Continued from ‘Police Stop and Search Slashed’ post.

Some time after 6am I found myself confronted by two police women asking me what I was doing there and, as I tried to explain, they talked me down and I thought they were rude, so I persisted in trying to explain until I got upset and they said I wasn’t being very nice.  They said they were trying to help me, all I could see was that they wanted to move me on, and I felt as if I had been a specific target.  I just thought they were really rude and unintelligent in the way they communicated and I was trying really hard to make them understand how I was feeling and how this was not a permanent or particularly chosen situation for me to be in, that I had tried to get a crisis loan and the systems had been down, and everything else I said in the post I referred to in my opening line.  They were pointing at me and being really provocative and aggressive.  Not violent, aggressive.

The next thing I knew they were calling backup, and 2 male officers arrived.  The way they looked at me and treated me and teased me about the way I was behaving, I lost it.

There was a male member of airport staff with a white shirt sitting opposite me, he had been there for about half an hour.  He had been speaking, it seemed to me, for my hearing, even though he must have been about 25 feet away.  He was lounging backwards and eyeing me and his body language was challenge and domination.  He continued to watch and listen intently, almost as if he was theatre audience or in a court room, while these police women were talking to me, and he was freaking me out.  I told the police I wasn’t going to talk to them anymore while he was sitting there doing what he was doing and until he was removed.  He was just eyeing me determinedly, but they refused to deal with him.

One of the male officers said loudly at some point, ‘all women are crazy’ and I wanted to make it stop and make it unsaid and take him to task but there seemed to be no way to do it.  I didn’t know how to handle it.  I was horrified and couldn’t believe he had said it.  Eventually they were dragging me out of the airport and he was continuing to be provocative.  I was objecting and he was saying ‘no one cares’, and it felt like a personal and emotional invalidation.  I had recently heard on The News Quiz on Radio 4 that 700-900 officers in the Metropolitan police have criminal records, including GBH.  Someone has told me since this incident that people with criminal records are not allowed to join the police and the records might have been gained while with the police, but I don’t know.

Anyway, I was wound up and swearing, and the same man said ‘if you swear once more I will put you under arrest’.  So I said, not feeling able to back down at that point, ‘OK then, fuck off’.  It was funny, he should have laughed and seen how inappropriate he was being himself.  The woman officer at the station I told as i was leaving laughed when I recounted it, and that felt like a real relief.  But instead he just said straight away, ‘right, you’re under arrest’.  At some point he put handcuffs on me.  My right wrist was black and purple for almost a week afterwards.

I said they were acting illegally, and that while I might be on the wrong side of the police, the police were on the wrong side of the law.  I said they were illegal, he said contemptuously ‘we all know what you are.  I asked him what and he wouldn’t answer.  I kept pressing him for an answer and he wouldn’t say.  I started shouting the odds again about the figures for police with criminal records, addressing the people around me, and he kept saying ‘no one cares’.  I said that wasn’t true.   I get one incident mixed up with another so I’m not sure how much I said on that occasion.  So I won’t make it up as if I can.

Every time I spoke they were speaking into and over me, if that makes sense to people.  I said they had killed my father, that he had committed suicide, but that I wasn’t going to commit suicide, I was going to blog.  At the same time that I was saying I was only 11 years old when my father committed suicide, he was saying, ‘I bet he killed himself because of you’.  I’ve heard that only one other time in my life, from a class mate straight after his death.  I was outraged, like an animal in pain.  He had no right to say that, but no matter how much I objected and kept trying to say they had no right to do what they were doing, they just kept mocking me and talking me down.

When they took me out of the van they gave a skewed account to the desk sergeant about what had happened and I said it was a misrepresentation.  They were being strict and confrontational, I said I had an appointment with the housing people about getting emergency housing at 11am (it was between 7.30 and 8am) and the sergeant said ‘I think you are going to miss it’.  I said ‘I bet you’re going to keep me here until it is too late for me to get a crisis loan today as well, aren’t you, so I will have no money tonight either, so what do you expect me to do and what good do you think you are doing?’

I felt I was being treated unfairly throughout and was angry and trying to be heard, but they were deliberately ignoring me.  I’m not sure if I had mentioned the harassment and vigilantism at this point or not.  But somehow it came about that the man who had been saying the things I have written started saying with seething anger, ‘she is going to come up to the desk and talk to you like a lady’.  I said ‘I will start acting like a lady when you start acting like a decent man’.

They insisted I take my watch and therapeutic magnet off.  I said I didn’t want the disorientation of not even knowing what time it was, but in the end I relinquished them, and my necklace which I won in a Crisis at Christmas raffle, because the way they grabbed my hands it felt as if they might break my fingers if I didn’t.

At 8.10am they put me in a bare cell with a bed shelf and mattress, a blanket and a toilet.  There was no toilet paper.  They said they would get me some breakfast but I got nothing until lunchtime, by which time I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything or been to the toilet for over 12 hours.  I had not been offered a drink during this time.

They told me at the beginning of the morning that I could see a duty solicitor.  I left without having seen one.  They were reading something at the beginning while I was upset and shouting and they said ‘that’s a no, then’ to something I didn’t hear.

Soon, after not having slept all night, I started to fall asleep on the bench.  As soon as I did I heard a male voice shout out, and they were banging.  This happened several times, that one of them shouted out as soon as I began to fall asleep.  I felt desperate.  I later saw that there was a camera on the ceiling pointed straight at my bed.  I wondered how closely they had it trained on me.  Over the last 2 days I have thought seriously that they were deliberately using sleep deprivation and I believe I am right.

Their idea of a vegan lunch was chips and some vegetables, no protein.  I gave up trying to eat it, I was so upset.  I asked if i could have a cup of tea with my soya milk, but they said no, I couldn’t have anything which had come from outside the station, even though they had no soya milk and didn’t offer to get any for me.

Several times, at least through the afternoon, a male officer would walk up to my cell door, stop outside and cough hard and significantly, and walk away again.  It frightened and angered me.  I kept feeling screaming and hysteria rise into my throat which I had to control, because I knew expressing it would do no good.  I kept wanting to speak to them like friends and ask for their help.

On the ceiling inside the door there was a sign that said there could be a monetary reward for anonymous information leading to crime.  When I saw it I said something about bribery and corruption.

I have felt over the last couple of days that they had me there expecting me to ‘talk’.  But they never asked me any questions.

Later in the afternoon I said something about a cup of tea and that I was a vegan and didn’t drink dairy milk.  The officer was angry and rude and dismissive.  He brought a cup of tea, even though I had said i didn’t want black tea, and I also didn’t want water, which was all they would offer me instead.  So when he turned up with this I wondered what it was and asked him if it was black or if it had milk.  He said it was powdered milk, and put it down on the floor rudely saying ‘it’s tea, do you want it or don’t you?  You either want it or you don’t’.  I ‘said’, ‘I’m a vegan and have been for 4 years.  That is my life choice and you are being abusive and disrespectful’.

There were no books, nothing to write with, nothing was offered, and I was harassed constantly and not allowed to sleep.  I was a wreck.  After all that and everything they had put me through in the morning, I think at some point I asked them when the solicitor was coming and what we were waiting for, and the officer said we were waiting for a doctor, because they thought I needed a mental health assessment.  I started shouting angrily and hysterically, saying after everything they had done to me and without having seen a solicitor, they wanted to subject me to a mental health assessment, and I said all they were really interested in seeing from me was naked fear.

When the doctor came I was taken to an office with an open door, and as we were talking the police started to interfere again in the same way as they had been doing before when I was speaking, but pretending it had nothing to do with me.  I had asked for the door to be closed for privacy, but the doctor had refused and said it wasn’t necessary.  When the interventions came I started to be afraid and panic, and they kept them coming until I was unable to control my fear.  The doctor refused to recognise what was happening, and he ended the interview telling the police, after I had gone, that he thought I needed a mental health assessment.

I didn’t find this out until several hours later when I asked again what we were waiting for and when the solicitor was going to arrive.  All day I was not told that I would not be seeing a solicitor.  They said we were waiting for a mental health team because the doctor had believed I needed an assessment.  Again I became angry and hysterical.

Before my father died we had a dog, which survived his death by a few years.  When he was alive my dad used to take him out with a big stick.  I think there was a nail in the stick at one point.  I used to tease my dog with the stick and thought it was really funny when he went running under the settee screaming.  I have realised in recent years he was terrified and been really upset at myself for what I did.  He would come out all docile and upset and exhausted, qlmost as if he was crying and telling me he was upset.  Loving and trusting me and telling me, his tormentor, that he was upset and frightened and taking comfort from me.

That is how I felt when they started talking about mental health teams.  I thought they did it to make me scream, and they got that much, at least.

The mental health team decided I didn’t need to be in hospital and told me the offciers were going to try to find me somewhere to stay that night.

When the evening shift took over a woman came to my cell.  She seemed nice and sympathetic, and when I told her what the offcier had said about my father killing himself because of me, she seemed genuinely shocked and said he shouldn’t have said that.

I can’t remember all the order of how the last part of the day happened, but she told me that, because I had been arrested, they had the power to take my DNA and fingerprints.  I believed that saying she had the power was not the same as saying it was something they HAD to do, so I asked her if she was going to do it.  She said a male officer was going to do it.  She said he was a ‘good lad’, and I wondered what that counted for with people like the police.  What would this ‘good lad’ do with people who were not me?

I didn’t believe there was any point trying to resist or persuade, and I don’t know how I let them do it.  I knew throughout that it was unjust and an assault and although she kept trying to keep it light, I felt as if I was standing there having to pretend it was OK for them to rape me and believe the people doing it were ‘good’.  I couldn’t lash out.  They forced it through knowing as well as I did, I believe, that they had no right to be doing it and it wasn’t OK.  It was all a pretence and they were demanding a pretence of me. I was not at liberty to say how repulsive and abusive it was, although we all knew it.  I had to stand there and pretend that this enormity was a small and inconsequential thing, not an act of illegal subjugation and domination.

Afterwards, when I was standing at the desk, I saw a male officer behind a glass screen sitting in front of a computer.  I wasn’t sure if he had been there all day, he was acting as if he was part of the next shift.  I started watching him while he was watching his screen, and wondering what he was doing or reading or looking at.  My attitude was open, and as I watched, I saw him begin to smile and his smile got bigger and happier.  I thought he was reacting to me and I looked around and saw a camera immediately above the desk.  I realised he was watching me and immediately switched him off and turned away from the camera.  As I did his features darkened.  His number was ID 24.  A few minutes later he came out and said he was leaving and finishing his shift.  But I realised he was observing me at the desk through the camera.

After he went the woman officer tried to contact the out of hours crisis loan office, but there wasn’t one in that area, and no loan could be arranged.  Also they couldn’t arrange somewhere for me to spend the night.  Before I left she started talking with her colleague who was going to run me to the bus station.  She was talking in ways I felt I recognised, about ‘her 2 year old’ and that she was ‘vain’.  She seemed to be commenting on my bodily reactions that she could see from behind.  She talked about something being ‘back breaking’.

I had already talked to her about people talking in code.  I believed she was talking about me.  I thought she must be, she couldn’t possibly be calling her own child ‘vain’.  I couldn’t, at that time, believe she would do that.

Her colleague ran me to the bus station in a van exactly the same as the one I had been brought to the station in, and I sat in the back, exactly the same as before.  I felt it was a deliberate re-enactment, reversed, of what I had been through in the morning.  I almost felt as if they were saying that, if I had responded differently, I could have received (more) help.  I thought they had said I could hang around the bus station with everyone else, because there were people there all night.  But when I sought to clarify this as I got out of the van she said she hadn’t said any such thing and that I could be picked up for doing so, that it would be best if I didn’t.  But she knew I had no money and nowhere to go.  I wondered if she had been trying to get a last second capitulation from me.  I wanted to go back to the airport, it felt like the right thing to do and my right, but I was afraid and didn’t, I got on the tube.  I was upset and disorientated.

They had held me for 14 hours in sensory deprivation conditions, constantly harassed and banged at and coughed at and deprived of sleep, deliberately, I believed, and subjected to mental cruelty and torture.  In all that time I never saw the solicitor I had been told I would see.

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