Sunday, November 05, 2006

Busted During a Raid on Saturday Night

It was nearly 1 a.m.. I was hired/scheduled to DJ @ 2... Folks were partying in the basement of a huge apartment building -- two rooms of electronic music. Totally underground -- I don't have to explain, right?

The promoters tried their best to shut everyone up and keep us contained in the basement. (Trying getting a roomful of intoxicated young folks to shut the fuck up was nearly impossible, by the way...)

Obviously panicked, one of the sound crews decided to take their equipment and leave -- before any shit started. My friend Todd and I quickly decided to follow suit. (Fuck, the one night I DIDN'T drive myself... I rode with Benji, who was nearly impossible to find for a while...) After we convinced Benji to leave with us, we made our way up to the front entrance. a flash...


Then I realized that one of the officers was speaking directly to me. Although my cell phone was in my hand (Thank God that Todd was holding my record bag), I was scared to put it in my pocket, or drop it on the floor... Those Detroit police were angry, and itching for someone to arrest and/or shoot. With the fear of God in me, I put my hands (still clutching my cell phone) on the back of my head -- and thanked the heavens my shit was on vibrate, cuz lord knows what would've happened if my phone actually RANG...

They made us stand in a single file line; hands still on our heads. One by one, they asked us our age. It was so surreal, but when I heard Todd say "27," standing in front or me, I quickly mustered "33" -- while praying to God they didn't sense my fear. I heard one of the female officers verbally assaulting Benji -- who was a few people ahead of me. Benji said "yes ma'am," but since his voice sounds like he has a perpetual cold, I guess she thought he said "yes babe." All of a sudden you hear, "Babe? My name ain't babe, bitch!" (She said a bunch of other shit, but my only thought was, "I can't believe this is really happening!")

I felt for Benji. I felt for Todd. I felt for the guy who came all the way up here from Columbus, Ohio. I prayed that my new friend Lisa wasn't still at the party -- she came especially to see me... I felt embarrassed for the owner of the building. I felt fearful that some loudmouthed rebellious person would say something that would get us ALL thrown in jail. I was sad because usually in situations like this, the first person I could call was my mother...

I didn't get to DJ. I didn't get paid for the night. And after what seemed like FOREVER standing there, sweating my ass off, shivering from tired muscles and frazzled nerves, still cluthing my cell phone, I heard them direct us all into the basement. Guys on one side, girls on the other. I tried my best not to look into anyone's eyes...

Those of us who had our IDs were allowed to (carefully) retrieve them with our RIGHT hand, while keeping our left hands on our head. (Fuck ME for being left-handed.) Again, another eternity passed -- the cops threatening to beat the shit out of anyone who dared to speak, make any moves, etc...

So now I'm stading there clutching my cell phone AND my wallet, with both hands on my head -- feeling like a damn animal...

A few officers began writing tickets (I didn't realize at first that there were so many officers!) with the IDs they'd taken from us. I knew this was a process that that could take all night -- there were so many of us down there in that basement... Person after person, being charged with the same crime of "Loitering in a Place of Illegal Occupation."

After the folks received their ticket (and accompanying lecture/insult), they were allowed to leave one at a time -- hands still on their heads until they were out of the building.
It seemed like ANOTHER eternity before I finally heard "RAGLAND!" I answered again quickly, "YES?" I saw the all-too familiar look of disgust from one of the officers -- the look (and accompanying snicker) that says, "SISSY..." But I didn't give a fuck. As long as I wasn't going to jail, call me all the sissies you want.

A female officer (who surprisingly wasn't bitchy towards me) read me my charge, gave me my ticket and sent me on my way. It took all I had to NOT look into her eyes, so she could see my hatred. I looked at the ground, hands on my head and navigated my way up the stairs, down the dark hallway, up another set of stairs, and escorted out of a different entrance from which I came.

I had to wait and request permission to re-enter the building and retrieve my record bag -- they made Todd drop it in the hallway before we headed for the basement. I met Benji outside and we headed for home, shivering and depressed the entire way.

Now I have a court date (we all do) of November 21, for "Immediate Arraignment." I am SOOO fighting this bitch... And before I accept an offer to DJ at another gottdamn party in Detroit, I will remember this night.


1 comment:

Chris Wallis said...

Aaron - Just had a read of this but yeah I feel for you and its something I won't fully understand ever. But reading this really stresses me. We in Australia are already going down this road and not to far behind.

I mean where are we going to next? PS would love to see you in Australia sometime.

Much respect

Chris Wallis
Canberra - Australia