I was wrongfully accused,

arrested, and put on trial for protecting my children from a group of abusive adolescent Caucasian boys.

.

Part One:

Living inside roach and rodent infested

 hole in the ground

 

 

   After calling, and checking, about a dozen different places that were available for rent, and refused rental for any of them, my husband and I finally found a place on Coxwell Avenue near Danforth Road that a landlord was willing to rent to us without us even having to provide a reference letter from our previous landlord.  No one in our family can remember what number on Coxwell Avenue that place was located at, but all of us remember the kind of place it because of how awful it was.

 

We called it our cell block on Coxwell Avenue, and for good reason: it was a hole in the ground that was a poor excuse for a basement apartment.  It was a narrow hallway with one window that was grimy, and a ceiling that was very low, and a hallway that lead into two attic size rooms that were supposed to be bedrooms.  It had an area in this narrow hallway that passed for a kitchen, with a sink and two water taps and a small stove all crammed in a small corner.  And about ten yards from this make shift kitchen was a cubby size washroom, with a small bathtub and a shower head attached.

 

But this hole in the ground was not only a clammy, dinghy, dumpy, filthy, and cramp excuse for a home - it also had mice.  But not just your regular creepy, sneaky, and silent mice who moved quickly and quietly to dart from one hiding place to the next while they hunted for anything to eat.  The mice who lived in the basement apartment of this dungeon were special in a very scary and crawly and nerve racking way.  There were not just a few of them, as you would usually find if you ever found one in your kitchen or garage or basement of your home, if you are so unlucky.

 

 That dungeon was a health hazard

 

There were lots of them, I mean lots of them, and they all lived above us in the ceiling of that dungeon.  At nights they became a herd, and they raced back and forth across the ceiling screeching and make so much noise that it became impossible for any one of us to get a good night rest.  I don’t know how many of you have ever had to live in a basement apartment with a horde of mice running across that ceiling all night. But it is one of the creepiest and clammiest experiences I had ever had; and thinking about it still makes my skin crawl even after nearly fourteen years.

 

These mice got into, or rather, ate their way, into anything and everything that we had that could be eaten.  The only things that were safe from them were those food items that were sealed in cans or containers.  So we had to make sure that our rice, flour, sugar, potato, bread, spaghetti, onions, cereals, and everything that was in a bag or box were removed and placed in containers.  Otherwise the next morning we would find that floor, or sugar, for example, partially or sometimes almost all eaten, and left behind were a lot of grainy and black rat pooh for us to have to clean up.  That dungeon was a health hazard, and we even had to call a health inspector from the city of Toronto to check that dungeon a few months after we had been living there.

 

When he finally showed up, and did his checking, he informed us that the apartment had many inconveniences but that they were not severe enough to pose a health hazard to anyone living there.  We did not agree with his findings but he was the inspector, and we were just a family of colored people living in some dingy hole in the ground, whom he did not give a hoot about.  He was a middle aged and middle class Caucasian man who had the comfort of being able to live in a home without a horde of mice running up and down his ceiling at nights, and we were just unfortunate tenants who happen to be living in a rodent infected and dumpy and crummy hole in the ground.

 

That cat became a police for our home against those mice

 

Fortunately for us, we had help to keep that mice population under control.  He was a beige cat that we named him Luck.  Shortly before we left our Driftwood Avenue home one of the neighbors gave us a beautiful two year old tomcat, as if she knew somehow that we would have a real need for one in the future.  We had him with us when we lived for a few weeks in that hotel, and also when we stay for those two weeks in that emergency shelter.  We kept him clean and tidy and well fed while he stayed in a small and ventilated box for most of the time.  Now that we had a place of our own to live in, he could roam about freely, and since we also had all those mice living in our ceiling, Luck now had a few dozen reasons to enjoy the freedom of moving about. He was a like a fox in a hen house, and he began picking them off one by one.

 

That cat became a police for our home against those mice who had invaded it.  He started to patrol our home, and he began to spend most of his nights roaming in the ceiling prowling, and attacking that pack of annoying and unwelcome rodents.  Every morning we would find at least two or three mice lying dead on the floor of that apartment.  Sometimes he would bring a dead mouse, and put it down in front of one of us, as if he wanted us to admire his latest catch.  Then we would ask Andraggon to please pick it up and throw it away someplace outside....

 

Right next door to us, however, was a Klu Klux Klan family with an adolescent son who made life in that dungeon for us even worse than those rodents ever could.  His name was Mikey.  “Michael” is suppose to mean: “he who is like unto god” in one of mankind’s language.  But this Mikey was more like a little devil. He was a real life version of Dennis the Menace not only in resemblance but also in his behavior.  Mikey was a boy of about age ten or eleven who had a light brown hair, light skin complexion, blue eyes, and a fairly burly looking body.  He not only looked like a bully but he was one, or he acted like one; and he always had this smirk on his face that seemed to have been pasted on, and would never go away.

 

 Jealousy is a hell of a thing

 

Mikey and his working class Caucasian parents, and other siblings, lived in a detached house to the left of ours, and for a number of months we did not know they were there. We stayed indoors, or went out during the rest of the winter and the early part of spring, so we did not see nor were we seen by any of our neighbours during those months.  One spring day Mikey and a few of the kids, in the neighbourhood came into our backyard to play with our children, both of whom I was playing with at the time.  These kids revealed to me that they had been watching me, and my children, for sometime as we moved about the neighbourhood, and also when we started to play together in our backyard in the early spring.

 

 

They told me that they liked the way that my husband and I looked after, and cared for our children, which I thanked them for.  But then they added that their parents did not do the same for them, and that they wished that they had parents who were caring and loving and respectful to their children like we were, I instantly began to worry about my children and about my own safety and peace of mind.

 

Those were the same words that other kids had spoken to my children, or the same feeling that they held about them before they started to turn on them.  Jealousy is a hell of a thing.  It can inspire an admirer to strive to become as successful as the person they admire, with hard work, diligent dedication and clear vision.  But it can also motivate that same admirer to turn on the one they admire, if that admirer has the arrogance, and the low self esteem, to think that the person they admire do not deserve to own those same qualities which brought that adoration in the first place. Then that admirer becomes a jealous abuser who begins to attack the one they admire in the first place.

 

 In my life, I have met more admirers than I cared to know, and almost all of them became jealous abusers who turned around, and turned on me, especially after I acknowledge their admiration and try to help them to gain some of what they admired in me in the first place.  Many women and girls over the years have complemented me on how well I am able to make up my face, or on how beautiful I look, or even on how intelligent I am.  If I am able to, I would thank them at the time, and sometimes I will even take the time to give them some beauty tips.  Sometimes I would even take the time to show them how its done by making up their faces.  Every time I have done so, it turned out as if I had created a monster for these same admirers whom I make up to look beautiful always turn around and treat me as if they were suddenly more beautiful than I was.  Or they would take credit for the work I had done to help them to look terrific, and feel better about themselves....

 

After a few months of having to endure this kind of verbal and emotional abuse

 

After a few weeks of this behaviour, Mikey and his buddies began to come in their backyard more often when we were there, and then they started to really try to get our attention.  They began throwing things in our backyard, and also cursing among themselves, and these kids were all less than ten or eleven years old. At first, I scolded these fowl mouth brats about their vulgar language.  But after a while, I realized that my chastising them only caused them to become bolder and more vulgar in the nasty things they said to us, and also in the obscene gestures they made towards us.  These unloved and neglected and angry and prejudice brats then began to call my children insulting names, and also started calling me the same insulting names.  And yes, “Nigger” was one of the choice names for us.

 

After a few months of having to endure this kind of verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of this brat pack, my children and I would stop playing whenever Mikey and his friends came around his backyard, and we would go back inside ground into the dungeon that we lived in.  I could not believe what was happening to me and my two children. We were being mocked, taunted, cursed, and made obscene gestures to, by a bunch of kids who were around their ages, who started giving us the middle finger, or grabbing their crotch while facing us.

 

 

All we did was try to make ourselves comfortable in the dungeon that we lived in, by taking the time to play fun games with each other in the small backyard of this house.  Even when we lived in the public housing projects, they were never mistreated by others kids in this manner.  We did not allow it, and we took steps to stop it as soon as we saw it happening.  And those children listened, and also learned how to be better playmates by playing with our children, while we supervised and guided them in how to do so.

 

I knew I had to try to speak to their parent

 

This pack of brats, however, was not only a little older than those other kids but they were nastier and meaner. They actually enjoyed taunting and mocking and cursing my family, including myself, and also my husband, when he was around.  They also knew that neither the law nor the courts nor the police would keep or stop them from doing so. These kids knew that the law could not touch them because, they were too young to be charge with any crime, or to charge with harassing or taunting or persecuting a family.  Since my family was a peaceful, peace loving, caring, respectful group of four people, who were members of the disrespected and degraded and oppressed race of African Canadians, we were easy targets for brats like Mikey and his Caucasian friends.

 

After I saw that these kids continued to become more and more abusive each time that I tried to speak to them about their nasty behaviour, and that even after my kids and I started to avoid them, that they become even more bolder, I decided that it was time to do something about what was going on.  Since these kids were not listening to me, and were continuing to taunt and mock me, and my children, I knew I had to try to speak to their parents.  But the only parents who I knew about, or whose address I knew, were the parents of the child who was leading this pack of brats.

 

One day I decided to go and speak to Mikey’s parents.  But I was not going to go by myself:  I took my daughter with me. I remembered what happened to me the last time I went to someone’s house to speak to that person about her mistreating my family, and how I was almost beaten to death with a two by four inside her home. I had learned by lesson.  By taking my daughter with me to speak to the parents of this future young criminal, Mikey, I felt that they would behave in a more civilized manner with my daughter there with me.  So we walked next door, and I knocked on their front door, to try to speak to them.  And I waited and waited.

 

Then I knocked again, just in case they did not hear me the first time, because I knew that they were home that day.  Their car was parked in the front of their house as it was whenever they were home.  My husband had bought me a 1982 Subaru for my birthday, using most of our tax refund and baby bonus money to do so, and I was always looking for a spot to park temporary in the front of the home that we live underneath.  Their car was always parked there during the evenings but was not there during the days.  So that’s how I knew they were home that day I went to speak to them, about the how their son, and some of his friends, were disrespecting and mistreating my children and myself.

 

Leave us alone you *%#+nigger! We have nothing to say to you

 

  When I saw that no one was going to answer the door, I turned around and started to walk away when I heard a heavy voice that belonged to a man shouted out: “leave us alone you *%#+nigger! We have nothing to say to you.”  As I walked away in shock and anger and dismay from the front door of this ‘Klu Klux Klanadian’ family - I could not help but feel sympathy for Mikey, and for his racist family.  These people were trapped in a cycle of hatred and fear and ignorance that caused them to feel a sense of misplaced superiority over me, and people of my race.  Mikey, and his siblings, were products of that twisted and hostile and violent kind of thinking.  No wonder he behaved in such a disgusting and degrading and hostile manner: he learned it from the people who brought him up.

 

Speaking to Mikey’s parents, or trying to, was a waste of my time and energy.  It was as fruitless as my speaking to Mikey about his bratish and bullish behaviour.  However, that same evening after he came home from work, Andraggon and I went together to try to speak to them again.  No one answered the door, again.  But again, someone shouted the same profanities and racial slurs from inside that house.  This time it the voice of a woman.  There was no point in trying to speak to parents who was so filled with prejudice and ignorance and violence.

 

From then onward, my family ignored Mikey and his pack of about ten young punks.  At least we tried to.  I started to take my children across the road to play in a public park instead, for a few hours at a time.  For a while my adventurous and outgoing son was even playing with some of the kids who were friends with Mikey.  He was also beating them at different games that boys enjoyed playing, and after awhile these kids began to resent him for being so good at playing those macho activities.  And they started to try to find ways to cut him down to size so that they can prove that he was not as good as they felt they should be.

 

This poor excuse for a child would actually get in our faces

 

Since we could not stop these abusive kids from mistreating my children or myself, and the parents of the leader of this brat pack did not want to even speak to us – and in fact had insulted us instead – the only thing left for us to do was to just ignore and avoid these mean and cruel and vulgar children.  But this strategy did not work.  We avoided using our backyard to play in, and we also ignored these kids whenever we saw them on the streets, or in that park across the road.

 

This only made them even more abusive: more vulgar and more obscene – especially Mikey the Menace. Whenever he saw me and my kids, or my whole family together – with his friends – he would literally follow us around taunting and provoking and harassing us.  This poor excuse for a child would actually get in our faces while we were walking through the neighborhood, and give us the middle finger while laughing like a little tormentor, and carrying that annoying smirk on his face.  In fact, he also would follow us around, sometimes, with his pack of brats trailing behind him, and mock and curse and torment us.  Mikey became such a menace to my family that one day while my husband and I were walking together, he came up beside us and spray my husband with a can of spray paint.

 

These kids had gone too far.  And they had to be stopped before they went even further.  Since his parents were no help, the only other means of help that we had available to us was the local police department.  It was only about twenty houses down the street.  So one day I called that police station and spoke to an officer about some of the problems my family was being put through at the hands of this pack of brats.  As I mother I knew I was doing the right thing to protect my children; as a resident of the city of Toronto I knew that I would be considered a good parent who was doing the right thing.

 

When I spoke to this police officer, however, he informed me that there was nothing that they could do to stop these kids from continuing to attack and mistreat my children or myself or my husband.  He also pointed out that these kids knew the law better than their parents usually did; and that they knew that the law could not touch them because they were considered minors.  Then he added that until any of these kids did something that caused any of family to become injured, or l even killed, there was nothing that the police could do to stop these kids from putting my family through a life of daily misery and anguish and stress and mental and emotional pain.

 

I was disappointed, and upset, to hear what this law enforcement officer was telling me

 

I was disappointed, and upset, to hear what this law enforcement officer was telling me.  Here I was a mother, who was complaining to a local police officer that my family was being harassed and assaulted and persecuted by a bunch of adolescent brats, and hoping and expected that they would be able to stop these kids from continuing to terrorise my family.  As police officers they were suppose to be there to “serve and protect” all families and people living in Toronto.  That was their motto; and they advertise it all the time so that every one in Toronto would know it. What this police officer was telling me, however, did not serve my family in anyway, nor did it protect us from being abused by Mikey, and his pack of young brats.

 

Even if these kids could not be charge for mocking or ridiculing or harassing, or even making obscene gestures, or vulgar comments to any member of my family – as well as spray painting my husband – they should not be allowed to continue to mistreat and abuse any family this way.  For them to be allowed to do so was for them to be getting the wrong message from us, from their parents, from the cops, and from Society in general.  Any Society that has laws that allow its children to have the right to abuse an entire family, or any other adult, for as long as they want to, and allows them the opportunity to continue to do so – only because they are adolescent kids – is a Society that has lost its marbles.

 

It’s a Society that does not have the vision to see, that it is raising its children to become future adults, who will prey on everyone that they are allowed the opportunity to abuse, or violate. It’s a Society that does not have the wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong, or even when its children, or its adults, have crossed the line of what is decent, tasteful, or acceptable behaviour.

 

Part Two

Gone too far: The assault of our children

by members of this adolescent gang.

 

 These kids had no respect or fear for the law

 

  I did not expect this police officer to go and try to arrest any of these unruly and abusive kids, or even to try to put the fear of the law in them.  These kids had no respect or fear for the law.  Plus I did not want these abusive kids to be mistreated by the police, or even by their parents.  That would only be adding more wrong to the wrongs these kids – who were only looking for the love and the loving attention they were not getting from their own parents or other family members.  As a God, I knew these young brats were being misguided and mislead and taught to become the insecure, resentful, and violent kids they were now were.

 

These beings did not come to earth to spend an entire lifetime living as human beings learning, and being taught, how to use and abuse or hurt or harm the lives of other mortal beings.  That was not their intention for coming to live on earth; and that was not what they expected to learn, or gain from a lifetime of living as children, then eventually as adults.  Within each of them they knew that, and within each of them, they were being reminded by their higher selves, and by unseen beings who were there to guide and protect them, that they were being bamboozled by their parents and by their Society in general.

 

That park across the road became the site for an even bigger problem that my children, and I, were to undergo at the hands of Mikey and his fellow bullies.  One day while I was getting ready to go with my husband to attend a function that his company was hosting for its staff, my children asked me if they could go across the road to the park to play until I got there.  I did not like the idea, especially after I remembered how Mikey had tried to assault my daughter the last time  I allowed them to go ahead without me.  Even though I was reluctant for them to go, I agreed to allow them to do so. I hope that I was not making a second mistake.

 

“Where is your sister?”  I asked my still shaken son

 

While I was in the middle of taking a shower, I heard my son calling out to me as if something was wrong.  I shouted back to him that I would be out as soon as I was finished, and I quickly completed my shower, then dressed, and came out to find out what the problem was.  When I saw that he was by himself, and that his sister was nowhere around, I knew that something was terribly wrong.  And I started imagining the worse scenario in my mind, before my son interrupted me to tell me what had happened to him and his sister.  My son told me what I did not want to hear:

 

My son was upset, and shaken; and he looked like a child who had just been swarmed by a bunch of bullies. And he was. I did not have to ask him if it was Mikey and his bunch of brats who had attacked him and his sister.  “Where is your sister?”  I asked my still shaken son, as I quickly threw on some clothes, and grabbed a pair of shoes, before I was about to race out the door to go across road to the park to find her.  And he replied as I knew he would, that she was still in the park. I could not believe what was happening.  My children were assaulted, and terrorized by the same bunch of bullies whom I had feared would do just that one of these days.

 

There was nothing that I could have done than I had already did, to try to protect them from what had just happened to them.  I had done all that I could, and all that was expected of me as the mother of two adolescent children who were being bullied and tormented by a bunch of adolescent brats.  My mind was racing miles ahead of my body as I was about to race out of our front door, with my son just ahead of me.  As I was about to go out the door, however, I stopped near it and picked up a small piece of stick and then I climbed out of that apartment, with that stick in my hand.

 

There was something about the entrance to our basement apartment that was different from other front doors. We only had one door, period.  There was no front door or back door – just an opening to enter and leave that dungeon.  There were about six steps of stairs leading into and out of our home. Since early spring we had to keep that door opened during the entire day, just to get some air in that stuffy dungeon, which just had small window for ventilation.  And because we had to keep that door open all day, and in order to keep water from flooding our home, or any small animal from coming into our home, we placed a piece of board about two feet in height that blocked that opening off completely.  As well, I made a curtain to cover the entrance of that door that did fell about a foot from touching the floor, to keep flies and bugs and mosquitoes from flying into our already rodent ridden home.

 

Hitting the child of another parent is considered a form of assault

 

To hold that curtain in place, so that it would stay firm, while it hung down, I stitched an opening about the size of a quarter along the entire bottom part of that curtain, so I could put a piece of machined stick about three feet long and half inch in diameter through it.  It was smooth and small and it served as a light form of weight, which kept that curtain from swaying back and forth. Sometimes we removed that piece of stick from the bottom of the curtain whenever we were going and coming from our home, and leaned it against the side of the wall next to the door.

 

While I was about to dash through that door with my son, I stopped and removed that small smooth thin piece of stick from the bottom of that curtain.  I did not intend to do anything with that stick, as I crossed the street with my son to enter that park.  I did not intend to use it to hit anyone, not even that group of young bullies who had just attacked my children.  But since it was there near the door while I was about to go through it, I decided to carry it with me, in case I need to scare that group of bullies away from daughter. One of these kids had a pair of scissor, which as far as I was concerned, meant that they had a weapon, and they had already used it to assault my son by cutting his hair.  But I did not intend to use it.

 

Hitting the child of another parent is considered a form of assault by the laws of the land.  I was not a parent who believed in spanking even my own children, as I mentioned earlier, unless I felt that it was the only way that I could have kept them from doing harm to themselves, such as putting their hands on a hot stove after I had warned them numerous times that they would get burned badly by doing so. And as I revealed earlier, I rarely spanked any of my children.  As well, the few times I spanked my son, I would use my open give him a few slaps on his buttocks, or even on his hand.  The idea was not to hurt him or bruise him but for him to know and feel that he was being disciplined through the act of a spanking, so that he would not repeat that defiant or rebellious act anytime in the near future.

 

I saw Mikey and his gang of bullies scattering and running in different directions

 

So I had no desire, or intention, of using that piece of stick, to hit any of those bullies who had just attacked both of my children while they were playing in a public park in the middle of the afternoon just across the road from where they lived.   When I entered the park with my son just ahead of me, I saw Mikey and his gang of bullies scattering and running in different directions when they saw me coming.  I was relieved to see that my daughter was not hurt, only very shaken by what had just happened to her and her brother.  After I had quickly established that fact, I looked around to see if any of these bullies were still in the park.

 

They had all ran away by that time, as I expected, and hoped that they would do, being the little cowards that they were.  All except one of them – and he was the youngest and smallest of these brats.  His name, which I found out later, was Dominique, and he was abandoned by his older buddies when they took off and left him.  This child was climbing up a ladder of steps that was attached to a slide for kids to slide down on, when he spotted me coming over towards him. He was not afraid when he saw walking over towards him.  Nor did he have to be. None of these kids were afraid of myself or my husband at anytime during that entire year that they harassed and persecuted my family.

 

They did not have to be.  At no time did my husband or myself, or even our children, ever did more than just speak to this group of young bullies.  Not once did any one of us ever raised even a finger to try to defend ourselves from this these young juveniles.  And if anyone felt like doing so, it would have been our son, Mekel, because he had been forced to defend himself when he was attending separate school, from other bullies who picked fights with him.  But even Mekel did not try to fight with these young bullies. Instead, he kept away from them.

 

So when I approached this eight year old as he casually climbed the steps of that slide in that park, after what the group that he was a part of had just done to my son and my daughter, I was not surprised that he was not afraid when he saw me coming – even though I had that small piece of stick in my hand.  But I was annoyed at the fact that he was behaving as if nothing had just happened: as if he was just in the park just enjoying himself as he would normally do.  Though he was a young child, I still intended to speak to him, and also chastise him for what he and those other bullies had done to my son, and also to my daughter.

 

I was not going to stand there and allow this brat to disrespect me

 

I did not think that he had actually helped to cut my son’s hair, or to pull my daughter from off her bicycle, but he was an accomplice. I had seen him a number of times before hanging around these older boys who had bullied and abused myself and my family.  And at times I had seen him imitating some of the disrespectful gestures, and even made some degrading comments towards us, while the older boys with him were saying and doing abusive things to my family.

 

So when I went over and spoke to this future bully he would not even look at me while I was speaking to him.  And he actually continued to slide down and climb up to the top of the slide as I was speaking to him, and letting him know that what he and especially his older friends had done to my children that day was wrong.  When I saw that he was ignoring me, and behaving like I was not even there, and that he did not even have to take the time to stop and listen to me, or to even look at me – the mother in me came out.  And the parent in me took action.

 

I was not going to stand there and allow this brat to disrespect me, by ignoring me, after knowing that he and the group of bullies he was just with had assaulted and terrified my children.  As the mother of these two mistreated and traumatized children, I was not going to allow this little disrespectful and abusive little boy to think that it was okay for him and his friends to harm my children as they had just done.  For me to have done so would have send the wrong message to this little boy, and especially to the group of older boys who had just assaulted my children without provocation.  If I had just turned and walk away from that little brat (and future bully), there was no doubt in my mind that the next time that he, and the older bullies, had the opportunity to abuse my children that they may have assaulted them .

 

These older bullies would have taken the view that they could push my children and myself and my husband around even more after that.  Bullies should not be encouraged to continue to bully other people, even if they are young bullies who had assault children their age.  Or even future bullies such as this seven-year old was being taught to become.   I knew this strongly as a mother, and I felt this strongly as a parent.

 

I tapped him lightly on the side of his leg that was closest to me at the time

 

Since no one had tried to help me to stop these young and racist and obscene and vulgar bullies after I turned to them for help (including the police and the parents of the ring leader for this group of young rednecks) I decided that I would take matters into own hand.  Since I could not even get the respect as the mother of two assaulted children, from one of the kids who had insulted and verbally abused us in the past, I decided to get his attention.

 

  So I reached up as he was just about to hop on the slide and glide down its chute, and I tapped him lightly on the side of his leg that was closest to me at the time.  Since he was ignoring me, and not recognizing that I was there speaking to him, I made sure that I got his attention the only way I could in that stressful and painful situation.  I tapped him lightly on the side of his leg for him to show me the respect I deserved as the mother of the two children that he and group of friends had just assaulted.

 

After he slipped away from being hit by me a second time, this little brat turned around and looked at me, started cursing me and calling me other disrespectful names.  I was not surprised because I had heard him speak that way before. But I was still taken back to hear such nasty and filthy words coming out of the mouth of a little child. However, I had achieved my goal: I had finally gotten his attention, and also made him realize that I was not just going to let him or his friends just continuing to abuse my children without me doing more than speak to them.  I had intended only to use that pencil thin three feet long stick to scare those bullies away from hurting my children, as I indicated, but this little brat forced my hand literally by how he just ignored me as he had done.

 

The incident was finished as far as I was concerned, and I gathered my children and their bicycle, and we walked out of that park and crossed the road, and into our basement apartment.  As I did so that same disrespectful little boy was sitting at the top of the slide, just as he was when I first entered the park about fifteen minutes earlier. He was not crying and he was not upset. Nor should he have been. I did not hurt him when I tapped him lightly once on the side of his leg.  And when he saw that I just ignored him when he cursed me, he settled down and continued playing as he had done before - as if nothing had happened.

 

Part Three:

The day I was wrongly assaulted and unjustly arrested inside my home by two Metropolitan police officers

 

I had no idea what “being under arrest” meant. After I returned home, I continued where I left off earlier, which was to get dressed to attend a function with my husband that Kmart Canada was having at the Kresgie’s store he was working as a junior assistant manager for a few months.  We had not been out to a function like this before, and I was looking forward to going to that event with him. Even though I did not trust him to conduct himself as a responsible husband, after years of having him cheat on me with other women, he was still my closest friend, and we enjoyed going out together.

 

 I was not prepared for the events that happened to me a few moments later.  I was standing in front of a life size mirror, which was the only one we had in that cramped space, and putting on my makeup when I heard someone just outside the entrance of basement apartment say: “hello! Anyone home?”   I turned my head to see who it was, and I saw two-uniformed police officer standing in front of the curtain that I had put up in front of the entrance to our basement apartment.  One was an African Canadian male and the other was a European Canadian female.

 

“Come on in,” I replied as I continued to put on my makeup in front of that mirror.  I was surprise that there were police officers in front of my door.  Maybe I was just naïve.  But I did not dawn on me that any police officer might be coming to my door anytime that afternoon. My children were assaulted by a group of young neighborhood bullies and they had all ran away except for one. I had spoken to, and then tapped him on the side of his leg with the small stick that held up the bottom of the same curtain that officer was now speaking to me from behind.  And he had ignored me, then cursed me after I tapped him on his leg, and then continued to play.  And I did not call the cops to inform them about what had happened earlier to my children.

 

 So I was surprised to see two officers in front of my door less than one hour later.  After I invited them into my home they both came inside that narrow and now even more crowded hallway.  One of them told me that a parent had just reported that I had assaulted one of their children.  I listened while I continued to finish putting on my makeup. I did not see any reason for me to stop doing so.  My children were the ones assaulted earlier by a group of the same boys, one of whose parents had called the police to complain that I had assaulted him.  If anyone needed to have complained that day, I was the one who had a right to do so.

 

So I listened to this female and Caucasian police officer as she continued to inform me about the complained which that parent had made against me earlier.  I was not being disrespectful nor was I trying to be disrespectful to either one of them that day - as they stood in the hallway of my basement apartment as I continued to get dress for that function.   My two children stood close by listening and watching everything that was taking place.  Neither of these two officers ever asked anything about what had taken place earlier.  They did not asked me anything about what had happened to my children that day for me to have “hit that child” when I did.  They did not seem to care anything about that assault on my children.  All this Caucasian female cop was concerned about was whether or not I had hit that little “European child” that afternoon with a piece of stick. Nothing else.

 

 I turned and calmly turned my head and looked at this police officer, and tried to answer her question, and also to let her know exactly what I did that day; and also what those bullies did to my children that afternoon. “Yes, I did hit that child with a small piece of stick on the side of his leg” I replied, “but I only tapped him lighted once.”  Then I continued to inform them about how these kids had assaulted my own children earlier that day – at least I tried to.  The female officer interrupted me before I was able to explain what had been done to them, and then told me that: “I was under arrest!”

 

I had no idea what “being under arrest” meant.  I had no idea what I was supposed to do when she had spoken those three words to me.  I did not know whether I should have turned around and put my hands behind my back, or put them in front of me, so that they could put handcuffs on me.  I did not know whether I should have dropped to the floor and put my hands behind my head, or lean up against the wall of that narrow hallway and put my hands up against the wall.  Those were the only images I had of what it meant when a police officer told a person that “they were under arrest.”  And those were all images I had gotten from watching television or movies.

 

So I just stood there wondering what I was suppose to do after the female officer had just spoken those three “life changing words” to me.  And I continued to finish putting on my makeup, which was still only about half done.  I was someone who had become very good at making up myself, after years of practice of doing so.  Even when I was preparing to go on stage to model at fashion show I would do my own hair and do my own makeup most of the time, while the other models would have makeup artists, and hairstylists, helping them with their hair and makeup.  It takes time to do the different things that were involved in doing my makeup.  There was foundation and blush for the skin, eyeliner and mascara for the eyes, and lipstick and lip liner (which I was the first person I knew of who started to do so) for the lips.

 

The entire process normally takes me up to an hour if I was not rushing and just taking my time, which I was doing that afternoon.  After what my children had just been put through, and how I had been disrespected and insulted by the only one of them who had not run away, I needed time to relax and gather myself thoughts and calm my body and my mind down.  Taking my time while I was doing my makeup was the best therapy for me at that time. And I needed it then more than ever.

 

So I continued to finish doing my makeup while I also stood there wondering what I was suppose to do, or what was expected of me after what this officer had just told me about being under arrest.  Maybe I should have turned and asked this arrogant and insensitive female and Caucasian officer what she expected me to do, since she had just told me that I am under arrest. But I was too confused and concerned and irritated by how I was being treated by this officer.  So I just stood there and put on my makeup – or I tried to.

 

 Without any warning, this female officer pounced on me, and pushed me up against the wall, and I fell on my children’s bicycles that were leaning against the wall.  Before I had time to think about what was happening to me, both of these two officers were all over me.  They grabbed me by the arms, and yanked me, and tried to pull me and then tried to push me down to the ground. I did not know what was going on.  I did not know if what they were doing was what the female cop meant by “I was under arrest.”   As this female officer tried to twist and push my hand behind my back I reached down and bit her on the hand that she was using to attack and brutalize me.

 

That only made this female officer, and her partner, even more abusive towards me.  While both my children stood there and watched in horror, these two law-abiding officers pulled and shove and pushed me around until they managed to trip me - and push me to the ground.   I landed flat on my face, and my silicone breast implants hit the ground hard right under me. Then the male and African Canadian officer knelt on my back to keep me trapped on the ground.  I was no longer struggling once they had tripped me and pushed me to the ground.  These officers held both my hands together, behind my back, and placed a pair of handcuffs very tightly over both my wrist.

 

Finally, they yanked me up off the ground by these painful handcuffs and pulled me to my feet.  At that point I turned my head and looked very calmly at this African Canadian police officer, and I said these words to him:  “I am disappointed in you that you would treat me this way. Are you my Judas?” I remember him snarling at me and saying: “Don’t give me that “I’m disappointed in you brother crap.”  These two law-abiding police officers then literally pulled me by my locked arms from my home.  I was no longer resisting them, and they did not have to continue roughing me up this way. I was also concerned about leaving my children in that dungeon by themselves.  So before I was carted out of my home I asked these officers if my children could come with me to the police station.  “No! They have to walk there by themselves” one of them replied.

 

I did not like the idea of having my children walk down the street to that police station, even though it was only about two blocks away.  They had been put through two traumatic events within the space of a few hours. It was bad enough that they had been attacked and assaulted by those young bullies.  But they also had to watch their mother being attacked and assaulted by two overly aggressive police officers, one of whom was racist and the other behaving like your typical Uncle Tom from the world of law enforcement. When those officers were abusing me I remember hearing both of my children pleading with them and saying: “please don’t hurt my mommy!”

 

I was proud of how both my children conducted themselves that day, under very stressful situation. Neither one of them had tried to interfere with these officers as they used excessive and unnecessary force to “arrest me.”  But I was not surprised about how well they both conducted themselves.  I had trained them well to respect adults, as well as other children, while respecting themselves.  So I did not expect them to disrespect these officers even though they had both man handled and mistreated their mother.

 

I was taken to the cruiser where I was then to be put in the backseat of this car.  However, I had a problem getting into this car.  My hands were tied up in a pair of handcuff that was put on too tightly, and it was hurting my wrist.  I had even told these officers that, and asked them if they could slacken the handcuffs a bit.  But they both just ignored me. The backseat of that police car was also very cramped, with little legroom for any adult unless they were midgets or dwarfs, who had very short legs.  I had a tough time trying to climb into the camped backseat of this police vehicle, because of having my hands tied behind my back.  So one of these officers gave me a helping hand and pushed down hard on my shoulder, which caused me to land hard on my buttocks on top of my handcuffed hands.  A few minutes later I was taken inside the police station by these officers.

 

I could not believe what was happening to me, and to my children.  First, they were assaulted by bullies; then I was assaulted by officers from the same police station I had complained to, on at least four different occasions about what these bullies were doing to me and my family.  I was not the criminal that these officers had treated me like I was.  I was a mother who was a victim of a Society that refused to provide protection for me, and my children, from children who were considered too young to be discipline by the law.

 

My family was the real victim here, not this little child whom I was just arrested for hitting lightly with a piece of stick once on his leg.  I could not believe that the parents of this little boy had actually called the police to complain about me hitting their child.  If they had taken the time to raise their child properly he would not have helped the older bullies to abuse my children; and he would not have behaved so disrespectfully towards me as he did earlier when I was trying to speak to him.   And someone like me would not feel so frustrated enough where she would actually decide to physically discipline such a disobedient child.

 

Instead of coming to arrest me, and then abuse me in the process these, two law enforcement officers should have taken the time to listen to me when I was trying to speak to them earlier while they were in my home.  If they had done so they would have been able to understand the background of the problems that this child, and his other bully friends, had created for me, and my family.  And if that Caucasian female officer had not allowed her racist attitude to blind her ability to conduct herself as a professional, both she and her African Canadian male partner would have been able to treat me with the dignity and the respect that I needed and also deserved.  But because I was a “black woman” who had the nerve to put my hand on a little “white” boy as far as both of this racist female officer and her sexist male partner were concerned.  And they were going to make sure that I pay, and pay a heavy price for what I had done.

 

 

Part Four

I was put on trial for a crime I did not commit.

 

At the station, I was treated like a woman who had just committed a crime.  First they  uncuffed me, and had me stand behind a small yellow line in front of a few officers and answer some questions about myself.  After I did that, I was given a document from that same officer to sign.  Then I was handcuffed again and taken into a room the size of a bathroom, and left there for a while.  As I stood in that room with my hands tied behind my back I wondered why these things were happening to me.  And also what these officers were going to do to me.  This was the first time in my life I had ever been arrested, or even had any dealings with any police officer for breaking any law.

 

True, I did speak to one that time when I was mugged in that large department store in Brooklyn New York.  But it was not my choice to do so.   I did not like or dislike police officers. I just did not trust them to treat me, or other people of color respectfully or fairly.  The only image I had of police officers as a child was that of them coming to look for my father on different occasions, after he had gotten into a fight with some man over some woman, or after he was caught for stealing electricity from the electric company at the home we were living in.

 

Racism was a problem, however, in law enforcement in Toronto, Canada, as it was in the United States.  And it still is. Police departments throughout North America have too many officers who were certified rednecks, and unofficial K.K.K. members, working as officers of the law to “serve and protect” mainly the “right kind of people”– their kind of people.  And the incidents of people of color –especially those of African descent, Hispanic heritage and also of Native origin – being over policed, wrongfully arrested, and beaten or abused while in the custody of the police had grown over the years since I left Trinidad.

 

 Even in my own birth country of Trinidad and Tobago, police officers had a shameful habit of catering to people of European descent, and treating them like kings and queens, or like they were citizens above the law.  At the same time people of African and East Indian heritage (who formed the large majority of the population) were often treated like they were criminals waiting to commit some sort of crime.  And the sad irony was that these same police officers had a reputation of using their authority to do all sorts of corrupt and illegal activities.

 

 After what seemed like over an hour, two female officers came into that small room where I was being held, and then took me to another room that was much larger.  This time they told me that they were going to search my body for any hidden weapons I may be carrying on me. This time they also were wearing white gloves.  I did not like this set up one bit.  Next, they told me that I had to take off all my clothes, and stand naked in front of them.  These women in police uniforms were not just stripping me of all my clothes - they were also stripping me of my dignity.

 

I was humiliated by what I was being forced to do.  Not only was I forced to stand naked in front of strangers, and also a camera that was looking right at me, as I took off every single piece of my clothing but I was humiliated and degraded even more.  “Turn around and bend down and touch your toes!” one of these female officers said to me.  Naked, humiliated, and cold, I turned my degraded body around and reached down and touch my toes, so that one of these law enforcement officers could check inside my buttocks to look for any weapons or drugs l may have hid there.  It took only a few seconds.  But the memory of that humiliating act still lives with me even today.

 

“I have to check inside your vagina also,” this officer informed me.  “If you even try to humiliate me any further by looking inside my most private area, you are going to have a fight on your hand.”  I replied back to that female officer, as I turned around and look her directly in her eyes.  She knew that I meant it.  And she backed off.  The strip search was finally over.  It was the first one I had been put through.  And it was the worse.

 

The day of my trial finally came.  This time we showed up for it.  But I had to take over my own case and represent myself in that trial.  We decided to look for a lawyer to defend me, and we went to one that had an office downstairs in the same building at College and Yonge, where the courts were located.  He was a lawyer of European descent, and someone whom I did not like after I spoke with him the first time.  But my husband insisted that we needed one, and that he was the only one we had available to us.  We could have shopped around for a lawyer even if neither one of us knew any and we might have found someone we could have worked with.

 

But we did not, because we were under pressure from the courts to find one as soon as possible.  And they were not cheap.  The one we got, however, was accusing me of being guilty for the crime I was charged with, even before we went to trial. He was telling me about how he understood that I would have become so frustrated about what those kids had done to my family that I would have ended up beating one of them as I did.  He was not a lawyer I needed to represent me.  And since I did not have a lawyer, I became my own defense for my case.

 

 During the trial I was a fish out of water. I had never seen a process for finding out the truth, so filled with lies and deceptions.  My trial was a trial by a judge and not by jury.  So it only took a few hours.  But in those few hours I began to get an understanding of how the Justice System in Ontario really works.  And I was disappointed as well as saddened by what I witnessed.  It became clearer to me why the Justice System had little to do with finding out the truth about any case being heard, and everything to do with following the almighty “due process of the law.”

 

This was the second time I had been inside a courtroom in my life.  I did not find Justice that day for myself, nor did I see it being given to the other cases that were heard before mine, in that courtroom.  The lawyers were playing games with people’s lives, and also engaging in competitions to see who could stroke the ego of the Judge the longest, in the hopes of having that judge rule in their client’s favor.  These lawyers were actually involved in competitions with each other to see who would come out the winner at the end of the day.

 

Whether they were defending a client or prosecuting one, it was all the same to them: “tell the judge what he or she wants to hear, even if it is only a small part of the whole truth, and hide everything from that judge about your client that could be used to show that client in a bad light.”  This was nothing but naked and shameless prostitution. And these lawyers were willing to not only sell their own integrity for a fee, but they were also coercing their own clients to do the same, with the promise that it would help them to win that case.

 

No, I am not going to take the time to teach any lesson about the immoral nature of the judicial system, and the blind loyalty that its judges, and lawyers especially give to “due process.”  But as a woman of color I began to get a firsthand look at why the Justice System is not designed to serve the interest of people of color especially.  As a god, it was sad for me to see how justice, had become a prisoner of a system that was operated by mostly men, who were not interested in seeking the truth. Without the pursuit of the truth at all times in all cases by all parties – Justice will never be found anywhere by anyone.

 

My trial was a trial by a judge and not by a jury.  So one person would decide whether I was guilty or innocent instead of nine people from the community.  This judge was a male of European descent, as the large majority of judges were, and still are in the country of Canada today. I did not know anything about how I was suppose to conduct myself as my own lawyer.  And I did not need to as far as I was concerned.  All I needed to do was to be respectful of others, and be respectful of the rights of both the child’s lawyer, and the judge, to express themselves in a court of law.  I was not a lawyer, nor was I going to even try to conduct myself as if I was trying to give the appearance of being one.  I was a mother who was defending herself in a courtroom, after being forced to take action to protect my children from being harmed further by other children in our own community.  Even if the law said that it was illegal for me to put my hand on another person’s child, and hit that child as I had (even lightly) – I knew that morally I had done nothing wrong.

 

I knew that in the highest court in the Cosmos I would be found innocent, and also impeccable, in the action that I took that day.  But this was a court of law of the human kind, and as a god, I was going to respect those who were in that courtroom, and even their preoccupation with following the “due process” of the law.

 

I was not in that courtroom to try to hide anything that I could about myself, or what I did that day, so that I could show the court only that which I wanted them to see.  I was not going to massage the ego of anyone in that courtroom, in the hope that they might help me to pull wool over the judge’s eyes.  Nor was I going to try to use my womanly charm to get the judge to like me, so that he would go easy on me, or even find me not guilty.  I was there for one reason, and one reason alone: to speak the truth and nothing but the truth.

 

I admitted to the court that I did bite the hand of that female police officer while I was being arrested by her and her male partner.  But I also pointed out that I did so only after they started to use excessive and unnecessary force against me that day.  I also admitted to hitting that child with the piece of stick I had in my hand.  But I also made it clear that I had done so just once, and also very lightly.  And I explained the circumstances and the event that lead up to my taking the action I did.

 

The judge, and also a court appointed lawyer, both helped me at different times in my attempt to speak on my behalf.  The child’s lawyer tried to use my ignorance of the law, and the procedures inside a courtroom, to try make me look like I was guilty of the assault charges I had been charged with.  There was no need for him to have to do that because my own defense was the truth, which I insisted on speaking.  However, the judge especially used his authority and his knowledge of the law, and the court’s procedure, to keep this prosecutor from taking advantage of the fact that I had no legal training, and that I was just a mother defending herself in a court of law.

 

It was through the efforts of this judge that certain surprising information was brought out in that courtroom that afternoon.  The child’s lawyer submitted photographs showing the back of this little boy’s body.  There were bruises and welts, and deep black and blue marks all over this poor child’s back.  This child was beaten, and beaten badly with a belt, or some kind of strap just from the patterns of the shape of his bruises.  And the person who had abused that little boy was none other than one of his own parents.  They had assaulted, and beaten their own child, and bruised his young body, and then tried to use me as a scapegoat for their own abusive action.  And they probably did so shortly after that child went home and told them about what I did, and also about what his older friends had done to my children earlier.

 

This child was being raised by parents who did not know how to discipline him properly when they needed to, or even how to raise him properly, so that he would be respectful towards himself and other children, and even towards other adults.  Their way of disciplining their child was to use force - and lots of it, thinking that they could beat him into being the respectful and obedient child that they may have been trying to have him become.  But they lacked the knowledge and the skill and the patience as adults to parent this child responsibly.  And it showed in the wounds that were on the back of that child.

 

The parent of this little boy had beaten this child many times before, and had left similar marks over his body after they had done so.  After they had beaten this child that fatal day they realized that they were in trouble.  They could not take the child to their own family doctor as they had done a number times before, to get his wounds treated, because that doctor had reached the point where he was ready to report them to the police for child abuse.  So instead they made the decision to protect their own butts.  To do so they had to find a victim to blame for their own crime.

 

I was the perfect victim.  I had hit their child, and I had used a piece of stick to do so.  It did not matter if they did not see any mark whatsoever on the area where I had tapped him lightly with that piece of stick. It did not matter if I had only did that only once.  In the eyes of the law I had assaulted their child.  And now that they had beaten him severely, and left him badly bruised they knew that they had unintentionally created convincing evidence for the police, to have them come and arrest me and charge me with assaulting their child.  They committed the crime and I was made to pay the price for them.

 

No wonder those two cops treated me like someone who had brutalized that little boy, the day these came to arrest me, and used excessive force to mistreat and abuse me while doing so.  The parents of that child took him to that police station shortly after they had beaten him severely with a belt.  They must have then showed the officers the baldy bruised back of that child, who must have still been crying from the beating he just got. I was an African Canadian mother who was being blamed for severely beating a child of a European Canadian family, who were reporting “my crime” to a police station that was staffed mostly with male Caucasian officers.

 

Whether or not I was guilty of that crime, in the minds of these officers, and also the abusive parents of this child, I was already tried and found guilty of that charge even before these two officers came to my home to arrest me.  The details of how they did this did not come out in the court, only that they did not take the child to their own family doctor, because they feared that he would have blamed them for beating and severely bruising their own child, just as they had done a number of times before.  I just filled in the details for myself, using my own psychic abilities, to revisit and view past events whenever I chose to.  The judge found me guilty of both charges, because I admitted to what I had done. He gave me a suspended sentence. He also gave me some advice:

 

You are a lady with a lot of wisdom and sound integrity, from what I have seen of you in this courtroom.  You have expressed yourself well under extreme pressure in this courtroom, given your lack of legal training about court matters and procedures.  The message you have given this court about the need for families to take responsibility for each other’s well being, and other issues you have raised, is a sound one.  You should find a forum, and take your message to the general public. It will be useful and helpful for a lot of people.”

 

I thank the judge for his encouraging words of support for me.  Then I left that courtroom with my husband, and my children, and headed back to our home in the dungeon in the hole in the ground.  We moved out of that neighborhood about five months later, in the early spring of 1989. Life at 720 Coxwell Avenue was the worst experience my young family had been through in our life.  Most of our memories from living there were painful and stressful ones.  On top of all that had happened to us as a family, we had to endure other forms of mistreatment. There was that older man who worked in the building across the road where I had parked my car, who had tried to molest my daughter.  When I confronted him about it, he denied his action, and told me not to park my car there anymore.  And even after my trial, those same adolescent bullies still continued to harass and intimidate my family.

 

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