Life Was Never The Same

Tell us about an event that changed your life forever.
Submitted by Miss Scotch.

February 2005

I wrote about this very briefly in an old blog…

It started out as a fairly normal Thursday in February. I got up, went to work and came home to relax a while before heading to choir rehearsal. I had a little more time this Thursday because rehearsal got pushed back an hour, so instead of leaving the house at 6:30 I lounged around, had a cup of tea, started reading a book…you know, lounging.  About 15 minutes before I was ready to leave, the doorbell rings and then my dad (I was living with the parents at the time) comes and tells me that someone’s here for me.  This is unusual because I don’t get random visitors. So I come out to see who it is and there are two police officers – one with an automatic weapon strapped across his chest – waiting for me.

I was arrested.

Upon exiting my house, I notice that there are officers in the backyard, out in the street, and ON THE NEXT BLOCK. What the hell? This day took a turn REAL.QUICK.

Turns out, there were so many cars because 1) the nature of the crime I was accused of and 2) Southfield police were the arresting officers and I live in Detroit, so they required escorts.

I don’t find out what I’m accused of until the next morning, so you guessed it; I had to spend the night in jail. Thankfully (?), I was the only female “prisoner” so I had a cell to myself. But it was little consolation after having to have my shoestrings, the drawstrings in my jogging suit and my bra (under wire) removed to make sure I wouldn’t harm myself while in custody. I won’t describe the night as I try not to relive it, but suffice it to say that it more than solidified my belief that I need never end up (again) in anybody’s jail.

Anyway, I found out the next morning that I was being accused of attempted murder. There was a convention in Southfield where someone was attacked by a male and female and left for dead. What happened next was a series of unfortunate events that led to my arrest: A slip of paper was found at the scene of the crime on which a phone number was written. Either the police or the phone carrier transposed two of the numbers which then became my cell phone number. Once my info was obtained, a photo line up was given to the victim (thankfully he survived the attack) who picked my photo. At the time, my license was about 6 or 7 years old, so I was a few pounds lighter and still rocking a perm. So, I’m being questioned about my life – age, relatives, job, etc. Have you ever been to Xxxxx hotel (where the convention took place), I had to explain the difference between braids (removable) and locs (not so much), basically all the questioning you see on any given cop show (all while handcuffed to the desk). Not quite a good cop, bad cop scenario, but pretty close.

Ultimately I was the one who found the mistake. While being questioned, they kept putting their documents in my face. “This is your phone number isn’t it? Well if you weren’t there, why would it have been in the room?” Multiple pages contained all my vitals – name, rank and serial number. BUT, one page had the number with the transposed digits. After pointing out the error, the one detective left to verify the info while the other remained and still tried to get me to confess to something. Upon returning, I was informed that I would be driven home. The final blow was when on the way to the car, I was not apologized to, but told, “Either we made a mistake or you’re a damn good liar.”

Life changing indeed.

I can’t say that I now live in fear or bitterness, but I definitely lost something in that experience. I used to pray to just get over it, but a friend of mine told me that it wasn’t going to happen. After traumatic experiences you must grieve. You can’t let it pull you under, but you must know that you are no longer the same person. So, if I need to cry about it, then I don’t beat myself up over the fact that it still evokes such a strong reaction. I just let the tears come and realize that it doesn’t make me a weak person. In fact, I’m just the opposite and I’m still here.