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Sharing the wisdom of arrest experience

My First arrest shows the elitism of “the system” in action

Question: How does one prepare for arrest, shackles, public humiliation?

I am honored that my input is sought on any subject. It is a shame that I have no answer to justify someone’s belief that I know something that could benefit them. Nevertheless I said:

You cannot prepare, specifically, for something you do not know is barrelling towards you on the road of fate, about to slam into you. We are all on collision courses with the unimagined and unimaginable. The first time I was arrested it was bc my ex husband said I had slapped him before I left the house on foot. We had argued but it was not physical (on my part.) However, my ex knew he could have me manhandled by proxy. I was in my early twenties and he was 25 years my senior. As I left he shouted that he was the man, I was “just” a woman, and the police would arrest me on his say so. I heard the pride in his voice that he represented society’s winners and this victory was his weapon should he choose to weild it. Officially, publicly he was an egalitarian liberal. But if he needed to reach into his back pocket for the weapon of superiority he was always ready to club me. I did not believe I would be shackled at his request, as if the police did his bidding. Mature, white male vs young black female. Husband vs wife. I was confident when the police car pulled up behind me that I would resume my walk in a few minutes after a brief colloquy. Within minutes after he called to report a slap he did not have to prove, I was not walking but riding–cuffed and perched on the hard plastic that serves as the back seat of Honolulu’s police cars in the 1990’s. I never imagined that my self importance was not recognized by the authorities. They did not know by looking at me that I was a recent Harvard grad. They saw what my color, age, and gender meant to them and it was not a pretty picture. I was not a pretty picture. Today, I know what people think they see when looking at me. I am no longer surprised by the contempt of law enforcement. It does not shock me when police arrive on the scene and lose their urgent manner when they see I was the person who called. .The cuffs, the shackles are there for me if I say the wrong thing. It is simple for them to arrest me, release me 12 hours later with a gruff, “get out of here,” and nothing shows on my record. I cannot prove this happens. I still feel helpless rage and I loathe myself for not making them see me, exactly as I did during my first arrest. But I am never surprised. Is that preparation?

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People Cheer “Arrests” but there is a lot more to know before we know anything

HPD: 74 arrests made in Chinatown in last 6 weeks under crime prevention program https://www.newsbreakapp.com/n/0bqKw7wQ?&share_destination_id=MTU5ODM3MDA2LTE2MzE0Nzg3MDcwMzI=&s=a99&pd=0AoeuE7z&hl=en_US

Downtown Honolulu’s Chinatown is in the midst of a much touted police “crackdown”

I have told you that downtown Honolulu has been one of Oahu’s epicenters for drugs. Years ago I walked those streets in the sincere belief that I could partake in the offtrack lifestyle and no one would be the wiser bc of my good taste in clothes. I am not bragging when I say I was the best looking homeless crack addict on the block in my youth. Please, hold your applause. I have shared with you that I enjoyed my experiences bc the drugs and the risks I took to obtain them were all consuming. Self pity was in the back burner and my orphan status did not cause me to stand out from my peers bc most were alienated from their families. None of this psychological relief would have been possible without a centralized location for all of the elements of this lifestyle. This is the reasoning of an adolescent. The community does not want to be sacrificed at the altar of my self worship. It really is for the best to get the crime off the street and force people to do what normal people do–pursue their behavioral deviations from the accepted norm behind closed doors. No one gets influenced to follow the examples of people smoking crack, ice, or heroin in public. People were once deeply disturbed by such displays, which were absolutely commonplace during 1990’s. These people can relax and focus on something other than cleaning up the streets–like promoting small business.

I understand why people Cheer Arrests, but my insider’s knowledge of “the system” causes me to worry

Yes, let us get the crime off the street. But we actually do need to consider where it goes. I have heard,”they don’t care where you go as long as you get up out of here.” People discover they need to see the follow through for the much touted arrests. According to the linked article lots of homeless have been arrested. Those are likely to be petty misdemeanor arrests meant to convey that the homeless will have a rough go of it in this hostile place. Loitering, littering, jaywalking, camping, lying on the sidewalk. When Rudolph Giuliani was mayor of NYC these nuisance crimes were aggressively pursued with the (reported) results that the little crimes were committed by big time criminals. Felons were rooted out, the community was safer. Yadda yadda yadda…

I do not know if that was true in NYC but in Honolulu nuisance crimes are committed by people who are more nuisances than criminals. They get arrested and released in the morning in a repetitious cycle that churns a lot of paperwork. It is a good thing there is a lot of paperwork to give the Honolulu Police Department work to justify all the COVID relief money they paid their members as excessive overtime. Some would call it fraud. Is this “crackdown” as nothing but a chance to say to the community:

Don’t think HPD is just lavishly spending relief money on all terrain vehicles officers ride on the sidewalk during their unjustifiable overtime. HPD is lavishly spending and making arrests that tax payers find comforting.

The author’s cynical interpretation of the big crime fighting initiative

Maybe I am wrong about the need for real change

As long as the public thinks it’s safety has improved that’s what really matters. No matter what anyone does, the interpretation of the actions is how people experience them. Did you read the linked article about how River Street is totally clear. It was home to mainly alcoholics for over 20 years. The street really looks different, that is true. Did the homeless go “away?” Yes, if “away” means a block toward Diamond Head. Now they bed down by Maunakea Marketplace, on Hotel Street. The only traffic on Hotel Street is the bus. The drivers who see River Street will be impressed by the enormous change –in that spot.

I almost forgot! I did notice a change in the homeless population due to this police initiative. There are more people wearng a jumpsuit made out of sturdy paper-like material. If a person is arrested without appropriate attire the officers in cellblock give him or her a paper suit. People with nothing stay in the paper suit days after their arrest because their belongings are often disposed of by the arresting officers. Yes, there is a new fashion by Maunakea Market. That’s what arrests profit society members who ask no questions about the criminal justice system if it does not touch them personally.