By Joshua Ryan
One of the officers carried my briefcase, and the other one led me by the arm. When we got to the top of the hill there was a woman jogging through the park. She had a cell phone on her someplace and she was talking into the air, the way they do, like they’re crazy people, and when she saw us she jumped back and put her hand on her chest like she was having a seizure. She looked at me like I was raping her at that very moment. Then she ran off, fast. No one had ever reacted to me like that before.
There was a black police car parked at the curb. One of the officers put his hand on my head and guided me into the back seat. His hand was gentle, in the way that hands are when they don’t want to touch something that they have to touch. The car door slammed. In 20 minutes, they were leading me into the Justice Center downtown.
I was surprised that they never read me my rights, but then I remembered — they didn’t have to do that anymore, now that the courts had approved all the new anticrime laws. There had been a conversation about that. I recalled it. A conversation in a bar. It was the night I first met Joey Madison. He was coming on pretty strong, so I told him, “You’d better back off. Otherwise, a cop is gonna show up and read you your rights.” “They don’t do that anymore,” he said, putting his arm around my shoulder. “They just drag you off to jail.” We both laughed.