Resurrection 64Posted: December 7, 2016
This is a chapter of the book I am writing for NaNoWriMo. If you want to read it from the start, click here for the chapter index.
On television and in the movies, it often seems the accused is presumed innocent, treated with respect and given and immediate arraignment. In Silerville Justice wasn’t blind and those rules didn’t apply.
Harlan walked over to J.W. in the interview room.
“Stand up, turn around and place thread your fingers behind your head.”
J.W., still reeling, complied without comment. He was scared to say anything now and was trying to collect his thoughts to think about what he had already said. Did he say anything that made him seem guilty? This was madness, this was a nightmare. All he wanted to do was wake up.
Harlan cuffed his right wrist, then pulled it down behind his back. He made sure it was tight enough to hurt. J.W. let out a grunt, which pleased Harlan to no end. This sumbitch had killed his friend. He then roughly grabbed his left and did the same, roughly pushing his face into the wall.
He then marched J.W. out of the back of the station and across the alley to the Silerville Jail.
The Silerville Jail is a one-story, grey monolith with slits six inches wide for windows. The outside walls are made of what appears to be cast concrete blocks. The only opening bigger than six inches was the front doors, which were standard glass office doors, which open into a small waiting area. The waiting area contains four plastic chairs with metal frames dating from its 1973 construction, two heavy metal doors and a bullet-proof reception window and intercom.
The officer behind the glass pushed a button starting a buzz and motioned Harlan through the left side metal door. J.W. was immediately overwhelmed by the locker-room stench of the place. He was first moved into the print and mugshot room.
Harlan removed the cuffs and said, “place your right hand down on the glass.”
J.W. did so, then Harlan placed his hand over the back of J.W.’s pushing as hard as he could. “It has to be completely flat,” he explained. The officer in the room smiled. They repeated the same procedure with the left.
He then jerked J.W. over to the high markings in front of the camera. They handed J.W. a placard he held in front of him.
“Hold still.” Said the officer. The light flashed.
“Turn to your right.” J.W. complied.
“Do you have any tattoos or scars?”
“No, sir.” replied J.W. sheepishly.
Jail intake was designed to accomplish a few things. First, it removes your identity. By removing any sense of personal space or identity, it showed you as an individual cease to exist outside of their control. You are not a name, you are a number. An inmate.
Second it establishes clearly who is in charge. You do what you do only when you’re told and that’s all you do. You don’t speak back. You are a nobody.
At this point J.W. felt more helpless and degraded then he had ever been in his life. Before this morning he saw himself as an upstanding, leading citizen in his home town. Respected. Now he just felt humiliated. It was about to get worse.
Harlan and the other officer escorted him into another bare room with bright lights a sink and a waste basket.
“We need to search you,” said the officer.
J.W. began to protest. “I was already searched, twice. Once when they placed me in the car and then again when…”
“Not like this,” interrupted Harlan. “Strip, now!”
J. W. stripped down to his boxers.
“Those, too,” commanded Harlan.
The officer put on blue latex gloves and said “hold your arms out to your side.” He felt J.W.’s armpits.
“Spread your legs shoulder width.” The officer then examined beneath his scrotum for any contraband.
He moved behind J.W.
The officer roughly pulled about J.W.’s butt cheeks and inserted his finger. Or fingers. J.W. couldn’t be sure. He didn’t use any lubricant.
While this was going on, Harlan removed everything from J.W.’s clothes and searched them thoroughly, removing his cell phone, J.W. hadn’t grabbed his keys or wallet. He placed it in a ziplock bag.
“OK, you can get dressed now. Here is your jumpsuit. You can wear your own underwear.”
The officer handed J.W. an orange jumpsuit and flip flops. The two men watched as he dressed.
He was then escorted to a third room with a desk. He was placed in front of the desk, Harlan behind, while the officer sat down. He got out a sheet and listed J.W.’s “property” on it, reciting each item as he went.
“One pair men’s grey sweat pants, size medium.”
“One maroon t-shirt, size large.” It was one of his Asbury T’s.
“One cell phone.”
He then handed the clipboard and pen to J.W. saying “Sign here.”
J.W. did as instructed.
“I got this now,” the officer said to Harlan. Harlan left.
The officer led J.W. to a four man cell, with four men in it. He handed J.W. a bedroll consisting of a two-inch thick poly mattress and a blanket. J.W. looked at him bewildered about what he was supposed to do with it.
Seeing his questioning look, the officer said, “You’ll be sleeping on the floor.”
The officer left, leaving the door open. J.W. could hear the hall door close and lock.
One of his four “roommates” stood and held out his hand. “I’m Jeff but everyone calls me ‘Tater.'”
Tater was a short, skinny man with black teeth. If J.W. had his senses about him, he would have realized he was probably addicted to meth. J.W. wasn’t thinking. He was in a daze.
“Um,” J.W. said, taking his hand limply, “I’m J.W.”
Tater introduced J.W. to each of the other three: “This here is Billy, this is Greg and this here’s Steve.” Each gave the typical Kentucky male greeting, a quick upward nod of the head. Tater, despite his lack of dental beauty, was the only one who smiled.
The room was block walls, painted grey, about ten feet by twelve. There was a small metal sink and toilet combo in the corner, two bunk beds with a hard concrete floor. There was one low metal built-in desk, no chair, with a metal shelf above. That was covered with the men’s toiletries and two rolls of almost spent toilet paper.
“Your toothbrush and shit are inside the bedroll. First time?” Tater was surprisingly nice. J.W. hadn’t had anyone be nice to him in hours.
“Thank you.” Replied J.W. His senses returning a bit, he asked, “Aren’t I supposed to get a phone call?”