Saturday, July 2 and Sunday July 3,2022
'Police lying is as old as policing itself, and like all culturally ingrained customs, it will not disappear without the sustained intervention of outside forces.'
-- Kali Holloway, AlterNet, 'Lying Is A Fundamental Part of American Police Culture', April 3,2018
' ‘There's no fear of being caught, ' a Brooklyn officer who has been on the force for almost a decade told the Times.
-- 'Why the Prevalence Of Lying By the Police Is A Problem For The Innocent', The Innocents Project, March 19,2018
Since we never see you, and rarely if ever speak,
I want to send these poems to you—these narrations
and descriptions of terror, trauma, violence and grief—
so you can learn what we've endured to survive
these twenty-three years here in North Carolina.
When we last talked at Christmas, you didn't want
to talk about your family, gave answers to questions
in the shortest sentences possible. Did you notice?
And you didn't ask about anyone in my family—
about Devin and Shawn and Kim—and haven't
in a very long time. And when Kim tried to speak
with you—after how many years? —you had nothing
to say to her. Do you recall? I'm confused, trying to learn
what "catching up" means to you—what you are
thinking about, why you call—if we matter at all.
My effort may prove to be an exercise in frustration,
but I get it. You live only two hours away, in Charlotte;
we're here in Raleigh. That's close, perhaps too close
for comfort—it would make anyone apprehensive,
I guess, not just my brother. You don't want
to get involved, have to deal with my problems.
You've lived in Charlotte for these twenty-three years
we've lived in North Carolina, since these traumas
began in 1999 and have just kept happening—
family car after family car destroyed, eight in total.
In the first three instances, the third-party drivers
have not been identified to date, no accident reports
issued to us on the scene by the police which would
have identified two of the cars, and who owned them.
So who destroyed our cars? And what make of cars
did they drive? Again, we don't know. Devin's credit
was destroyed in the process—he was 18 years old —
and he no longer had a car, was left without transportation,
a hit-and-run driver having destroyed his Mitsubishi Eclipse
on a quiet Baton Rouge street in October 2001, two months
into Devin first term at LSU. The hit-and-run driver
effectively ended Devin's college education, his credit,
his car—Can you imagine a worse, worst-case scenario?
Why had the bank loan officer issued Devin a car loan
in the first place when Devin did not have collision coverage,
and why had the insurance agent omitted collision coverage
on a car insurance policy for an at-risk, first-time driver?
A lot of questions needed answering, and when I called
the bank and insurance company to ask, I was referred
to their lawyers—no speaking to the employees in question—
who immediately went on to stonewall me. End of story.
Then there have been the repeated attacks,
the repeated beatings of family members,
the car-wreck injuries, but no police investigations,
and no charges filed against the offending parties
when the police knew who some of them were,
even after they had seriously injured us.
In one instance, after Devin had been attacked
in a parking lot after leaving work, and called 911,
the police charged him, the victim, with affray.
Why would Cary PD officers misrepresent
what happened that day, cover up? Devin had
been attacked by a repeat offender, as I have been—
but forget that Devin had previously been knocked out
in New Orleans, his jaw broken—no police investigation.
Forget Devin had been beaten up the day he tried
to leave Louisiana to return home, the police wanting
to hold him there instead of the actual attacker.
Forget that my head had been smashed into a sidewalk
in Raleigh by an unknown attacker, that I suffered
multiple head injuries, injuries to my face, neck,
torso, legs and arms that required hospital treatment—
the Raleigh PD refused to investigate, but a state agency
appeared, paid my hospital bills— appearances are everything.
This was the second time I had been attacked, beaten
in North Carolina. The first time, Daniel Cash Hilliard Jr.,
a car mechanic, assaulted me before absconding with our car,
the Dodge Caravan, and the car's engine he had destroyed.
I filed two police reports with Cary PD Officer William Saunders
who later encouraged me to forget the matter. Then, when
I took Hilliard to court, the Wake Co. assistant district attorney,
Lee Lipscomb, failed to subpoena those same police reports
prior to trial even after I had helped her fill out the subpoenas,
provided her with the Cary Police report case numbers.
Finally, District Court judge Michael Morgan brushed all
the evidence aside, overlooked the District Attorney's Office
suppression of evidence even after I brought it to his attention,
and Daniel Cash Hilliard Jr., the serial offender, walked free.
What happened to the Dodge Caravan? After I reported
tt stolen, the Cary PD refused to look for it for over a month,
but when found, they refused to disclose its location, or to tell
anything about the process of finding it—only that Hilliard
would not be charged for theft, for criminal damage/ mischief,
or for removing the Caravan to an undisclosed location without
my permission. But according to North Carolina General Statutes, Hilliard should have been charged with two felonies—
1. felony larceny of an automobile; 2. felony larceny of motor vehicle parts—plus a Class 1 misdemeanor for damage to personal property by which the victim is supposed to receive punitive damages.
In sum, it's clear that the police protected Hilliard,
as had the District Court and District Attorney's Office
in turn, but the question is why? Do the police use past
criminal offenders against targets in undercover ops when
it's difficult for the police themselves to collect evidence?
In sum, we were left with one less car to drive,
four of our cars destroyed in two-and-a-half years—
Nov.1999 to April 2002—the Toyota Corolla,
Mercedes, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and now the Caravan.
After Shawn had been attacked by two police officers
at Wake Med West Hospital, Cary, Kim serving as a witness,
the police thoroughly falsified their report—I obtained a copy—
and Shawn was subsequently arrested by a host of officers
of the Raleigh PD in a surprise raid of our home at 5 a.m.—
in total darkness—on the morning of May 19,2011.
Shawn was dragged from his bed, handcuffed in front of us,
then jailed. But who knew—it happened in total darkness.
On Shawn's first court appearance, Judge Vinston Rozier Jr.
humiliated Shawn in front of the entire court, marched him
around the courtroom three times—into and out of the docket
three times—berated his clothing, his answers, warning Shawn
to answer only with "Yes, sir", that "Yes" was insufficient.
Shawn remained polite throughout, and after his case
was continued, we sat down in the courtroom to observe
further proceedings—to see if Judge Rozier would treat persons
in other cases as he had treated Shawn—though Judge Rozier
encouraged us to leave when he saw us sitting in the chamber.
When it became clear that Judge Rozier was treating others
differently, we got up to leave, but were threatened with
contempt of court by the judge—for what? —for observing,
for taking some notes down on a piece of white paper.
(I've read, and it's worth noting, that Judge Rozier,
among others, receives "awards" and public tributes
from the police, from various police organizations—
should judges be influenced by the police in this way?)
That evening, the same day as Shawn's court appearance,
September 2,2011, the Raleigh PD showed up in force—
three police cruisers— at our front door, after dark,
and Officer H. Slade demanded to speak to "David Ryan"
and that he would, "break down the door" if necessary
since he was in possession of a magistrate's order.
I told him, "No David Ryan" lives here. Then Kim asked
to see the order, to check the name, but Officer Slade
refused, then quickly withdrew, but remained on the boundary
with other officers for about 30 minutes before leaving.
(It was the same Officer Slade who had held a flashlight
within 6" of my head at 5 a.m. in the morning on May 19
when Shawn had been hauled out of bed, handcuffed,
and jailed, further traumatized in the process.) Neither I,
Kim, nor Shawn believe it's a coincidence that the Raleigh PD
showed up in force at our home that night only hours after
Shawn's appearance before Judge Rozier. But who had
sent them? Clearly a higher up in the chain of command—
nothing but threats, shows of force, and deception by police,
Wake Co. courts and the Wake Co. District Attorney's Office.
Read the details of the above in our letters of complaint
to Robert B. Rader, Chief District Judge, the 10th Judicial District, and to the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission.
Okay, Mike, you get the picture: already knowing
some of this beforehand—the terror, the trauma,
the violence, the grief— I understand why you remain
guarded, but I am not the source, the threat of danger
you perceive. It's just the reverse—I am a 71-year-old man
who, like my sons, has suffered this violence, suffered
this trauma, yet remain willing to reconcile with you.
It looks, however, like reconciliation is the last thing
on your mind, that my family and I really don't matter
because, in the greater scheme of things, you must
safeguard yourself, your family from what's happening.
Finally, you're my brother, but if you can't look
at your behavior with any insight or compassion
as regards to how you treat us, you will be hard-pressed
to show any genuine compassion for me and my family.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem