I have always been a community man. I was very active in community affairs before this incident. I went to church with my daughter every week for years. I supervised and tutored children. I had primary custody of my daughter, who is an only child. She lived with her mother on the weekends. I have not been the same since this incident. I do not have to embellish any of the following. I would take a polygraph to prove it is true if I had to.
The incident occurred on a Friday. I was divorced at the time, although I always placed my daughter first. That day I picked up my daughter from school and went directly home. She did her homework, and we went to have a snack. She was 11. After, we visited my first cousin. This was fairly routine. It was just a regular day; there was nothing out of the ordinary.
My cousin’s boyfriend needed a ride, so I gave him a ride to my side of town. He had to go somewhere so I told him I would pick him up in an hour. In the meantime, I saw someone at the store who wanted me to buy drugs for us. I went two blocks from the store into a house where I had previously purchased drugs. I noticed that a man had walked in behind me. I said, “Give me a dime.” I paid $20. Just as I was paying, I realized that this man looked familiar, and I realized who he was: he was a deputy. My hands went up. I immediately complied with everything he said. They began to pat me down. They found two joints and $200 on me. I owned up to that. Beyond that, I asked for a lawyer, and they stopped questioning me.
There were four White men in the room. Three of them had navy uniforms. They took possession of my marijuana. They asked for my ID and told me to go into the hallway. When I got near the door, they handed me my ID, but interrogated me about whether I was from Michigan. I had lived there for some time but was really from Louisiana. I had not been to Michigan since 2008. Unsatisfied with my answer, the police officer ran into me headfirst with his hands over his head. He pushed me in the chest. I cried out that I was a heart patient. I was scared because they also beat up the other men in the room. There was one guy I thought they were going to beat to death. I could hear punches and someone screaming, “You’re going to kill me.” Someone was covering that man’s mouth while they beat him. There was one man who was bleeding out of his nose and mouth. His eye was even bleeding from inside his eye and he had footprints on his head. I was so scared that I couldn’t say anything. What they did to that man was unnecessary and it scared me more than what they did to me. I was scared for my life.
After they beat us all up, they took us to Caddo Correction Center. There, they took my clothes and gave me slippers and a uniform. At the time I was taking 18 medications a day. I started stumbling in jail and the staff joked that I was in withdrawal from drugs, but the truth was that I was having heart problems. Someone gave me a chair. I used my phone call to call my cousin.
A doctor in the Caddo Correction Center examined me and told me I had had a heart attack. I was put in an ambulance with a mask on my face and felt like I was outside of my own body. I feared it was too late and that I was about to die.
At the hospital, I told the nurse a cop had run into my chest with his hands on his head. I also told her what happened to the other guys. I thought this was my dying declaration. The nurse told me she would let my family know what happened because I was not allowed to contact anyone on the outside due to security purposes.
I did not get released from jail until December 18. I spent 12 days in the hospital and even had surgery.
I now live-in fear and shame. I look physically different. I was beaten. I was almost killed. The police officers who beat and arrested me gave me a heart attack. I was not given due process. I have never felt so much that my life did not matter. Police are now my biggest fear in life.