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Statement of the Facts

posted 1/23/2009 1:27:57 PM |
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tagged: politics

On the morning of 20th March 2008, I walked toward my home and along the outer edge of Rivers Ave., also known as U.S. Highway 52 & 78. No one called the police and complained that I was a nuisance. I was approximately one mile from my apartment when, at about 3 a.m. that morning, I observed a City of North Charleston Police Department, patrol car in the fourth and outermost lane of Rivers Ave. I believed that I had done nothing wrong, and was dressed respectably. As the police car approached, I stepped out of the roadway, over the drainage strip, which was clearly filled with rain-water, then onto the grassy boulevard. The car came to a stop only after I was out of the road. The ‘dash cam,’ mounted inside the patrol car, began its video record of the incident when the driver switched on the vehicle’s blue, signal devices. The video showed that I never appeared visibly intoxicated (and no one has ever suggested that I showed any visible symptoms of drunkenness, my later private conversations with the prosecution aside). So that I wasn’t to have been arrested for failure to have yielded to a police vehicle with signal devices engaged, I came to a stop on the grassy boulevard and parallel with the police vehicle. The grassy boulevard was known technically as a ‘curb to property line.’ The ‘curb to property line’ extended a few feet towards a car dealership, which was located at 8333 Rivers Ave. After a car passed us by, the Officer got out of the patrol car and told me repeatedly that I needed to have gotten out of the road, but only after I was already out of the road. I thought that that was very strange. While he was still in the roadway, he paused for a moment, as if he tried to have remembered what he learned when he was trained. He asked me if I had a South Carolina driver’s license. I refused to have answered that question, because of his prior comments. He instructed me to have moved to the rear of the car, but before I could have, he then instructed me to have stood on the grassy boulevard, near where I once stood.
The Officer walked out of the road, himself, and over to me. He asked me questions, such as “Have you been drinking?” and “Are you drunk?” I refused to have answered those questions, because I realized by that point that anything I might have said could have and would have been used against me in a court of law. It was at that time that he told me he thought I was drunken, and he alleged that I smelled of alcohol. He asked about where I came from and where I was headed. On a side-note, the Rivers Ave. CARTA Buses, which I took frequently, ran either, ‘north’ or ‘south.’ Anyway, I felt awkwardly, because I remained silent. So not to have appeared anti-social, I answered the man finally, “South.” My answer to the second part of his question was, “Sir, I just want to go home.” His response was and very sadistically, “I’m gonna shoot you with a tazer.” He said that as he reached for his belt and motioned that he had a tazer in his hand. I looked him in the eyes, and said something like, “Sir, it’s wet out; I’m wet. Now, I don’t know much about tazers, but I do know that water and high-voltage don’t mix.” I never tried to have been smart about things. My comments were said only to offer the man an alternative, so that he wouldn’t have shot me. I kept my composure, fortunately. He became enraged, and shouted, “Get on your knees!” I said, “Sir, I’m not getting on my knees.” The Officer cautioned me, “I’m going to tackle you.” He proceeded to have moved behind me, tackled me, hand-cuffed me, and removed the contents of my pants’ pockets. The Officer picked me up off of the ground, and escorted me to the back seat of the patrol car. While I was in the back seat, he asked me if I wore glasses. I guessed he asked that after he noticed my South Carolina Commercial Driver’s License. There was a reason why I did not have my glasses at the time… Nevertheless, I was transported to the county jail. It was there that the Officer stuffed the traffic tickets in my shirt pocket. ©2009

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Statement of the Facts