-seeker compared to me. Before medication, that is. I have a relative normalcy to my existence thanks to pharmacology, and if the only downside is the need for a nap – an innocent and necessary nap for God’s sake! – then that is a no freakin’ brainer. Napping versus driving while dangerously tired? Medication versus such a desperately nonfunctional and compulsive life that I would reconsider the suicide I came perilously close to in 1994, and to which parts of my arms STILL bear witness? It’s a no-brainer.
But, do not be distracted by what may sound like a plea for pity. That’s not my objective. Pity gets nothing accomplished, and it only hampers justice by creating public scorn and overall ill-will. No – the only reason I bring up these set-backs is for their factual relevance, and to demonstrate a complete lack of compassion or common sense on the part of Officer O’Sullivan and his uniformed colleagues. Apparently, their authority – and their powers of arrest, do not come with a pre-requisite demonstration of the competence to use said powers with respect, discretion, and above all, strict adherence to the LAW! I hope that the Massachusetts State Police would be horrified to hear of this cowboy recklessness, and would and will make appropriate remediation upon so hearing. It is absolutely unacceptable that these public officials, with their small city community college jurisdiction or not, would arrest first, and issue an Ex Post Facto warning while their victim is in handcuffs.
-NLD Declared P.N.G. by MCCPD-
It is a no-brainer. But I guess, if you happen to take things literally, and have evolved an understanding and way of coping with all of life by paying attention to the details, if you happen to suffer this and other obstacles as a result of a learning/neurological “difference” – wait, let me shit-can that bologna right now – it’s not a “difference”! It is a disability! Perhaps if you do not function like 50.1-99.99% of the rest of the population, you are not welcome at Massasoit. Perhaps we defectives and other minorities best find another diner to “lunch” at or place to learn and grow. American’s with Disabilities’ Act? Massachusetts Counsel Against Discrimination? American Civil Liberties Union? Governor Deval Patrick? Hmm….funny what thoughts go swarming around in your head when you’ve been violated.
But then, violating an individual’s personal integrity and dignity – not to mention his black-and-white and actionable legal rights – is not as important as keeping the workload down for the overnight shift of “Massasoit’s finest”. Perhaps that’s why said “police” are so appropriately given to dealing with destroyers of society such as me – me and the thousands and thousands of others who suffer “mental” and neurological impairments, and/or who dare to try to live a life of some fulfillment, crosses be damned!. A no-brainer for a no-brainer. I am not a criminal. No – there is not a drop of Nixonian tongue-in-cheek in that statement. I have NO record. I HAVE no record because I DO NOT break the law. Oh wait – I HAD no record prior to my crime of sleeping in my car. I am an obsessive-compulsive “NLD”er with serious health and neurological obstacles, including pediatric hydrocephalus, the many surgical treatments for which may very well have been worse than the disease! I have terribly impaired executive functioning (forever confused, indecisive, disorganized, forgetful, and hopelessly lost “somewhere” in the forest). I am *extremely* literal. And although I hate the following expression with every fiber of my being and those judgmental jerks whose faux-wisdom centers around this anti-virtue, I have very little “common sense”. There is also, of course, the OCD and *its* treatment that exacts an exhausting toll (the sometimes despiriting therapy for which goes way beyond medication!).
But, you know what? THAT’S the shit that “doesn’t matter”! What matters is that I try and do the right thing – I mean REALLY try, not just the hoaky bullshit expression used by some moral or ethical half-ass who says it because it sounds good. The neurotypical attitude seems to be that fitting into the 50.1% block matters more than actually having some integrity. And, no, I disagree with some experts (neuropsychologists, psychiatrists) who theorize that NLD may actually be a disorder somewhere on the autistic spectrum. I’m not offering an opinion on that, just here trying to point out that although it SHOULD be absolutely irrelevant based on the FACT that I broke no law, but only failed to comply with an “order” that was never presented to me either verbally OR IN WRITING! Now, maybe you average Joe’s can figure out what a snot-nosed cop MEANS when he just prattles on by saying “you were trespassed, you were trespassed”. How the hell am I supposed to know what THAT means? And WHY, now that in hindsight I do know what it means, WHY was I “trespassed”. Again – I’m supposed to be psychic.
Ignorantia juris non excusat is one thing. But expecting the populace to GUESS the law is quite another! And when the rules and their interpretation are subject to the whims of the arrogant and the ignorant, such a threshold is impossible to meet and, because of the Void for Vagueness Doctrine, is unconstitutional.
No. NO citizen, neuro-typical or otherwise, should have to GUESS what the rules are. NEVER! I shouldn’t have to TRY to figure out the “subtext” and other ambiguous bullshit that has NO place in jurisprudence. No one should have to TRY to “get it right’. It should be crystal and abundantly clear.
But I am, above all, a person who tries harder than most people (and the VAST majority of cops and rich DAs – who by definition/label have been rewarded for their efforts) to manage and to live my life given the circumstances. I’m OUT there! I’m doing things! I’m contributing to society and helping those whose problems are bigger even than mine. I get pinched and drooled on and whacked and f-bombed and pulled and hugged and snotted and spat at and smiled at and giggled at and so very gratefully tired for a living!
And let me make one thing abundantly and absolutely, unambiguously, SCREAMING-IN-YOUR-FACE clear: although I and any reasonable person would grant me the flexibility demanded by cognitive profile, I’m not expecting even that. I am expecting the letter of the law to mean exactly that and NOTHING MORE OR LESS than the black-and-white, crystal clear LETTER OF THE LAW!!! Nothing else has any standing or any credibility.
Nor does anyone who would try to enforce limits as *interpretted* by man. A cop is a public servant. The CITIZENRY as a collective decides the law – not police. Got that O’Sullivan? Got that Holland? NOT YOU!
-Don’t be “different”. Slack off and sleep ON the job! It’s the American way!-
But don’t nap on a college campus. If working hard makes you that tired – maybe Joe the Plumber does have some lesson to teach us – something about slacking off being the American way! No. I choose to add some depth to my life. Writing is one path through which I do this. Words -and the ever-precious clarity and precision they promise – are my best friends. With them, I’m confident. I’m competent. I’m understood.
Without said words – and their vital exactness and fairness, I get arrested!! I get damned, stinking, outrageously arrested! So writing, and living, and breathing, and getting out of the house helps me refocus and concentrate and “feel”, you know, like I’m DOING SOMETHING. That, and the aforementioned OCD is ever more active in my own home, where the distractions and stresses are myriad. But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that for more than a year, I had been a regular visitor to the Massasoit library – usually some 3 days a week or more, where I am – er, WAS! – in their library writing and using the resources SPECIFICALLY set aside for their non-student community. It doesn’t matter that I have a mutually affectionate and respectful relationship with the library and cafeteria staffs. It doesn’t matter that I have patronized their college as an “enrichment” and “continuing education” student when I was in better financial circumstances. That does not matter.
It likewise does not matter, if these officers, such as one officer who, by his being damned wrong but who showed SOME decency, I shall only identify by his first name – Robert – have their way, that ONE officer – CRUCIALLY the *first* one who ever spoke to me!! – said I was within the law. Any other random moment or officer apparently has the right to call it something different. Somebody like the unprofessional and rude “officer” Christopher O’Sullivan – who laughed at me when I answered the “standard question” of whether I felt or have ever been suicidal, who ASKED ME WHAT HAPPENED! (cruel bastard – I’m right in front of him living and breathing, yes?) – will try to call it “trespassing”. Maybe they’ll call it loitering. Maybe they’d even have the unmitigated and absolutely outrageous gall and arrogance and cruelty and self-loving grandiosity to claim your behavior as “antagonizing” – if, as in my case, you – shocking! – got tired more than once or twice (fine, 5 times – it is NOT a crime!!!) over the course of a year.
-“You’re not gettin’ it. You’re – you’re just not gettin’ it…”-
Try then, to have justice at all. Once the “officer” decides to put the cuffs on you – you are SCREWED. Now, to the real criminal who is getting what he deserves – the one who got caught doing something illegal – go suck on your indignity. I’m not talking to you, you thug.
And that goes EVER THUS for the thug who thinks he is above the law because he wears some blue and flaunts the shiny bling that gives him carte blanche over decency, respect, or the law period. Those accessories give you the tremendous responsibility to respect the law and the people you vowed to serve. It does not give you carte blanche to be a bully. Hopefully you learn this before you encounter an actual criminal – who may have a stronger weapon than his pen (or keyboard). I don’t. But don’t you sigh with relief, yet. You may have had the cuffs, but I have the facts, the actual TRUTH on my side. With it, I hold YOU in MY custody!
And in tremendous contempt.
I’m talking to the guy who tried to do the right thing. I’m talking to the guy who is NOT a lawyer or a law enforcement officer or who is not in anyway professionally or academically credentialed or seasoned to be expected to know the fine points (and the MANY MANY contradictions) of public law.
I’m talking to the average Joe. Or Jane. Or Barack. Or Latifah. Or Apu. Or Chong. Or “Bubbles”. Or Smith.
And I’m talking to you, O’Sullivan, you arrogant jerk. You cannot arrest somebody for an offense that only became an “offense” an hour AFTER said arrest, when – AT THE STATION after you had taken me into custody!!, you decided to hand “to my person” a trespass notice that forbids me from THAT point on to be on Massasoit premises. Never mind what the hell for and is such discrimination illegal – that will be – and it WILL BE! – for the ACLU to decide – you have a hell of a nerve and one freakin’ corrupt sense of right and wrong that you would fudge the chronology because…
Yeah! Because why?! What the hell did I do wrong?
Did I piss you off? Did my complying with your every directive calmly and cooperatively piss you off? Did my answering your question “You do know you’re trespassing, right?” with the honest and absolutely nervous and yet completely honest “No, I don’t understand” – piss you off? You weren’t going to arrest me. I heard your “transmission” with the desk or whatever as you reported to them my cooperation and that I was in your custody in the back of your car and that you’d probably let me go with a summons.
A summons for what?
For violating a no trespassing order you only gave to me AFTER arresting me – when, after I continued to be ever frustrated and confused, but still calm if only out of self-preservation) and not at all understanding what was going on, you rolled your eyes, became militant and aggressive and said “You’re not gettin’ it. You’re you’re just not gettin’ it”.
No kiddin’, jackass! And that is not my fault! Nevermind that you could do with a lesson in some clarity and/or patience for ALL of your “police” work. Let me say this to you SLOWLY: I am VERY vulnerable to stress and confusion. I need NEED everything explained slowly and with METICULOUS care and specificity. Otherwise your message is gonna miss me and I’m gonna get frustrated and not understand you and get even more stressed and the snowball gets rolling yet again.
You don’t care? You cannot be bothered? Well fuck ya. I cannot help it and therefore it is not fair. If that’s the law, then the law sucks and can heartily kiss my ass. If that’s your job – then you can thus kiss my ass as well. I put up with a God-damned lot of unfairness and inequality and confusion in my life. On the job, I’m getting a paycheck to do my very best despite all that. I’m also helping people who know a little something about getting dealt the short hand. I ACCEPT that responsibility by taking the job. I do so with tremendous love and fulfillment.
I can not, will not, do not have to put up with ambiguity and unfairness in the realm of my own civil rights and in regards to my ability and/or susceptibility to the abuses of the rule of law and those who would bend it to be mean for no good reason.
That’s YOU I’m talking about, piss-ant. You take your good fortune for granted and your authority beyond the limits of your judgment. Do that with awareness and there is a place in Hell for you, sir. Get thee hither – and sooner than later.
-“…what? Oh, crap, right! Uhhh….uhhh..sh..no, stop talking….shh….! ‘You have the right to remain silent…” OOPS!-
Suddenly I was on a ride down the road and behind my favorite library to get “booked”. I don’t know what the hell I did wrong. Except maybe for cooperating and thus rewarded by being held in your custody – and chained to that stupid rail! – and ONLY THEN, incidentally – and at long last did you “oh yeah” your way into a not-quite urgent but nonetheless insistent shushing of me so that you could Mirandize me.
My only mistake was that I happen not to be dripping with enough money to hire a lawyer to defend me against a charge for a “crime” I didn’t commit. My only mistake was assuming that the process takes the truth more seriously than expediency.
Oh, and get this. If I stay off of Massasoit property for the next six months, this goes down as a dismissal. Didja know that arrests – even if the end result is a dismissal, stay on your record?? The dismissal stays too. Then what the hell was dismissed?!
Aaaannnd…I really have no idea how long this cocked up “no trespassing” order stays in effect. Am I banned for life? For *sleeping*??? Jesus – half the students would have to take their courses on-line if that were so! Ahhhh!!! But they’re *students”. They PAID for the privilege to enter the sacred grounds of Massasoit Community College. W..wait. What was that? Communiity? You mean – like those four computers in my favorite local library that are specifically set aside for COMMUNITY (read: non-student) use?? *THAT* community? So, who exactly gets “trespassed”.
Oh, right! Right right right right right right!!!! Those of us who actually have to WORK at making their daily lives WORK. Ahhhh. The Kingdom of the Neurotypicals don’t want no “defectives” on their property. Got it.
Boy, am I naive. “What the hell did I do wrong?”, I ask. I guess what I did wrong was piss off a cop for being my weird self. Guilty! I’m weird! Maybe. I’m eccentric! Maybe. Or maybe I’m managing as damned best I can to enjoy this life and accomplish something – AND NOT DIE IN THE PROCESS!!. Well, I did ask. During this “get-in, pay us some money, get-out” process, I had decided to “just take what he was giving me”, after being scared to nearly peeing my pants by the D.A.s threat that I should stop wasting his time (I’d been in there a total of 2 minutes at that point) and that I could be fined $100 and spend 30 days in the county jail!! I said “but I didn’t break the law!!! The first officer said just that!”
“That doesn’t matter”.
Excuse me? Let me write that down again. D.A Timothy J. Cruz, or someone from his office (but who surely must also be a member of the Massachusetts bar, yes?) uttered to me, after I pointed out the mere simple little fact that I HADN’T BROKEN ANY LAW! – said “That doesn’t matter”.
He said “That doesn’t matter”.
NO MENS REA REQUIRED!!!
One of O’Sullivan’s brother officers said just that – that it doesn’t matter that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. He said that I had “been trespassed” and thus couldn’t be on campus. What the hell does THAT mean? I tried to ask – and I was told that even though I wasn’t technically “trespassing” – my appearing on campus over and over again could have been interpreted as “antagonizing”.
What????? What the hell did he mean by that? Why is it “antagonizing” for me, but “utilizing” or “studying” or “working” or whatever else for ANYBODY else? Was he telling me I should sit in the BACK of the bus? Was he telling me that I needed to use “that fountain over there”? What the hell does he mean “antagonizing”???
I never got an answer. And by remaining silent next to him, another officer was complicit in this prestidigitatory NON-protecting, NON-serving violating of my rights, my intelligence, my dignity and my humanity.
But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I wasn’t wanted, so these thugs saw to it that I couldn’t be on campus. They “got ‘er dooone!”. It doesn’t matter that I was within the law, and they and their conduct was in breach of the very law they vowed to enforce, and by implication of their position of trust – UPHOLD!
-“..but I didn’t break any law!!!”….”That doesn’t matter.”-
But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that I did nothing wrong.
That doesn’t matter??????????????
Lesson learned. In the United States of America, where you are innocent until proven guilty and where there is supposed to be “liberty and justice for all”, the fact that you are absolutely innocent doesn’t matter.
IT does NOT matter!!!
I get it, Mr. Timothy J. Cruz, D.A. I sure as hell get it. I get it, “officer” Christopher O’Sullivan, of the Massasoit Community College police department. I get the HELL out of it.
Justice doesn’t matter. I do not matter. The truth does not matter. Right and wrong does not matter. Compassion does not matter.
I get it. I got it. I got the hell out of it, and I got the hell out – just as you ultimately wanted but never asked. You never asked because you never had a right to ask. But then, this did not stop your reprehensible and illegal behavior violating not just my civil rights and my rights as a member of the greater community of Massasoit Community College, but simple decency. That, and your entrapment committed by your department contradicting each other directly to me. Oh, and your ex post facto violation as breached by presenting me with a copy of this “no trespassing” order AFTER arresting me for violating the conditions set forth IN that document – never before having been in my possession and these conditions not applying until AFTER your pitiful and disgraceful act of false arrest.
The American justice system is about one thing and one thing only – get in and get out, and oh, by the way, pay your money to the crooks whose livelihood depends on harassing and extorting NON-crooks. Don’t clog the system. Don’t fight back. How dare you! The individual does NOT matter. Go along to get along.
CUT YOUR LOSSES.
That may not be what our forefathers had in mind. That may not be what is held dear in our constitution or what some believe they are fighting for – and dying to – protect. That is not at all what Mrs. Cookiesmile taught us in Kindergarten.
But it IS the reality. The American justice system is not about ideals. It is about “getting ‘er done!” – even when what gets done has nothing whatsoever to do with justice.
Not yet, anyway. Did you catch that Mr. Cruz? Mr. O’Sullivan?
*Not yet*. I’m pissed. I’ve been wronged. You don’t comport yourselves, you “guardians of the law” (hack! cough! pteewwy! MY TURN!) with any respect for that and those who deserve it. You did nothing to uphold justice. I did not receive justice. You haven’t learned justice.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
TO ANYONE STILL READING!!: Please feel free to forward this to any friends and family. If you happen to know the email/public/constituency-feedback addresses for Senator Kennedy or Governor Patrick, do feel free to publish them in the comments section below. If you’re feeling ambitious, as I sure as hell am (well, ambitious and mad as hell!), contact these public servants yourselves with a copy of this article, as I intend to do tonight. Don’t worry about citation or copywrite or whatever – I own this piece and I want the information to spread like a waistline during the holidays! Byline, no byline – in whole or in part – feel free to let folks know that this nonsense really does happen. It isn’t karma. It isn’t the inevitable result of keeping bad company. It isn’t predictible, it isn’t preventable, and it isn’t fair. But when it does happen, harness that dignity that still rightfully belongs to you and FIGHT BACK!
Here are some links that may be useful:
1. – http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1255405/no_justice_at_massasoit.html?cat=17
This is a copy of the link to this story! Ha! And it’s in the story! Talk about meta!!
This is the address to get a template to contact Senator Kennedy via postal mail regarding a specific issue
3. Here is some more contact information for Senator Kennedy
317 Russell Senate Building
Washington D.C. 20510
p (202) 224-4543
f (202) 224-2417
2400 JFK Building
Boston, MA 02203
p (617) 565-3170
p (877) 472-9014
f (617) 565-3183
This is the address where you can contact Governor Patrick
American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
340 Main St
Worcester, MA 01608
Obviously this is information on how to contact that Massachusetts ACLU.
This page begins your and/or my search for the Massachusetts Counsel Against Discrimination (MCAD)
This is the web address to get the Boston Globe news editor
This address gets you to the address for the editorial/opinion section
Main Telephone Number: 617-786-7000
The Patriot Ledger
400 Crown Colony Drive
Post Office Box 699159
Quincy, Massachusetts 02269-9159
This is the contact info for the Patriot Ledger newspaper.
This is the address to ‘The Blotter by Brian Ross. Basically, a venue for news consumers to be news contributors.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU in advance!!!
Stanley W. Shura
225 Green Street
Abington, MA 02351
(617) 872 – 1239
P.S. – One final note (of contempt!) to the two biggest offenders in all of this – yeah, you, Holland and O’Sullivan – and for that matter the officers who recorded me as “trespassing” or allegedly so, WITHOUT BOTHERING TO TELL ME! :
Okay, you spineless pukes. I get it. Now I get it. I’m awake. I am WIDE awake. You didn’t have the decency or courtesy to let me in on the joke, the “inside scoop”. Yours was a sneak attack. You’re a disgrace. You threw down the gauntlet when my back was turned – or when my eyes were closed, whatever.
What you did was an insult to basic human decency. You showed NO respect for my verified and documented (and COSTLESS!!!!!!!) need for clarity and calm. You showed me no respect when you failed to inform me those middle 3 “naps” that I was doing anything wrong (or just plain irritatin’ ya for playin’ in your ‘hood for longer than “allowed”. You showed me absolute DISRESPECT by contradicting what one of your own officers – on the same damned force – it’s not that big and I’m sure you sip coffee together once in awhile doing “report” or whatever it is that you do when you’re not looking for someone to intimidate. I have a very difficult time believing that it was an honest “mistake” that two people in the same office, and thus the same work and law enforcement culture!, would interpret something as simple and clear cut and BLACK AND WHITE as what constitutes a crime and what does not! Especially “trespassing”! That one isn’t rocket science, Barney Fife.
You’re the one with the badge – YOU learn the damned law!!! If you don’t know it well enough to be on the same page – nevermind that what is ON that page (in other words, the LETTER of the law – which is the ONLY standard to which ANYONE can or should be held – should ever, EVER vary from within this country’s walls – then you are not fit to wear the badge. No one – NO ONE – not judges, DAs and ESPECIALLY not your less (or non-) academically credentialled law enforcement officer!!! has ANY right or sway or discretion or prerogative to “interpret” it at will. That would make the rule of LAW, no, the law itself, like a chameleon on steroids! You would have a code of law that is so morphable and ever unclear as to make complying with it absolutely impossible. And when you keep it a secret that you’re criminalizing the behavior of somebody who doesn’t even know you’re doing it – when such “criminalizing” and recording it as such is in fact the infraction (in other words, dicks, YOU broke the law by your flagrant abuse of power and arrest) – you are behaving frighteningly similarly to some of the most evil and corrupt scum to have unfortunately walked this earth in human history!
CASE IN POINT ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
You simply cannot expect the populace, or ANY citizen, to “just know” what is “reasonable” or “sketchy” or “ill-advised” or “antagonizing” or “gray”. This is the LAW for Christ’s sake!!! It has no RIGHT to be gray or ambiguous. Why? Because some citizens just might have a very difficult time understanding it and living and getting on with their lives. It is EVERYBODY’S rights and abilities which must – MUST be accounted for, not just “the average joe’s”. Screw that and screw him.
I’m not your average Joe. I can not, should not, and WILL not be expected to comport myself such as to pretend that I am. That is a vile and stinking precept and premise. It is downright vomitous. And as a prededent – it is positively frightening. It is dangerous. And it is unAmerican.
No I am certainly *not* doing any flag-waving with that statement. I am saying that the true American ideals are the true HUMAN ideals. Anything that veers away from basic right and human dignity is just pure politics and the putting on of patriotic airs. When the cop’s word becomes implicitly stronger or more valid than that of the average citizen, either blatantly or subconsciously, it becomes unconstitutional. There are 3 branches of government. The cop is NOT the judge. The cop does NOT have the right to 2 “votes” to Joe Citizen’s 1. America had an era like that. And it was positively a disgusting disgrace. The culture and “law” at that time, and the people guilty of obeying and fostering it, is and are unfit and unworthy, even, to kiss my… …”foot”.
And so is anything or anyONE who resembles it.
The law, and those who take on the immense – IMMENSE – responsibility to legislate, enforce, or interpret it, have NO right to be inconsistent or ambiguous. And NO police officer has the prerogative of interpretation.
No. You do not.
You had it in your power to be clear. That would have been the least you could do for even a completely healthy and uncompromised citizen. But when I specifically said I do not understand, and when I told you that I have an incredibly arduous time negotiating ambiguity, your sarcasm and mocking demeanor – especially as you were acting in a position of authority – was a particularly low and despicable act of unnecessary and downright sadistic cruelty on your part.
SHAME ON YOU. I don’t just mean that rhetorically. You deserve some tremendously difficult karma. That all goes just as much for you, Cruz, as you too were more concerned with clearning the docket and keeping the production line flowing than with serving justice. You didn’t have time for the truth. Tough – I am going to serve it directly to you – and I do not need a lawyer to do that.
To the pair of you scum – I have just the same rights to access to resources in my community as anybody else. And, when it comes to levelling the playing field, and this is one of the only events where I hold such a hard and severe attitude as I am about to express – when it comes to ensuring fairness – the ends justify the means.
You as much as stuck out your foot in the path of a walking blind man. You stole my security. You stole my faith. You stole the purity – if even only temporarily – of my deserved and hard-earned good reputation. You tried to steal my dignity. You tried to steal my justice. You tried to steal my equality. I’ve got news. I’m one who gets back up. You may have succeeded, temporarily, in kicking me out of your ‘hood, but trust me, I am not going anywhere. Neither I nor you will rest until I get back what’s mine.
Shame on such loathesome slugs as you. How’s about hitting me now that I’m looking you square in the eye.
Cowards. Janis Joplin sang that ‘freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.’ I’m discovering how empowering that really is. Maybe you should now keeps *your* eyes open, you bullies, ’cause I intend to get my lunch money back.
And I don’t just mean that rhetorically. The harm and indignity and injustice you committed unto me was not rhetorical. The larceny of my property – real, intangible, and projected is not rhetorical. The $90 in court and “bondsman/appearance” costs is not rhetorical. The personal day was not rhetorical. MY time is not rhetorical. My elevated blood pressure is not rhetorical. My extremely elevated stress level is not rhetorical. My subsequently even MORE compromised attention and newly compromised demeanor and even more acute vulnerability to stress at work – and it does continue – is NOT rhetorical. The *SUBSEQUENT* onset and new diagnosis of migraine and the costs associated with it – both fixed and now forever variable, et cetera) was not rhetorical. Yeah – yeah, go ahead and lay that “correlative does not mean causative” argument right on my lap. I promise you I intend to let someone in authority decide that. You read that right – I am going to file to have this causality reviewed for a judgment. I have enough health problems. I did not need this early Christmas present from YOU, thank you very much.
Litigious? Don’t even cross that line. Who arrested whom – for SLEEPING??? Believe me when I tell you that my reaction is not litigious. It is damned well understated and more than justified. You think my body’s physical response is but a mere happenstance? Please. I’m more than satisfied to let a third party decide which is more credible – coincence or etiology.
The material loss is absolutely trivial. I mean – I am living literally hand to mouth and have better places for my money and would surely feel better having that personal day still “in the bank”, but that is not at all the poinot. The point is that you not only wronged me. But you did so willingly and with considerable malace and a tragically unnecessary destruction of good will and my overall well-being, for NO gain to the well being of anybody else. THAT is what stinks here. It was completely unnecessary – not just wrong.
WHY?! I can only guess. It is just unfathomable to me. Did you enjoy it? Were you just tired of “dealing with” an “oddball” such as me. How utterly grandiose and judgmental. The plain inhumanity, injustice, the cruel – and I’m sure for you voyeuristically motivated – exposing of me to the chasm of confusion and fear, and just the blatant and willful meanness and flagrant abuse of authority on your part are the real travesties here. This whole damned thing was beyond simply unnecessary. It was downright immoral and I assert illegal and borderline criminal as well. Mr. O’Sullivan, the gratuitousness of your cruelty, your fleeting if not downright ill-conceived grasp of fairness, and probably the law itself – and most – your haughty refusal to acknowldge either one, renders you unfit for duty, not only for reasons of competence, but also of character.
Mr. Mobster, your obvious allegience to efficiency over the facts, and expediency over the law, causes me to pray (or grieve) for any children you may have, and their own sense of fairness and security in the world. You wield that much power as a father and as a D.A. Here’s hoping you are much better at the former than the latter. Now, before you laugh or scoff this off, I’m going to warn you – even though I have a feeling these cards are those that one of your fellow Bar members might very well advise me to keep to my chest: I can PROVE your prioritizing of expediency by behavior you exhibited and actions you took right before my eyes. In your questioning me without waiting for the answer to come from my mouth, you sought it elsewhere – expected that source to contradict me.
He/she/they did not, did they, sir? No, they didn’t. Massasoit’s IS a public library. I DO have *every* right to be there, don’t I, pal? Yeah. But you didn’t want to hear that. No – to learn that it is a COMMUNITY library was a pretty damned inconvenient little thing to you, huh? Suddenly, the answer you predicted would be worth the time to seek found the same response you gave to my own “testimony” before you – “well, it – it doesn’t matter anyway. Look…if you wanna spend Thanksgiving in county lock-up that’s up to you, I don’t have all day”. Funny that, ay’ Gov’nuh? Then why’dja make the call? You weren’t looking for information. You were hoping to be able to dismiss me out of hand. When it didn’t pan out that way, THEN suddenly – it “didn’t matter”. That is absolutely corrupt. I intend for you to answer for that behavior, counselor, and not just to me monetarily, but in defense of your very law license. I’ll try you by your superiors. I’ll try you in court. And I am and will try you in the court of public opinion. If I find your photo – I will amend this piece to include it.
To then attempt (and succeed) at pressuring me and threatening me and giving me the bum’s rush, IS criminal. It’s coercion. It’s practically extortion! No. “Practically” – nothing! It is the TEXTBOOK and literal definition of extortion. You abused your position of authority to get money from me. Oh, yes you did.
That little conversation you two uncaught felons had before me: “‘whaddaya think? $50 in court costs and stay off the property?’…’Yeah, I think…(cough…hack….Chesterfield phlegm!!!…)..I think that’s appropriate…(ckakkk!!…ptew!)’.” That in the context of not letting me have the slightest chance to offer up my side, and to regard me with less respect than the revolving door puke-fest that I shared company with as they pled for dui and domestic assault and probabtion violations and the like. You, sirs, owed me much more respect than that. And you are deserving of less respect than the aforementioned repeat offenders that you love so well. I’m sure your mothers are proud of you. I mean, you have their genes, right?
So, yes. That was plain vanilla extortion right there. There was no “mens rea” on my part – but it was DRIPPING from you.
…this is part of the same paragraph, but I am isolating it visually so that you see this and see it well: SUCH HYPOCRISY SHOULD, MUST OR SHALL BE A ***PER SE*** SURRENDERING OF AUTHORITY!!!…
You KNEW you were lookin’ at a greenie NON-criminal who was about pissing his pants and would comply for his own lack of experience in such matters and lack of funds to obtain a lawyer of my own who could have told you where to shove it. I tried. I did a Google search and called one up. He actually accused me of being snide when, after he casually remarked that he might be able to appear for me for less than his usual $3500, I said “Hey – once you get to four figures, it’s all the same to me.”
It’s a different game to you folks. A grand here and a grand there is one week’s take home for you. For me, it’s two weeks’ gross. You had the power. You abused it. You got money out of it. That’s called extortion. And ya know what? You, Mr. Godfather, and your menthol-mouthed muscle in a tie are hardly better than mobsters in the way you treated me. $50 in court costs versus $3500 (just to start!!!) to have the “privilege” of proclaiming my innocence. Hell – to a guy in my shoes, that is just as bad as having to chose between paying up my $50 in protection money or getting my legs broken. It’s all the same damned thing to me and you are truly just as dirty and immoral as any of the Sopranos. I had no choice but to “accept your graciousness, Mr. Godfather”.
To the four of you – O’Sullivan, Holland, Mr. Mobster, and Mobster’s brawny back up, whoever the hell you are, your behavior was inexcusable. What you did was wrong, and I damned well intend to fight until it is made right. There is nothing at all rhetorical about that.
The amends I will get from you, with or without your willingness, contrition, or cooperation, are not going to be rhetorical, either. You did this to me because I needed to rest. Let me tell you something: I am going to see some sense of real right out of this which, you’d better believe this, I won’t regard as having occured until you, Mr. Mobster, and especially you, O’Sullivan, stand before me, look me square in the eye and apologize – and SHOW me how sorry you are – through significant monetary damages, and maybe a demotion or censure, and it goes absolutely without saying, an expungement from my records of any of this, and that icludes (but is not limited to) my fingerprints which you so disgustingly made me give you, and the photos of me you took, and any and all paper on this – including the REAL account, if it exists outside of this report of mine.
You did all this because I decided I needed to rest. You *DID* this because you cannot STAND that there are folks out there (out HERE, you jerks!) who cannot, do not, and never will fit the mold of “typical” that you bullies in blue and your cro-magnon counterparts INSIST is the “order” you are duty bound to uphold. That duty, however, which is to the general public, is instead misplaced to “the code” or whatever it is that some rogue police swear to abide by to have each others’ back no matter what. You did this because you expected me to read between your unspoken, unclear, unassumable and VERY blurry lines. When one officer tells me I’m within the law – THAT’S IT! Case closed, buzz off, go get a kruller and leave me the hell alone! I promise you this – if it is your duty to harass and abuse somebody just because he thinks literally, and dares to trust that the LETTER of the law is his GUARANTEE of clarity and success in finding and GETTING absolute fairness, then I will see to it that your duty is your demise. Let me repeat that. Just because I am differently abled than most of the “middle of the road”, “top of the bell curve”, beer chugging masses, does not mean that I have different rights under the law. You cannot mandate, legislate or enforce “normalcy”.
I fully intend to teach you that lesson, as I am absolutely entitled to the guarantee that you behave in accordance with fairness and the LETTER of the law. Toward that end, and read this – YES – literally, I am entitled to and intend to act within the full range of my rights to absolute justice – and with the irrefutable interpretation of that range to be BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
The only reason I didn’t and couldn’t drag this out and call you out publically, is because I couldn’t and can’t afford the lawyer’s ante. And that’s YOUR “system”. I represent myself, and I’m bullied by two clods who as much as tell me to shut up or they’ll break my legs. Or send to to jail for 30 days, whatever. Same damned thing. The truth IS on my side. The constitution is on MY side. The law is on MY side. The facts are on MY side. And yet that isn’t enough.
Alright – bottom line: and, hear this. I deserve exoneration. I deserve an apology. And in lieu of the decency needed for the latter to happen, and I’m not holding my breath, believe me, I deserve and will HAVE justice. I can’t afford to get it your way. So, you tell me, what choice do I have?
I promise you thugs that I will NOT rest until *I* am satisfied you have learned how to do your jobs. YOU are not going to rest until I am satisfied you have learned a little something about empathy, and about how to damned well treat a person.