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Monday, February 25, 2008


A break, I suppose, from the constant onslaught of misconduct news stories and the battles between a public that demands an accountable police force and a police force that refuses to be accountable to the public.

The thing is, there is no support group for survivors of police misconduct, there are no meetings in coffee shops or places where we can go and talk about what happened to us at the hands of people who have the power to destroy lives at a whim... In fact, people who suffer abuse at the hands of the police are usually discouraged from talking about it by lawyers, settlement agreements, and the police themselves.

Not in the least, though, is the discouragement survivors of police abuse feel from the public at large because, often, people believe that the police are incorruptible and above suspicion while victims of police abuse are thought to have somehow deserved the abuse they received. Even if we are found innocent by a court, we are still forever judged by society.

Generally, I think this creates a unique sense of isolation for those who are the victims of such abuse, and I wonder if other victims have the same feeling of isolation that I have, as a victim of police misconduct and a person who writes about it.

So, I want to invite any victims of police misconduct to write, partly for my own benefit to see if they have the same problems I do, but also to see if a dialog can help people who are so utterly isolated by society and by the very abuse that forces them to suffer in silence.

Ever since my experience, I've suffered horrible nightmares, ones that wake me up at night and keep me from sleeping again, and ones that stay with me in the waking hours of the day. I wonder if any of you have these as well?

Mine aren't just about what happened to me, though some are... But usually they are about what else the police might do to me, my family, and even my friends in retribution for my speaking out. For example, I can't shake last night's nightmare, a common one for me where the police bust down my door, handcuff and restrain me, then assault and brutalize my family in front of me before killing them and framing me for their crime.

It's a graphic nightmare and what makes it worse is that I'm sure the police could get away with something like that and that some of them would have no twinge of conscience stopping them from doing it. So, I spend my day going over in my head what I would do to try and save some of my family in case it happened... and re-live the nightmare over and over again all day.

Since we are all discouraged from talking about it, I am left to wonder if I alone suffer these nightmares or if others suffer them in silence and fear too. If you do... at least take solace in the fact that you are not alone... and if you feel the need to talk about it, even in private and anonymously, I'm all ears.

...after all, it's bad enough that we were forced to endure one injustice, but it's an continuous injustice to be forced to suffer it and constantly re-live it in silence.

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