Let's get on to the second act of our story, shall we? It's the miserable part. The part no one likes to talk about. But we have to talk about it. So let's do.
If you've been following along, you know that I had been kidnapped by the Hall County Sheriff's Office. They had come for me on the orders of an invalid warrant, and had taken me away without ever showing that warrant or giving any explanation for their activities. The warrant had been wrongly issued after the police solicited a complaint about me in a highly questionable fashion. We have compelling reason to believe that they did so because I was a political opponent of the Sheriff, but their cover story was that I had disrupted a church service. This is just about the worst cover anyone could come up with, because I was, as we have shown, a minister in that church and a memeber in good standing who had done nothing more than my duties as a minister. Of course, I had no clue why they had done all this. All I knew is that I was kidnapped.
I want to make clear from the outset that under those circumstances, I was under no legal obligation to submit to anything the police asked of me. In fact, as we have mentioned before, I was within my right to use deadly force to free myself.
So my kidnappers brought me in the back of a patrol car to the Hall County Detention Center (prison). They opened the back door of the patrol car and a gang of at least four men literally dragged me out of it. I was then roughly carried by my arms and legs behind the automated metal door at the prisoner's entrance to the jail. My captors slammed me against the wall and drove my face into the cinderblocks. I was being held in such a way that I couldn’t see any faces.
“GET YOUR FUCKIN’ SHOES OFF!” shouted one of them. I did nothing.
I felt something cold on the back of my neck, just at the base of my skull.
“What’s that on my neck?” I asked.
“It’s a taser.” Came the reply from one of them.
Apparently failure to remove one’s shoes warrants the death penalty in Georgia. If the brute had squeezed the trigger with a taser that close to my brain, it would almost certainly have killed me.
I still refused to take off my shoes.
“I SAID GET YOUR SHOES OFF, YOU FUCKING FAGGOT!” one shouted again. He kicked me in the back of the legs to force my feet up and pulled my flip-flops off himself.
So there I stood, feet spread apart, held by several men, face roughly pressed into a cinder-block wall with a tazer on my neck, threatened with death if I so much as flinched.
From there, one of the officers behind me took the opportunity to sexually abuse me. Listen, I understand that police officers have a reason to conduct pat-downs to be certain that weapons aren't being brought into the prison, but this was no pat-down. This guy was fondling my testicles through my shorts. And he didn't just do it for one pass. Even after it was very obvious that there wasn't a knife taped to the back of my balls, he went for a second check. He was rubbing his finger up and down on my anus. This had nothing to do with a check for contraband. It was a punitive sexual assault. If you don't think it was, do it to a policeman's daughter and see how long you spend in prison.
After that I was carried (again, by my arms and legs) through another automated door, past a booking counter, and into a small cell, where I was thrown on the cement floor. Several officers held me down while one of the officers got on top of me, pressing his knee into my lower back with such force that I could feel my spine being unnaturally curved. I was being held by several people and was in a great deal of pain.
"Alright," he said, "I'm going to let you up, and then you take your clothes off."
I didn't want to, but I figured it was better than being killed, so I complied. Now I was naked in the cell. I expected them to give me some prison garb, but instead they walked out. I turned around and saw that a woman had joined them (if a thing so fat and hideous could be called a woman). I suppose we should take a little pride in her being there - at least not all the police officers in Hall County are homosexuals.
Just so you know, I'm so conservative in my religious beliefs that I won't even get that naked in front of a doctor, much less in front of some piggish police woman. I sat down on the floor naked. Some time later one of my kidnappers came back with a pair of orange boxer shorts. "Here you go." he said, "Property of Hall County."
I'm not sure why he said that. Did he suppose that I was going to vandalize a pair of boxer shorts or something, and that I needed to be reminded that the county owned them? Was this a warning that I'd have to pay a pee-cleaning fee if I accidentally peed myself? I don't know. In any case, the boxer shorts were so big that I couldn't even properly keep them on. At the time I was 6' tall and only 160 pounds. These shorts were made for a much fatter man, so I might as well have still been naked as I tried to wear them.
The cell I was in was kept very cold. It was no bigger than what you might expect of a small bathroom - maybe 60 feet square - and it had a toilet in it with a water spigot attached to the tank. The floor was cement. The walls were cinderblock and high. I don't recall what the ceiling was made of, but it (and the entire cell) were filthy. Particularly, the ceiling had a vent on it which someone had clogged with what appeared to be dirty toilet-paper. The door was of solid steel with a narrow window (maybe four inches wide) and had a slot with a metal flap on it for passing things through. To make a long story short, I was locked in a particularly dirty (and inescapable) bathroom.
I was tired, so I did my best to huddle up in the corner farthest from the filthy toilet and go to sleep. I put my head down in my arms to block out the harsh fluorescent lights. After a while I heard a voice – it was Piggish, looking down at me from the tiny slot in the window.
“Look everybody!” she laugh-oinked, “He’s trying to sleep on the floor!”
The kidnappers laughed.
I couldn’t blame her for looking – seeing that this was the closest she would ever be to a man.
Hours passed before I was offered any clothes. Someone finally brought me an orange shirt and yellow jumpsuit. They also passed me a peanut-butter sandwich, a small cup of noodles, and a cup for water (to be filled from the back of the toilet).
I was in far too much stress to feel hungry, and given the severity of the situation, I believed I would do better to fast and pray than to eat.
Sleeping was impossible in the box. The lights were never turned off, and the kidnappers were constantly opening and slamming the doors for no apparent reason other than keeping people awake. I pulled my arms into my short-sleeved jumpsuit to stay warm and pulled the t-shirt over my face.
Sleep deprivation is commonly recognized as a form of torture.
From my cell I could see the door to the booking area through which I had entered. Unfortunately my gauge of timing for events was not good because I couldn't see a clock, so anytime I mention the time, it will be based on what I could tell from the sliver of light or dark that I could see through the thin window on that door, or based on what the officers were telling me. During my stay at the jail, several other prisoners were brought in. None of them were given the treatment I was given. They weren’t carried by their arms. They weren’t forced to take off their clothes. They were all given shoes to wear, but most of them stayed in their own jeans. None of them stayed in the area long. They filled out paperwork and gave fingerprints. They were allowed to make phone calls, and then they were taken somewhere else.
Clearly I had been singled out for special treatment.
Sometime later the door to my box was opened and I was confronted by some officers I hadn’t seen before. Evidently there had been a shift change. I asked them the time and they said it was after midnight.
I informed them that I had been kidnapped, that no one had stated any charges against me or produced a warrant, that I wanted to make a phone call, that I wanted to speak with a lawyer, and that holding me, given the circumstances, was as bad as taking me.
I repeated that line to every person I encountered the entire time I was at the jail. No one cared.
The officers asked me if I was willing to sign my paperwork. They seemed to believe that I had previously refused to sign something, but I had no clue what they were talking about. No one had ever shown me anything that I might sign. Regardless, I didn’t want to sign anything until I’d consulted with a lawyer. I tried to ask them questions about what they were asking me to sign, but didn’t get many answers - and no one showed me any papers. I never refused to sign anything. I insisted again that I wanted to speak with a lawyer.
“We can’t move you out of booking until you sign your paperwork.” They said.
I asked if I was being threatened with indefinite detention.
“Yes.” they said, “And lawyers don’t get paid enough to come down here.”
They left me alone in the box again.
A few hours later they came back. They had a “Bible” with them – actually just a New Testament. This particular Bible had been desecrated with government symbols (police badges, flags, etc). It purported to be a “Cops” edition of the Bible – meaning that it was a propaganda rag pretending to be a Bible. I mean, look at that picture up there. I don't know what you want to call that book, but it ain't no Bible. And by the way, they left that sacrilegious thing in the cell with me, giving me plenty of time to read stuff like this:
This, of course, is why Bible commentary should be left to theologians and not to Brian Stewart, the police officer who evidently wrote this ignorant trash. "Hey guys! You've got a green light from God to kill! Just don't do it to yourselves, mkay?" And by the way, we know why police officers kill themselves in droves. It isn't because they're tough guys with a hard job who don't want to talk about it. It's because they're bad people who can't live with the weight of their crimes and are too proud to repent.
These kidnappers – who had not even yet presented a warrant or explained any charge against me – read from 2 Peter in a profoundly misguided attempt to justify their behavior.
“We work for the government, and that means you have to listen to us, no matter what.” They said. “We have God’s authority.”
I don’t want to get too preachy here, but suffice it to say that the Bible doesn't put government bureaucrats on equal footing with God. I listened quietly to their pseudo-religious diatribe, and then tried to explain to them that the Bible did not give unlimited power to police officers to do anything they pleased. Pearls to swine. They even wouldn’t listen to what I had to say.
“Why isn’t there a bed in here?” One of them interrupted, “And where are his shoes?”
Evidently no one had noticed since the shift change that I had been sleeping on the floor. They brought in a “bed” (a cheap plastic and foam mattress), a small blanket (not enough to cover a man six-feet-tall), and a pair of crocs.
While a few of them worked on that, the ringleader with the “Bible” quoted a verse (from either Colossians or Ephesians - I don't recall which) to me about slaves obeying their masters.
“I AM NOT YOUR SLAVE.” I thundered.
We should note that mocking a person’s religion to humiliate him is a widely recognized torture technique. Of course, this nonsense also leaves us with no other option than to accept that my imprisonment was an intentional religious persecution, and it ought to leave a particularly bad taste in any American's mouth about the attitude of the police toward the citizenry.
“Look, are you going to sign your booking paperwork?” said the ringleader, as if I had at some point seen some paperwork, “If you do, I’ll move you into a better cell with the general population.”
That didn’t sound like a sweetener to the deal. Does anyone want to be moved into a cell with a group of convicts at 2 o’clock in the morning? Under such circumstances as these I figured that the devil I knew was safer than the one that I didn't.
“Listen,” I said, “I’m more than willing to sign papers if they aren’t something that will incriminate me. But I’m not signing anything until I’ve seen the charges against me, and I don’t want to sign anything while I'm exhausted at 2 o’clock in the morning. If it’s all the same to you, I’d like to just wait until morning when I’ve had some sleep to sign them.”
The kidnapper agreed to the terms, and brought me the warrant for my arrest – which I was allowed to see, but not to touch. It was the first time I had seen a charge against me, and I'd been in custody for about 6 hours.
I knew immediately that the warrant was a load of crap. Any educated person should have known it. And I remind you that the judge ultimately agreed on that point.
“You’ve arrested me for speaking in church?!” I asked in utter shock. “Why, you’ve arrested me for doing good! You’re persecuting me for my beliefs! You certainly don’t have authority to do that, and you need to let me go.”
I couldn’t believe it was happening. Hadn’t they ever heard of freedom of speech? Hadn’t they heard of freedom of religion? Evidently they hadn’t. They weren’t even thinking of letting me go – they were being paid too much to do the right thing.
And so, having agreed to sign paperwork at daylight, I was left in my box to try and get some sleep.