The Jersey Shore my C&L blog, the Situation ate a steroid-infused meatball sub I recalled the events of my unlawful arrest at a National Organization for Marriage anti-gay marriage rally.
And now the stunning continuation...
To say that I sweated through the night is no metaphor. The air conditioning was on the fritz and, although there was a temporary system pumping in air from a semitrailer outside, the cells were hot enough to give Sheriff Joe Arpaio a spring in his step.
I did some metaphorical sweating, too. This was the Erie County Holding Center. Although it's a relatively quaint 680-cell facility, its “suicide” rate is five times the national average. And although it's recently been dropped, the ECHC was the focus of a two-year DOJ investigation, which alleged such constitutional violations as “elevator rides” (guards taking inmates to a floor without cameras and beating them senseless) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome-style inmate-on-inmate combat – done, apparently, for the guards' amusement.
“Who run Bartertown?” I softly whispered to myself throughout the night. “Master Blaster.”
Rachel Maddow even did a segment on this place a while back. While Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard refused to let the Feds inspect the jail, he had no problem opening up the door to Keanu Reeves. He was researching a role – like he wasn't just going to play Keanu Reeves. I'm not kidding:
It's been widely speculated – by me alone – that his visit was the true origin of the Sad Keanu meme.
Aww. Sad Keanu is sad.
Anyway, a couple guards came to my cell before...I'd call it “lights out,” but the lights never did go out, and I presumed I'd been chosen in some sadistic lottery to fight another inmate to the death. In reality they just wanted to chuckle and say things, like, “So, uh, you the dildo guy?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I ran for Congress, too, you know!” They didn't care. “I pranked Scott Walker!” They didn't care. They just wanted to know about the dildo. The lesson I took away from this is that the next time I run for public office I'll do it with a dildo (Murphy and Dildo for President 2016!).
Sleep wasn't happening, so I kept myself busy by reading my prisoner rights. I was the only one being processed that day who accepted the booklet offered. All prisoners are to be issued a pillow! I didn't get a pillow. Things could be worse. I could be black in Georgia.
“Wake-up” call at 5 am. Handful of generic Cinnamon Toast Crunch on a Styrofoam plate, with bad orange juice, milk and bread. Yum. Then the confounding movement from one locked room to another, each smaller than the next, until many of the 18 detainees were forced to sit on the filthy floor.
Eventually, some of the other prisoners wanted to know if I was, in fact, “The Dildo Guy.”
“I ran for Congress!” I yelled, indignant, like that was somehow better than being The Dildo Guy. After explaining the purpose of the prop, and suffering a solid ten minutes of expected mockery, I was treated to the jail house rock version of how people become gay. Bad parenting, lack of religion in early childhood, and...Justin Beiber. I didn't ask.
The motley crew also agreed that if I was tough enough to “take a fat d--- in the a--,” I was likely strong enough to hold my own in a fight. I didn't understand how they made this logical leap, but I did not disabuse them of the useful notion that was a hardened queer.
Arraignment hearing at 9:30. Paul Fallon, BEAST publisher and lawyer, was there waiting with the arrest report and I got my first look at the charges against me (the red annotations are, obviously, mine):
I'd like to wait to thoroughly rebut these charges, for a later post, but I would like to mention one thing: The person that I reportedly shoved, which would be the “complainant,” is listed as “Sony”. Sony. What is that, I don't even. A Freudian slip? Baffling.
List of confiscated property:
- Digital voice recorder
- Blue notebook
- Cell phone
Aside from being likely the funniest list of confiscated property in the history of Erie County, there was one very big omission: my video camera – Mr. Sony: race unknown. Fallon and I were told that the camera was “too big” to be held at the Holding Center, which is utter nonsense, and that it was taken to a precinct downtown. This was obvious done so that officer Donovan could erase the footage of the unlawful arrest–or to disappear the camera entirely.
After getting the runaround, we eventually did get the camera back and, yes, all the footage from the rally was gone. Fortunately, they failed to completely wipe the hard drive, so we may be able to recover the data. In fact, I shipped the camera off to LA earlier today for forensic analysis. John Amato “knows a guy.”
[Personal note to Amato's tech geek: there's a lot of deleted footage on that camera. Focus on files _0061 through _0082. Yup. Nothing to see before that. Nothing at all. Nothing. Seriously. No sexy business or anything like that. Nothing. OK! ]
*Another issue I'd like to tease right now is the Buffalo News report of my arrest:
Buffalo police made one arrest, charging Ian Murphy, the Green Party candidate for the Congressional seat that Democrat Kathleen C. Hochul won in a special election in May, with disorderly conduct. Police said in a report that Murphy, 35, of Amherst, was using abusive, obscene language and shoved a person in the crowd.
Officers asked Murphy several times to stop, according to the report. Instead, Murphy directed a sex toy toward officers and told them that it was a microphone, the report said.
Murphy also was charged with harassment and disruption of a religious service.
Notice the discrepancy between the police report and the Buffalo News account. Maybe it's not a huge deal, but the difference between “having a dildo in [my] possession” and “direct[ing]” it “toward officers” seems like trivia worth mentioning on the police report. These things are supposed to be as detailed as possible.
But it's late, I'm already blowing deadline here, and I'm kind of (very) scared of Tina Dupuy (she looks sweet, but you don't know her!), so the rebuttal of charges and the incredibly -- like, really, really -- strange story of how learned about the discrepancy between the accounts will have to wait. But I assure you, as a dude who's done some exceptionally weird things, this is absolutely bizarre.
Murphy is the editor of The BEAST.