The ruling of the Judge, with the advice of the Prosecutor was that I pay the minimum of $500 fine. I plead no contest, couldn’t say not guilty because they have me on wire, and REFUSED to plead guilty. The judge was a very sympathetic fellow. He really listened to me and for that I am grateful. The will be no more court, I have 6 months to pay the fine and next June, I will be eligible to get my record sealed, so it will appear as if it was never there. While I am disappointed that I now have a level 1 misdemeanor charge, the highest level of misdemeanor, I am grateful that I will not have any probation, or any further court dates. The prosecutor was on a power trip, he walked up to me before court was in session without introduction, as I was deep in thought sitting on a bench, and spouts out about how they have my named backwards on the court documents. (There is always a problem with my name, just another irritation.) How he doesn’t want to pursue jail time of the maximum of 6 months because I have don’t have a history of prior offenses. He tells me that he would give me a $500 fine. The only questions I wanted to know where
- A) Do I have a conviction/ record now?
- B) When can I get this expunged/ sealed/ voided
To which he answered yes, a misdemeanor and in one year from today. To which I respond and who are you? He gives me a blank stare, “I’m the prosecutor”
The judge walks in 15 minutes late… in a blur… I got a fine, I got a misdemeanor, I’m getting it handled and getting over it. I feel as if this is extremely unfair, and the judge even agreed with me, but the prosecutor had his mind made up. So you know what I’m just going to charge this to the game. What else can I do, I explained my case, the Judge really listened and was fair but he had to do his job I guess. I cried when I finally got sometime to myself. I called my parents. I have a lawyer lined up for the expunging process. All I have to do is pay the fine and weigh it out. I’m kind of bummed about the background check procedures and the potential embarrassment of having to explain that to employers. However, I was luckily enough to already have a job and internship position secured starting in July that was all arranged before this foolery and by the summer time next year I will be done with this side of the law.
While this incident was upsetting and disappointing, there were valuable lessons to be learned. I was forced to have some difficult conversations with myself.
- I am no longer in the sweet little safety bubble of Academia
- I am a target, due to my character and because of my the color of my skin
I am too trusting of people. I honestly try to treat others they way I would like for them to treat me. Every personality test I have ever taken has measured me in the highest percentile of agreeableness. I am as GREEN as one can be, but no more. I am done. I have to pay better attention and judge people by what they give me and what I feel from that. I hated the way I felt when in that awful situation and I never want to feel that way again. I can no longer allow these wolves in sheep’s clothing to fool me. That’s not who I am. That’s not what I want to be.
I am a target because of my skin color. Point___.
- I have been conscious of the fact that I’ve been feeling kind of empty on my spiritual side. I spent this last year with so many questions about my faith, if I could continue to believe, if I should believe, and what/who/ do I, believe in, what fits with my spirit
—Maybe God/The Foremothers are trying to tell me something. Maybe I need to become more grounded. Fill up my spirit warrior because maybe I am not as prepared for the world as I thought I was. They say when Black people get scared we go to church. Well lord knows I haven’t been to church in a minute, a good minute, but as soon as I get home. You can find me in sanctuary maybe even in a choir. I’m all shock up, but I’m not broken just got to get my head together and get on track. I know who I am, I would just liked to be centered a bit more.
I will not let this charge, this set up, bullcrap define me. 22 years of being an Elliott, Fours years at a liber arts college, and three years rooming with the President of the BSU (although my roomie was only the President in her senior year, she was fiercely dedicated all four years), have taught me that the system is all kinds screwed up, twisted, and biased in a way that is set up for people without power to remain oppressed. I am going to be a Gladiator. I have had my wakeup call and little insight from those guiding from above. I am dedicating myself too this. This experience has taught me that I need some order in my life. The summer has been fun, but its time to get more serious. I want to fight for those who were treated unfairly, discriminated against, wronged, or even just made a mistake. Those in situations like my own, who just got caught up and need to catch a break. I want to be able to provide legal as well as emotional and psychological counsel. And if they ever try me again, I promise “I’m be Fresh As Hell if the Feds Watching”.
*Can’t wait to go home. Back to the safety and comfort of my mama and family, the bark of my sweet precious Darla, and the beautiful chocolate drops of the South.*