Firstly, be nice if they nice to you, try not to let all the BS questions upset you.
Check out my youtube channel for the vlog I made at the Health and Disability Commission. JR Murphy Poet.
I knew police take about 15-20 mins to get to a job around Wellington, so know when the lift opens its going to be them. Three this time, two men and a woman, who surrounded me immediately, you have to get used to that – lot of abuse victims don’t like people behind them – me included. One of them was a newbie who took my details, read me my rights etc.
One asked for me to put my hands behind my back but as I HATE handcuffs and last time I had them on they hurt A LOT (it was after the assault) I didn’t want to. As soon as I ignored their instructions they got aggitated, I chilled the situation when I started joking about it. I wasn’t ignoring their directions, I didn’t like handcuffs, they hurt and I was trying to talk my way out of having to put them on. Sadly it didn’t work, its so much more comfortable and less oppressive when you don’t have them on. Joked about being able to carry my own stuff out if I didn’t have them on – didn’t work. He wouldn’t put them on in front of me either which is easier and a less vulnerable position. He did put them on loosely, made me realise how tight the last lot were. my hands were blue by the time I got them off and I had bruises for two weeks.
I was arrested on the warrant for not turning up to court, not for doing the protest at HDC even though I swore like a trooper. I was trespassed and given the notice while I was being processed. I was also questioned about chalking on the Tribunals building, which I admitted to. If you knew at protesting don’t say too much when you arrested, I know my rights pretty well and know what to say and what not to say so I talk quite a bit. If you are an activist keep to your rights and information you know about why you are taking the action you are. Quote laws.
Organise to speak to a lawyer, but best to have a lawyer who knows consitutional law already oranised to arrange your release. It is very seldom a judge will keep an activist in the cells overnight, I was picked up on a warrant – or if I had broken my bail conditions – I would have had to stay if I couldn’t get to see the judge. A police officer told me few years ago to get arrested before 9am in the morning on a sitting day and I wouldn’t have to stay the night.
I am trying to get something organised where as a recognised disabled Civil Society Actor I can’t be held overnight because of my disorder. United Nations treaties say NZ govt are not allowed to use the process in a punitive way against a CSA- which is what the justice system is being used for. It is disproportionately cruel to make me stay incarcerated with my stress disorder issues compared with other people. I am not a threat to anybody and I can be picked up by local police before court when I am set to appear. (My issue about can’t appear is I can’t make myself drive to court, to get around this police have to pick me up, which I can do – weird I know but its a bizarre and terrifying disorder so you get creative.
They sent two police cars, there is always one of the officers who knows me, lead out in handcuffs and put in the car, you wonder what people are thinking – you wish you could explain to people what was happening and why.
Arrived at cells, newbie was asking me lots of questions, but I started to get upset and cry as my post bollocking melt-down started to kick in. The woman processing me was a rigid bitch who I didn’t take to at all, usually those people are nice, but not this one, was an older woman. Argued with her when I was told I would be staying the night as court wasn’t taking any more prisoners today. Demanded to speak to a lawyer but that was a disaster.
The lawyer Val, a man, to start he couldn’t hear me and hung up (the accoustics in teh concrete box were really bad), they got him back on the phone and he said something to the effect to phone some woman – I don’t remember name – and she was more sympathetic to women in my situation. WTF sexist pig. They were supposed to phone another lawyer but the small room overwhelmed me and I became claustrophobic and started banging on the door to be let out. The officers said, don’t you want a lawyer and I just laughed at them, pointing out they knew very well I couldn’t stay in that room because of my mental health and as there was no other options then I got no lawyer. I’d suck it up if I had to stay, I had no choice I couldn’t go back in that room, not that day – in fact not ever.
They take your shoes jewellery, everything out of your pockets and put them in plastic bags (which I keeping for an art project) – they also had my painting and two signs and my bag of protest stuff, visual diary, laws, pens etc. I got put into a cell I have been in several times before, in the women’s section – officer told me there 38 mens cells and 9 womens – so when the revolution arrives we only need to get 50 people arrested and Wellington police are overwhelmed. They can fit about 30 in the day rooms – anyway its not many. 🙂 dreams are free.
By the time they let me out of the concrete box I was freaking out and getting worse, head down ticking, shaking, hyperventilating, on verge of panic attack, but not knowing about to take the violence I was feeling out on myself. Got back to the cell and started pacing, shaking, ticking, trying to keep a panic attack under control. Nothing would work, so sat on bed and started banging my head and back against the concrete wall, it is the only thing that will calm me when I’m that traumatised. Then I started wanting to hurt myself, with slapping beats on my legs and the mattress, beating myself about the head, thumping my thighs with fists as hard as I possibly could. When its happening its a release valve, its not nice and is distressing for people watching. Its torment on full blast, but it releases pressure, its me turning the psychological violence I have just endured into physical violence. I have very little control over if it starts happen, my body is rigid. It takes every bit of concentration to not completely flip out and start trashing the cell and really harming yourself by punching walls etc – because that’s what you want to do. I picture every bone in both my hands smashed.
When I start punching my head its because I want the torment to stop, the hurt the extreme hurt about not getting health care I should be and being dragged through court and justice processes so unfairly. Of being isolated and lied about, discriminated against and persecuted just so a bunch of neo-liberal rich pigs can have lots more money and poor people have less. So they can make money out of people they deny mental health care to and safe homes.
I’m going to be requesting a copy of the CCTV footage from when I arrived until about 6pm when I finally calmed down. Once the horrible police guard left at 3pm and next lot took over things got better. Although I was told I had been a problem earlier, a problem mmmmm. Best to be nice and make jokes when you first meet them, they’re usually nice and introduce themselves. I play a game of trying to work out what the time is and I’m usually right – its one of the weird and not nice things about being in cells, you don’t know the time, even if it light or dark outside. The dungeon they call Wellington police cells which is sub-ground and best earthquake strengthening possible I am told.
Dinner was 2 min noodles – which I refused – I eat too many of them already and butter chicken with rice over microwaved but ok. There were 3 women there most of the night, one beside me was being checked every 20 mins. Was given milo and tea over the night, when I couldn’t sleep. All but two of the police were really nice, respectful and professional.
We got offered a shower at about 7pm which was really nice, you have to do it in front of guard but she way down end of corridor. An image when I got to the showers has stayed with me – that I want to do an artwork about. When I got to the showers there were five small soaps in one side and none in the other. I asked the guard why, she said how people preferred the one that was slightly behind the wall and more private. Just shows you how modest women are – not like what media portray (I have a theory this is one of the reasons young women drink so much to get confidence to wear things they not comfortable in).
- Would be an amazing experience for every MP in parliament to be processed through the police and courts, kept in the cells overnight and experience the concrete phone box, showers, restrictions, small spaces, boredom, handcuffs etc. The waiting rooms, the endless questions, the stripping of your identity, belts and shoes, the transport vehicles, the metal boxes, the other prisoners, the police and guards – mmmm I can feel a poem coming on – maybe a rap song. Imagine Crusher Collins locked in the concerete phone box unable to get a lawyer and having to bang and yell to get out. Or Jerry, lol, with his size, what a mission, getting in and out of cars and transport vehicles – I actually don’t think he would fit in the latest transport vehicle I was in. He wouldn’t have handled the small dinner either and no snacks.
My back started getting really sore and I had to move around most of the night because of it. Sitting on a low bench/bed was hurting it. So changed to lying on my tummy, walking around, doing exercises etc. The pillows are really bad so I got an extra blanket, was OK. Wish I could have had a scrubbing brush and bucket of hot soapy water for a couple of hours to clean the cell. Was still hair and stuff from previous occupants, it was Tuesday night, I’m not sure how many days worth – I thought that was a big tacky. Showers weren’t cleaned every day either and water pooled on floor outside them, looked pretty yuk – at least a few days old – thats unhygenic.
Boredom is the most difficult thing when you have really bad mental health, because you brain always wants to obsess about being locked up, the injustices etc. So I do things, like sing, good pracitice for remembering my songs, recite poetry and do drum rhythms on my legs, walls, doors, matress etc. I also rip up paper hand towels and toilet paper – which I then keep and make into an artwork (which I’m doing later today).
I rip up poly cups you get your cuppa tea/water in, I do origami and make water bombs and Which Number Do You Choose game.
The mornings are the most difficult, hard to know the time and things stirring, you getting prepared to go into the metal box in the paddy wagon and not wanting to. Past two times I spent night in cells I had massive melt-downs in the morning and I could feel another one coming on. I told my guard what was happening and could I walk around the female day room and have my breakfast until I had to go, just to give me a bit more space from the cell I was in and before I had to go into something much smaller. He seemed OK with it but said he would have to talk to his Sgt, he never came back and I had that melt-down and it was horrible.
Went on for ages, though it is hard to know when you in that state, rocking, fingers in ears, crying, self-harming, tormented and completely distraught. I remember starting to babble about being allowed to go to the day room over and over again. That’s when Sgt I didn’t like came around with breakfast and asked me if I wanted any, in amongst the babbling I said yes. He asked again and I said yes, he left and went to the next cell. I wanted breakfast I wasn’t feeling good, I told them I had early stages of diabetes when I arrived. Want to get the CCTV footage of not getting breakfast as well.
The guards from the previous night and overnight had been trying to help me with my issue about getting into small spaces in the transport vehicles. They tried to have my case transferred to Wellington, but apparently you have to go where warrant was issued, which was Masterton for me. There were several other people being transported over to Masterton, obviously a bad bunch over here.
They did offer to get me the CATT team which I refused, what’s the point, I just been turned down by mental health and what would they do. I would just start swearing at them, I go tourettes when they come anywhere near me, I’m terrified of them. When they suggested it all I could envisage was me spitting at them and being done for assault. When I thought about it I could have used the 6hour rule to not have to stay incarcerated in police cells but would probably have had to go into care of mental health AND THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I AM EVER GOING TO DO THAT VOLUNTARILY – NOT EVER. At least I know what police are capable of and inmates are locked up so can’t harm you.
One part of it I was whimpering and crying, a woman in another cell was being really lovely and telling me it would be OK and not to worry. She did this for about 20 mins, its amazing how people come together in these situations – I’ve seen it before, especially with people who are upset. I’ve also seen upset people be verbally attacked by other prisoners and told to kill themselves cause they were losers. (same sort of people in police)
Then two new guards appeared at my door telling me it was time to leave, knowing I had been having a melt-down for over an hour. They tried to be nice and commented on my origami, were impressed they were water bombs I had made. I had to tell them I couldn’t walk and to give me 5mins after my melt-down, they weren’t too bad, only young.
Had a right audience putting me in the first transport van, was getting flashbacks of the last time, couple of years before and it wasn’t good. Tried to be brave but got to the door and stopped, I Knew there was no choice and all those people behind me woud make me get in there but I still told them how I felt and that I didn’t want to. One of them commented on me not wanting to go to court, I threw back some insult that shut him up.
Got in the box and focused on my breathing and avoiding teh claustraphobic feelings. Looked out the back window. Started hyperventilating and banging my head against the box to calm down. Prisoner being bit of an arsehole – one of those who hones in on suicidal and traumatised vulnerable people – someone who attacks the weak rather than protects them. Guards driving teh van suggested one of the guys sing to me to make me feel better. It does distress some people when they see me in that state – that’s what many of them have encountered when rescuing abused women, except it is the justice system setting off my traumatic behaviour.
I immediately snapped out of what I was doing to keep from freaking out and said I can sing and started singing Why Am I Arrested, with drumming, the prisoner didn’t like it too much but I ignored him. Then I did Human Sewage and Wish I was Dead with loud emphasis on SHOT by slapping both hands on the metal wall in front of me. That was as we drove down the Wellington motor way out to the Hutt Valley, I was in full voice, loud as I sing it at home with just as much feeling. YOu could hear every word. Everybody shut up after that.
We arrived at Lower Hutt court to swap prisoners & I felt a bit better after singing and joked with those unloading me that last time I was here I chalked Judge PJ Butler on the building and a big swastika. They knew about the incident and now they had met who did it. I had been put in last and let out first which I was EXTREMELY GRATEFUL FOR – it was one small thing I had talked to my guard about that they did.
They lied to get me in the van to Lower Hutt because they said the next transport was bigger and really it was much much smaller.
You have to bang on the door repeatedly to get any attention which is annoying, made sure I went to the toilet when I could because I know how incontinent I can get with my bladder/kidney issues if I need to go. The toilet at Lower Hutt court is amazing, shame they don’t give you pens to contribute to the mural of graffiti all over the natural plywood walls. I so wanted to do a poem in that room – will have to do something to get back in that room and do one. Maybe another chalk mission, the walls of that building are like a giant blackboard. I could come up with some cartoon images and words.
So we were put back in the new – state of the art apparently – transport van/truck. As we were walking out one of the guards started giving me shit about being in custody and being arrested (which I had organised myself when I did the protest). Lecturing me, I gave him a right mouthful, told him he wasn’t my fucking father and I was there because two policemen assaulted me, lied about it in court and got away with it and I had thrown red paint over white ribbon banner as a result. He scoffed to others listening how it was only an alleged assault- there were about 6 guards police around during the change over. I just said YEAH RIGHT of course it was pig and a few other nasty comments. Which others listening seemed surprised about. Said something to the effect how I suppose we would get a shit drive over the hill now after what I said, but we didn’t.
The put me in van and of course the enclosure/metal box was even smaller, only the size of a person sitting down – no way Jerry Browlee would fit. You had a window, which I just focused on most of the time – the view. There was a camera up in front of you, you weren’t in handcuffs or anything. Anybody would think you were a terrorist and your comrades were preparing to break you out – the security was EXTREME. The plug on the bottom of the metal box made me feel sick, you wonder what sort of fluids went down there. Anybody with really bad claustraphobia would be completely fkd in that metal box.
The imagines outside the window were cool, such a familiar trip for me but not in a police paddy wagon with bunch of other criminals. Going through Greytown you could see the van/truck clearly in the windows and Carterton where my graffiti from the morning before was still up. Would be great idea for a music video for some of my songs. Make the paddy wagon like a tardis inside with me and a band performing, while outside the world watches us go past in a reflection. We’re a statistic that people who create this neo-liberal nightmare make sure the masses don’t see.
Got taken out at Masterton and taken through to court waiting room where I tagged ReFuSe on teh wall using my finger and rubbing it over someone who had used a pencil to tag. Some of the shit on the walls was real bitchy violent hate stuff, typical Masterton and a big pencil tag MSTN can’t be trusted – I completely agree.
It was cold, I didn’t have my coat or my shoes, only my socks, I was feeling yuk and needed something to eat. The guard I had called a pig was still with me and I had to ask him to get me something to eat as I felt sick and had no breakfast in Wellington. When we got out the guy in metal box beside me was looking back at me, obviously to see who had been making all the noise – pretty sure he was in the van from Wellington as well.
Guard came in and said I had to see Forensic Nurse while I was there – I refused. Now I realise police wanted that to prove they hadn’t been the ones who inflicted the bruising to my face. I had not mentioned the bruising even though I knew it was there. Several people I have seen since have mentioned it and immediately thought it was police, I’m happy to tell them it was me and was THE SYSTEM that drives me to self-harm, not the actual police around me.
Guard came in and said I had to see lawyer – I refused that as well, no point. This was only another court date until I actually get a PROPERLY TRAINED CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER. Judge was a crusty old guy and you don’t fk with them too much, told him my magna carta rights were violated and I didn’t have to follow the law, told him my mental health was too bad and I couldn’t make myself attend court. Told him until my health care was reinstated and I got constitutional lawyer I needed I wouldn’t be participating. He pretended to ignore most of what I was saying. A lawyer in the room volunteered that another lawyer had just rejected me as a client so LEgal Services Agency were trying to find another before 7 May. So is Wellington Community Law Centre and Ann Rice at the Law Society. I don’t believe they exist – its just a sick joke they tell people about justice that they don’t actually do.
Given same bail conditions then waiting in bail room told I have to go back to Masterton police station to pick up my belongings and shoes. That judge said I am not allowed within 1 metre of unless it is an emergency. I pointed that out to the court staff – who are always nice to me (most of them) so they phoned police station to get it organised. I don’t trust Masterton police not to have me prosecuted for picking up my stuff.
Walked out of bail room had to go past security, getting a few flashbacks to melt-down I had there couple of months ago, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Waved and smiled at the security guard I had yelled at and he smiled back – so that’s all sorted thankfully. Will make it easier to go in teh building next time.
Lucky it wasn’t raining recently and I could walk around to police station in my socks. Took my time getting sorted in foyer, getting shoes on, took a photo of where white ribbon banner USED TO BE, tehehehehe. Although I was sitting in that police station after spending the night in cells, it was actually a WIN FOR ME not for them. Every time this case goes to court it will be explained I threw paint on that banner because of injustice about police assault, threats and cover up. Everybody who here’s my story thinks I am completely justified, including me. I did perform an act of wilful damage but there was no injustice in my actions – so I can’t be prosecuted and punished.
A friend was in Masterton and was able to give me a ride home – back to my car I had left at Carterton Railway station the day before. All the train guards will know I spent a night in the cells, its really cool how they follow what I do. If I had seen judge in Wellington I wouldn’t have got a free ride home – that saved me $17.
Another successful guerrilla protest mission as the days go on only those things that left an impression are with me and things are fading, which is why I wanted to write it all down. Hopefully too it will help/validate other people with stress disorders who have anything to do with the justice system and police. Give them some ideas on how to deal with situations so they dont’ get too out of hand.
Lastly, when I got home I noticed a form attached to my things – Instructions for escorts to and from court. The comment on me being suicidal was absolutely disgusting, full of lies and was just degrading me because of my suidical ideation, calling them vague threats of suicide. After police had been so nice to read this was disturbing – who had written it, why would they write such a pile of BS that didn’t help guards whatsoever, in fact it made them more bigoted and easier able to discredit me. I will be making a complaint about this form and some of the other things that happened and I also can’t praise some police staff highly enough for accommodating impairments related to my disorder/disability and making my stay in custody as easy as it could be for someone like me.
For activists, when you do finally get around friends you can talk to, spend a few hours debriefing and telling them about your experiences. Have a long hot shower to wash away all the bad shit. As soon as you can write a diary note about everything that happened, sign it, date it and you’ve already told someone about it. This is important evidence if anything happens in future to address discrimination and problems that arose – like the revolting comment on transport documents – or not getting access to room prior to being moved and not getting breakfast.
When I got home, as I have said before on my website i got the news that all my ACC care is going to be reinstated after waiting eight years. It seems surreal and I know once I get this care I won’t be having the melt-downs, self-harming and extreme torment I go through now in teh court system. Wait until they see jayne in action and full strength – then I’ll kick some legal arse.