DRUG WAR OUT OF CONTROL!
Usually when someone gets busted, it's with an amount of drugs they physically have, or did sell. Now in the US, in Georgia, when you get busted, the drug doesn't necessarily need to be in any level immediately present, yet you can and will be held under threat of force to give the arresting agency blood or urine to prove there is some kind of drug in your system if a police officer wants to obtain your bodily fluids.
That's right, forget about evidence seized at the scene. They will seize you, and using threats and force, make you give them bodily fluids to make their case. Think this kind of crap doesn't happen in the US? Dream on. It happened to myself and a couple of friends on July 5th, 2001, while bothering no one, and without drugs being present in my studio, we were arrested for possession of marijuana and made to give urine and/ or blood so the Bartow County Sheriff's Department could search our beings for evidence.
The play by play is as follows.
We were in a private studio I use to practice music, listening to rock n roll, drinking cold bud ice (an ironic twist) beer and basically relaxing, I had no marijuana and as far as I knew, neither did my two friends. I had placed a bit of frankencense and myrrh on a light bulb in the studio and myself and another friend were foolin' around on some guitars. I had the windows and doors open, and we were sitting around sippin' brews and enjoying a break from the July heat here in Georgia that a set of thunderstorms earlier had brought.
Next door is a small, old time country store, the type steadily disappearing from the landscape. An older couple in their 60's run it. One of the owners, a nice lady named Joan, hollered in my open door "what are you young men up to!" We said hey and she came in and talked to us, just shooting the breeze, for about 10 minutes, then left by the same door.
One of my friends, named Bo, went outside right after Joan left to get a cell phone from the truck of my other buddy, Chris. Bo came back in with the cell phone, wide eyed, and said "I'm not sure but it looks like Joan's getting arrested." Chris is like, "oh yeah"...we all looked, some dude had the cuffs on her in the parking lot in front of the store, and some other guys were standing outside my door, one next to the studio's porch and another out near Chris's truck.
Chris and Bo walked outside, I heard Chris ask the guy near his truck what was up, I heard the guy answer, "I don't know, I'm just staying out of the way."
I turned around and turned my amplifier off and went to turn some music I had playing on my computer down. The computer was on sharing some of my new music files I had been planning to post on my music download site online. As I shut the internet connection down I heard the studio's screen door open and saw the guy who had been near the porch entering the studio. He and I made eye contact and he walked back out the door.
Since whoever these characters were had now entered my space, I grabbed my beer off the coaster, lit a cigar and reached for the phone to call someone to witness this developing scene. As I started to dial, flashing light inside from the studio door caught my eye. As I looked towards the door I heard someone say, "Todd, could you come here a minute partner?"
How this individual knew my name and who this person asking me to come there was, I didn't know at this time. Cigar in left hand, bud ice in the right I stepped out on the porch.
"Hey, what's going on? How may I help you?" I asked.
The man at my door, on my porch did not identify himself. He did not have a badge visible, and was dressed in plain clothes.
"You guys smoking pot in the house?" he asked.
"Hell No." I replied.
"Do you live here too?" He asked.
"Live here too?" I asked back.
"Do you live here with her?" The man asked, pointing to Joan accross the parking lot.
"She doesn't live here dude, her and her husband run the store next door. This is my studio."
"You got any ID partner?" the guy asked.
"Yeah, inside." I said then turned around went in to fetch my passport. I brought it outside after hesitating about showing any ID since I don't have to, and I really don't know who these guys on my property were. I have no problem with who I am though, so I went back outside with the passport.
"Is this all you've got? Where's your drivers license." the inquiring guy asked.
"I don't use a drivers license."
At this point, the guy asking the questions, dressed in jeans and beige shirt, asked "is there anyone else inside?"
"Are there anymore drugs inside?" he asked.
"What drugs are you talking about?" I asked back.
At this moment, the short scruffy looking guy who had arrested Joan came over and was standing at the foot of the steps leading up to the porch. The guy in the beige shirt pulled out a pen light flashed it a couple of times and said;
"Mind if I go in and look around?"
I really didn't understand why, in America you need to let an unidentified individual into your property to "look around", so I stated;
"No, you'll need to get paperwork to go inside."
At this point, the little man from next door exploded.
"Paperwork!" he yelled, "oh I see! We'll do that, right now though all of you are under arrest for possession of marijuana! You need to put that cigar out and get against the truck."
Chris and I just looked at each other as we were shoved up against his truck. Almost at the same time we said;
"Marijuana? Where's the pot?"
"Don't worry about that, we'll find some pot inside and we will get your paperwork." the little man said as he pulled a pentagram shaped badge out from under his shirt. From here on we'll refer to the little man as sparkplug, because Lord knows he was firing on something. I'd say by his actions and the look in his eye, he was definitely wired on something stronger than coffee.
"This is bullshit!" I protested.
As were were being searched I noticed sparkplug went into the studio for 3-5 minutes, then came out and closed the door. So much for paperwork before entry.
"Can I get some shoes?" I asked since I was barefoot.
"Don't worry about it. They'll have some nice shoes for you where you're going in just a few minutes," said the guy in beige.
We were all lined up in the parking lot as our ID's were called in and checked. I was especially grilled, since having only a passport surely meant I was wanted. A couple of standard sheriff's vehicles arrived, Chris and I were placed in one and away we went to Cartersville to the jail, with Metallica's Nothing Else Matters and Staind's Been A While playing in the police car (at least that sheriff had good taste in music).
At the jail Chris and I were led into the booking area and told we had to give urine to be checked for drugs. We both protested and asked to speak to a lawyer. We really didn't know what happened to Bo since he was brought in another vehicle. We once again asked where the pot was and were told a search warrant would be gotten from a judge. The we were placed in an interrogation room. After about an hour and a half in the interrogation room we were led back to the booking area.
Sparkplug was there with some small white boxes with the state seal of Georgia on them.
"We'll need to get a urine sample from both of you. So we can check to see if you've got pot in your systems."
"What? Couldn't find anything so now you're going to force us to give you bodily fluids? You're crazy as hell."
"Yeah, you'll give me whatever I want. If you're going to be an asshole, then it's real easy for me to get a warrant for your urine and take it from you. Just like the warrant for your house, which we're in the process of getting, a judge will grant us whatever we need."
Chris and I both said no, they had arrested us without evidence, now they were gonna force us to give blood or urine in hopes they could make a case? I though we had beat the nazis in the last great war, obviously not.
"Suit yourselves. You both WILL give me whatever I want," sparkplug growled.
Chris and I were led back to the interrogation room, where we were held for about another hour or so. Then led back to the book in area.
Sparkplug took a big chew of chewing tobacco, then shoved a couple of pieces of white paper towards Chris and I.
"Here's warrants for your urine or blood boys."
I couldn't believe this.
"I don't understand all this about giving urine and how a judge could allow this! You've already arrested me with nothing, so that's what you've got, nothing! I need to talk to a lawyer before I do anything else!"
Sparkplug spit some juice, then stated;
"Look, it's like this. Either you give me urine, or I'm taking you to the hospital, and they're going to shove a catheter, a tube about this big (making size with fingers) up your dick to drain your bladder, get piss, and it's up to me to tell them when to stop, when I get enough of your piss to satisfy me."
Threats like this only confirmed that I was being made by force to submit to this nonsense.
"I'm not consenting to anything like that, I don't know that it's my responsibility to GIVE you urine by request. I want to speak to a lawyer!"
"I will take you to the hospital and I will get urine and or blood. So it's up to you. Give me some piss or I will take it from you." he shot me his best mean look, I tried hard not to laugh, wishing now I'd refused to come out of the house and stood my ground.
"What about you partner?, he asked Chris, "you gonna be an asshole or are you gonna piss for me?"
Chris shook his head, "looks like you've got me over a barrel. If I don't give it to you you'll force it from me by shoving that thing up in me."
Sparkplug spit again, "Yup that's right, and you can bet I'll do it."
Chris gave them urine, I refused. I thought my rights protected me from such. I know now in AmeriKKKa you don't have rights. You are are the state's dog.
After leading Chris back and making some jokes about urine, sparkplug spit, looked me in the eye and said;
"Why you being such an asshole? I will take you to the hospital, have them stick a catheter up in you and get your piss regardless. So why are you being an asshole."
"I'm not being an asshole. I don't know that I have to give you urine. I haven't had a chance to talk to a lawyer."
"Yeah, you're being a damn asshole! So tell me why are you being an asshole?"
I leaned forward and said;
"I am a person in the Kingdom Of God. You've arrested me without evidence of a crime, and by the Laws of God I do not have to let you violate my body in order to procure fluids for you to try and make a case...."
Sparkplug waived his hand and cut me off.
"Don't try that biblical stuff with me, cause you don't live it. You want to play that biblical stuff, I can do it too. You know in the bible how it says to obey the laws of the land? We'll I am the law of the land and you're not obeying."
Sparkplug gave me his meanest look, then spit. I just smiled and nodded my head.
"Now, you gonna give me some piss?"
"I don't understand all this, I don't understand that I have to give you my bodily fluids."
"Take him back", sparkplug yelled, "and put him where he can't use the bathroom!"
It was over three hours into this now, and not only was the ice beers screaming to be let out, but I had to take a serious dump.
"I gotta use the bathroom man! It's been hours since you brought us in here on this nonsense!"
Another hour in the interrogation room, then I was led to the book in area, leg and waist chains put on, handcuffed, finally given a pair of shower shoes (Lord knows Bartow County didn't want me in the hospital shoeless, might look bad) placed in a county vehicle and taken to Emory in Cartersville, driven by sparkplug who made sure he goosed the car and threw me around in the back.
At the hospital I was led to a room and blood drawn. Sparkplug really didn't say why it was blood now instead of urine, my guess is he thought the blood would have stuff in it longer so he had a better chance of finding something. I didn't fight 'em because there were four law dogs and it's a bit hard to do being hog-tied.
"Hey, it's been over five hours, can I use the bathroom since you guys are taking blood now instead of urine?" I asked.
"When we're finished here you can use the bathroom," growled sparkplug playing with the white box and the blood vials.
After the taking of blood, I asked to use the can again. The guy in the beige shirt, who was in the room, said;
"Yeah, right here is a bathroom. Don't try anything. If I see anything in your hands I'll shoot 'cha!"
Then and there, his nickname stuck.......sureshot. Not so much that he was gonna shoot me as this whole situation was sure shot out.
I was led back to jail. Finally booked and told the charges, then put into one of the nastiest holding cells, with urine and crap all over the floors.. Finally, about 13 hours after being arrested I was allowed to use a phone. I got out the next day, to find my studio trashed, windows left wide open screens off, lots and lots of stuff missing, money gone, everything dumped onto the floor. They even had broke into my dad's garage behind the studio by cuttin' the locks. Really nice.
All I've got to say is don't think you can't go to jail when you're minding your own business, bothering no one, and be arrested without evidence, and made to give blood or urine so that you might be prosecuted. It can happen, and according to sureshot and sparkplug, it is the right of the police to do so. When we asked them who was the victim here, sparkplug said they were. I've tried real hard to understand this, but as of yet all I see is this was a ploy for Bartow County to make money off of us, and to try and make us their slaves.
This is the USA today. It's been known for a while Georgia has serious civil rights problems. I can say now it is way beyond reasonable. I am not stupid enough to believe my blood test will be fair, #1 after how I was treated I realize I am being set-up and there is no way an agency that would do what they did is going to let a blood test prove them criminal, #2 it's being done by another law enforcement agency with more than enough reason to support the arresting agency, #3 I was not given the choice of my own test and after my money ended up gone did not have enough money the next day to go and get an independent test, #4 I witnessed the test kit open before I was taken to the hospital so there in itself it could have been tainted, #5 all is fair in war, and the government has said many times they are having a drug war.
It wouldn't surprise me if every known illegal drug showed up in my test. I am sure since I was charged on misdemeanors the arresting agency will try and put something in my blood that would be a felony charge. All in all, had the police showed up at my door with a warrant I would have let them in to search. As it happened though, I smell a rat. To answer some questions I know readers have, no I didn't fight the police and no I wouldn't say I was rude to them nor did I hinder them in doing their job. I think their actions speak for themselves.
I have lost faith in my government and my country. A "drug war" is not reasonable enough to allow this type of behavior. Yet it goes on, and it seems to be endorsed to the hilt, at least here in Georgia. Is this the country you want to live in?
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