Official! The Police no longer need a warrant! By Roland Michel Tremblay

By Roland Michel Tremblay
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
The Marginal
Written on 9 February, 2009
20 November, 2010

Roland Michel Tremblay

It took me two years to finally send this article, I was afraid, afraid of
the police and other authorities. It is now official, the Police no longer
need a warrant to enter your home and look through your things, hoping to
find something to incriminate you. I am a living proof of it, twice over,
living in the United Kingdom no less.

Never would have I expected this from such a country. There you are, they
found nothing, there was nothing to be found, and yet, we have found
something. Something serious, critical, significant. This is the end, the
beginning of a new way of life, an all powerful Police State against which
we are all powerless. It has begun. and it happened to me not once, but
twice in the last two years, our worst fears have materialised.

It is 3h30 in the morning (two years ago). I cannot drink, sleep, watch TV,
listen to music, read or play cards on the computer, I can do nothing. This
is the message I just sent to two friends of mine, one being the editor of a
magazine in New Zealand, the other a powerful woman who writes political
articles (who is now mysteriously dead):

Hi,

My partner Stephen has just been arrested, whilst I was walking outside. The
door of the apartment has been broken into by the police. I was told by a
neighbour that they took him away. I called everywhere and they would not
tell me anything. Finally they told me he had been arrested, but they would
not tell me where he was, why he was arrested, nothing.

He finally called a few hours later from a local police station. He said he
was not allowed to tell me anything. He asked me to call his boss tomorrow
to let him know he cannot come to work (on his second official day of work
in that new job!).

I said I was not going to work tomorrow and that I would not sleep tonight.
I am to tell his boss that he was assaulted by someone, he lost a tooth, he
has been in hospital and it was a homophobic crime. Well, I certainly will
not tell his boss it was a homophobic crime, the delivery industry is still
very homophobic as it is.

I don’t even know who did that, why, if they arrested anyone else. Stephen
told me not to call his mum in order not to worry her, her heart, and she
recently lost her husband. But I did leave a message on her answering
machine saying that Stephen had been arrested! God! How brainless of me.
Well, I didn’t know what to do, Stephen has got the only car key we have in
the flat, I can’t even come and help him or come and pick him up tomorrow
after he sees the solicitors. I don’t even know if he is in prison or in
hospital. I know nothing!

The only person who would know is the neighbour upstairs, who causes so much
trouble around here. I’m surprised he does not have an ASBO in his name
(police surveillance). I hope he has been arrested as well, I have no doubt
that either him or his son must be responsible for hitting Stephen. It will
be charming living here after all that!

Of course, perhaps it is another neighbour who hit him, I don’t know. All I
know is that once again the wisteria growing along the wall, the large tree
which made the building looked so nice, despite being such an ugly building,
has been taken down once again, no doubt by the neighbour upstairs who tried
desperately to get it cut by the agency taking care of the estate, but we
intervened before they could do so. It is probably what is at the root of
this crisis, a tree! And lots of complaints from these neighbours upstairs
who recently alienated the whole building against them.

When we finished the phone call, Stephen said: I love you! I was quite taken
by surprise that he would say that, whilst in a police station. Perhaps not
the safest place to advertise that one is gay. I did not answer back, and
only understood afterwards that this was a homophobic crime, so of course,
they already knew he was gay and that I was his boyfriend. Well, anyway, I
did tell him that I was not going to go to work tomorrow and that I would
not sleep tonight. If this is not better than I love you, I wonder what is.

What am I going to do now? For a second there, seeing the mess the police
left behind (and I do wonder if they went through everything, every light
was on, all the animals in a panic state), I thought I would never hear from
Stephen again! Then I remembered that we are in England, there are still
some laws in this country. I don’t trust there is much justice though, but I
keep hoping that there is.

I will keep you posted.

RM

I got one answer back from the editor:

-What are the charges, if any?

My answer:

-I have absolutely no idea! I am toying with the idea of contacting a local
solicitor right now, at 3 am! They have 24 hours line. Or preferably let
Stephen deal with it on his own tomorrow. They will give him a solicitor,
and though I work in a Crown Court, I could not tell which solicitor would
be best. I don’t want to confuse the issues, especially that I know nothing.

I did finally try to contact three firms with whom I have become sort of
acquainted at work, the three most memorable names for me. The first one, I
searched and searched for half an hour on the Internet, I could not find
their website. Second one, I called their 24 hours emergency line
specifically for when you are in distress, because someone close to you has
just been arrested. No answer! Finally I contacted the third one, spoke with
someone, he told me that even if I wanted to hire them, they could not
possibly get the case, because I am not the one who has been arrested. The
best thing to do is for Stephen to be allocated the solicitor who will be
standing in tomorrow at the police station. Suffice to say, I am
unimpressed.

The police lied to me. When I called to ask if they had Stephen in custody,
they said no, not at least for another two hours, and then the man hung up
on me. When I called a few minutes later, I was told he was arrested, but no
more. And when I got his call at 1 am, he was at that very station where
they told me he was not!

I’ve got the feeling this is just the beginning of a long nightmare that
will never end. I fear this will first go through the Magistrates’ Court,
then the Crown Court, and perhaps even the Court of Appeal. The bureaucracy,
the worries, the arguments, the uncertainty, it will finish us off.

I can’t believe it! My boyfriend is in prison! And I don’t even have a vague
idea of what he is being charged with, if anything. Why are they not
releasing him? Surely they know he is no danger to anyone? Is it not obvious
that all he would do would be to come home and sleep? He has not slept in
over 24 hours, and I am quickly reaching the same schedule.

I cannot possibly see how I could sleep. I thought of making myself some
coffee at 1 am, but realised that it was not necessary. Some sort of
adrenaline rush is going through my veins, I feel I could remain wide awake
for the next few days without a problem, especially if he does not come home
tomorrow.

I know Stephen, he certainly did not hit anyone, but he can certainly speak,
as he is a speaking machine. So why are they keeping him at the police
station? For that matter, why have they felt the need to break down the
door?

I’ve got the feeling something horrible happened and the homophobic crime
angle, though certainly true, still does not eliminate the fact that there
must have been some sort of altercation, a fight, and both of them have been
arrested. I sincerely hope that two people have been arrested, and not just
the one. Because then, it certainly looks bleak, or unfair.

I’m freaked out. I have closed all the curtains, I never do usually. I’m not
sure what I am afraid of, certainly not the neighbours, I know I can deal
with them without a fight. Then it must be the police that I am afraid of.
This is what has traumatised me tonight.

The fact that they just destroyed the front door, came in in force, created
the most unreal atmosphere of some sort of crime scene, and simply left with
my boyfriend without leaving a word, and refusing to give me any information
when I was condemned to call everywhere in such panic for any information
about what took place here tonight…

I live in fear, afraid they might come back for me, or that they might be
lurking in outside, watching me, hoping to gather the evidence for the
prosecution or something. I’m afraid they may be monitoring my emails and
that it will be used in Court against Stephen. I wonder if they bugged the
place to gather that evidence, and so I am now so careful of anything I say,
even, anything I think.

In this day and age, at this moment in time, in this police state as we let
it become in England, I feel justified in my paranoia. I feel afraid, I am
terrorised by the police and the law. I wonder if I will ever sleep again. I
am so cold.

I also need to start to think about how I will deal with this, not only in
my own mind, but with Stephen himself when he comes back, if he comes back.
I have a hard time believing it. At the moment I am imagining the worst
things, that, God knows what he has done, and perhaps he will be in prison
for years!

And what about his job, the flat, the finance, all is gone overnight! My job
as well, God, I don’t know how I could continue in my job as if nothing
happened if Stephen goes to prison over a tree. Especially working in a
Crown Court and dealing with these cases everyday, constant reminder of the
nightmare we are going through.

And if he does not go to prison, the nightmare will be as bad. It is obvious
that Stephen will blame me somehow, as I am always responsible for all his
problems, no matter how far removed I am from anything that happens to him.
It gives him a reason to shout at me, and then of course, he accuses me of
fighting. I will have to remain silent, listen to him, bypass his digs and
blames, pretending that I am not hearing anything.

And I hope it will calm him down, that he will finally get the message that
there is no point in stressing over a tree, and that when it becomes heated
with the neighbours who cannot help themselves in alienating us all, the
best course of action is retreat in your own flat before it escalates to the
point where the whole place is filled with a SWAT team swarming all over
your papers, after they tazed you or shot you.

Which reminds me of a very similar case that happened in the flat next door
not long ago, when finally the police tazed the man, and we were told they
were about to open fire if it had not worked. Very similar situation. The
neighbour was alone in his flat, his girlfriend had just died some days ago,
he called the police, but then refused to open the door. So they certainly
stormed the place and escalated the whole thing until there was only one
ending: someone had to die. If the police had left, or never came, five
minutes later we would all have been sleeping soundly, never to mention the
incident again.

Within a police state, what else can happen but everyone being harassed
constantly by the police and every single small situation quickly escalating
to shooting and arrests and prison sentences, wrecking the lives of good
citizens who are no danger to anyone and deserve much better from their
institutions they pay at a high price.

I walked from the train station to a McDonald a few miles away tonight, and
I was counting the time between the police cars I met. Every minute or two,
a police car passed on the street. I could not believe it. And this was
before I knew that, whilst I was playing that game peacefully, walking, they
were actually in my apartment storming the place and taking away the person
I love.

And I have been wondering if this was entrapment. Funny, a CCTV camera
appeared at the beginning of the week in front of our apartment, then the
tree is being taken off the building and thrown in our entrance door. A
crisis occurs, an arrest is made, at least three lives have been utterly
destroyed, perhaps irretrievably changed forever.

I have to contemplate the idea that my 15 years relationship is over. If
Stephen goes to prison, he will lose the flat, and I can’t make the payments
with the salary of a civil servant alone. Which means, I may have to go back
to Canada.

And if Stephen does not go to prison, he may come back in some sort of shell
shock state of being absolutely traumatised by what happened, and he will
turn this relationship into a living hell for both of us. I cannot see how
he could come back peaceful from these events, no matter how supportive I
intend to be. And since at this time I don’t even know if he is coming back,
or what he has done, or what was done to him, you can understand how my head
is about to split through furiously thinking about all this.

I am now physically sick from this mental ordeal. I can’t even describe the
state I am in, I have never been in that state before, and I have no idea if
tomorrow or in the next few days I will already feel better, or if it is all
about to get worse. I am so terrified, I cannot get the dog out for a pee. I
prefer that she shits on the carpet, because I am not opening that door
tonight.

Nearly 5 am, I better try to sleep if at all possible. I just called my dad
in Canada, telling him pretty much what I have written here. He feels I
should go to the police station and bugged them, let them know that time is
of the essence, and they better let him go. Because each single minute that
he remains in custody whilst it is not truly justified, is a crime against
all known laws about freedom and liberty.

When I think about those terrorist acts they recently established and are
still trying to pass as well, to be able to keep in prison anyone for no
reason, indefinitely, and had to settle on something like 46 days without
having to justify anything to anyone! It drives me mad!

As far as I know, despite George W. Bush and Tony Blair terrorist acts, the
rights of the citizens still count for something. This is still a free
democracy, even if it is just a pretend one.

They will be sorry for taking me on, because I certainly will make a lot of
noise about this! I will create an international crisis! I expect total
transparency and fairness from the police and the Ministry of Justice. And
if we don’t get it, I will start a crusade that will continue to rage long
after my death!

A Few Days Later

I am still sick like a dog, even though I still try to continue to survive
as normal. Tonight is Sunday, and the thought of going back to work tomorrow
is sending me off the wall. I can no longer suffer the view of my Line
Manager, who cornered me when I took that day off the next day when Stephen
was in prison. I was not allowed to tell her anything, nor did I want to
tell her anything, but she certainly made a big deal out of it, and I had no
choice, according to her, to tell her all my private problems and personal
life.

I said you can sack me, you can send me to any board you like, I will still
not say the nature of the crisis which prevented me from coming to work on
that Friday. In the end I simply said family problems, and told her it would
have to do. She went to the Top Manager of the Court and he accepted that as
an excuse. She said that they would now grant me a day off retroactively,
something that cannot be done unless you are willing to tell them your whole
life story.

And now, let me talk about another very important subject, and it is wise
that this book is now offline (and still is, it is called Crown Court
Madhouse www.themarginal.com/madhouse.pdf, I always thought I would be
sacked for it, now one day it will be my salvation, as it proves the
bullying that goes on every day even in a Court), otherwise I could not say
anything that I am about to say. The affair of Stephen’s arrest is taking a
turn for the worst, because of police corruption and lies.

It’s funny, you get this image of the police on TV, nice guys and fair and
all, you quickly realise that in real life they are bastards, they suppress
evidences, they conveniently lose track of previous cases, they lie to you
on the phone, and most serious of all, they illegally enter your apartment
without any kind of warrant or justification.

I have denounced the police a lot in my articles, they are going too far
with their anti-terror laws now applied to us, and have granted themselves
absolute powers and a surveillance network of cameras that is unsurpassed in
history or in any other country. But I never thought for one second that
personally I would be confronted with deceit, opened homophobia and illegal
moves from the police.

Oh, they certainly succeeded with their public image. We were led to believe
that the police act within the law, consider homophobia a serious crime, and
that homophobia within the police had been eradicated. Well, just read the
following.

Stephen arrived from work exhausted and was not pleased when he saw that our
tree climbing the building, along with the pole that gets the water in the
Earth, had been cut and thrown in our doorway by the neighbour upstairs, a
man probably in his sixties who has abused and harassed us for years, with
his daughter clearly stating in a previous police case as saying homophobic
things to us like: “Fucking queers, go live somewhere else!”. And much worse
that I can’t remember now, or wouldn’t dare to repeat here.

So Stephen was not happy and he voiced his concerns a bit loud, so the
family of four upstairs came out and were all very abusive, with lots of
homophobic comments again. Eventually they returned in their home, but then
the old man without warning came out and hit Stephen in the face with his
fist. He knocked a front tooth, made all the others shaky, so Stephen has
not eaten anything for over a week. He knocked Stephen unconscious, and
then, of course, both parties called the police.

When the police arrived, Stephen was outside dying and our front door was
shut. The neighbours were quick to invent any lies they could think of,
fearing suddenly that the old man would be prosecuted for Actual Bodily Harm
(ABH). So they said Stephen had threatened them with their lives, that he
kicked their front door and broke the glass (that somehow they must have
damaged themselves), and the police believed them.

From that moment on, the police were all biased and they decided to work
against us. Now Stephen is on Bail, case to be heard in a month for a
preliminary hearing, and to decide if they will press charges. If he breaks
any condition of his bail, he goes straight to prison until his case is
finished, it could easily take up to a year.

The police requested the keys to our apartment to Stephen. He said he did
not have them, they were in the flat. Not only at this point the police had
no right to ask for these keys, since they had no right to go in the
apartment, moreover no reason to go there, but once Stephen was inside the
ambulance, they forced their way in. The whole door was all broken, all the
inside of the wall and the plastic corner thing, we could no longer shut the
door. I arrived only perhaps an hour later to see the mess they left.

Now, Stephen’s mother and I thought the police had to force their way in, in
order to get to Stephen. At that point we still knew nothing of what
happened. But the next day, when I came to pick up Stephen at the police
station, he was surprised, he could not believe they forced their way in,
since he was never inside the apartment. So Stephen reported the break in to
the police, which in itself is also a serious offence, whether it was done
by the neighbour upstairs or the police, without a warrant.

Then began the dance of the police. First they said that the police had
entered our flat, but how could they? They had no key. Suddenly they denied
it, the police had never entered the apartment. Well, it so happen that
after working for two years in a Crown Court, I was able to find out that
the police did indeed entered the flat, and since there is only one way,
breaking in, they have done it illegally.

Not only that, we got a second confirmation. The police, seeing that they
could not close or lock the door, borrowed a hammer from our next door
neighbours, and tried to put back together the mess they had made. It was
not possible, because a hammer would not do in this case, it was not nails
that kept together the lock, it was a screwdriver they needed. And the whole
thing was so shaky after that, there was no way to lock the door.

Now, I know the law, not only they should never have entered without a
warrant, unless Stephen had been inside and it was necessary to get to him
(which was not the case), but also, they should never have left without
padlocking the whole door. So, that is another serious lie from the police,
and a serious indictable offence that could make a few police officers lose
their job and be prosecuted in a Court of Justice.

And now we come to the homophobic part. One of those policemen made a lot of
anti-gay comments to Stephen whilst he was in the ambulance, and of course
Stephen freaked out. That policeman made no excuse for his derogatory
comments. He was young and from the North, and that is no excuse when you
are in the police. You cannot make racist or homophobic comments to anyone,
hell, if we do that ourselves, this could go to a Crown Court and could lead
to prison.

Since then, it has been a nightmare. Stephen has been too traumatised by
being knocked out, and by his single night in prison, to do anything. He
more or less quit his new job and has not gone all last week. In prison he
nearly froze to death, with only the lightest ever and smelliest ever
blanket provided. They kept his coat. They also woke him up every single
half hour for a reason or another.

I was reading on a website that, supposedly, the treatment of prisoners’
guideline included the right to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and
certainly not freeze those prisoners to death. Stephen came out so sick, he
was near death. I thought I would lose him. I asked him if the state he was
in was due to his teeth being knocked out, but no, he said it was that night
in prison that did it!

Every time I called that police station, I was told another lie! The very
station where they told me he was not there initially when he was, the very
station where they hung up the phone on me saying they could not help me.

And now, Stephen has been on the phone about our breaking in. This usually
requires the police to come and take photos. They still have not come, they
still took no photos, they are trying to bury this. We took photos, and God
only knows if it will be of any help to us to prove this police corruption.

And now we come to the police latest lie. Again, quite an important one. For
our case, it was normal that we brought in all the previous problems with
the neighbours upstairs. They once accused me of destroying their car,
something totally untrue, and they sent the police after me. Would you
believe? Me, an inoffensive gay, intellectual and nerd, who has never done
anything wrong in his entire life, being bullied more like it, destroying
cars? Now, they changed their story, and they accused Stephen of having
destroyed their car (years ago).

The fact is, our car was actually damaged and someone did steal our tax disk
a few months ago. This was reported to the police. We don’t think it has any
bearing on this case, but who knows. And there was another crime reported to
the police. When a previous crisis had erupted when the neighbour upstairs
had cut all our trees once again at the back, killing a whole family of
birds living there in the process. Stephen ended up calling the police,
hoping to save our trees (the birds were dead by then), which are not even
going over the line of where their apartment starts. It had also gone very
bad, and a lot of homophobic abused had been told, especially by their
daughter.

The police told us they could not find anything about these cases. Of
course, it would help us tremendously in Court to prove our point (bad
character applications), since not only we have the neighbours against us,
but so it is confirmed, we have the police as well working against us. As if
a sense of fairness and justice was not possible coming from the police.

Well, it so happen that I had no trouble finding the crime numbers and the
relevant information about those cases that the police said they could find
nothing about.

And now we wait. For them to press charges for disorderly behaviour and
damage to a property, and we wonder if we should press charges for ABH
against the neighbour upstairs. Considering how the police are lying through
their teeth and determined to cause Stephen as much damage as possible, it
does not seem wise to bring the man upstairs to Court. He would not plead
guilty, because he arranged his story so he can claim it was self-defence,
and we have no reason to believe the police or the prosecution will try to
reach the truth or some justice in this case.

It would be easy if all charges could be dropped against Stephen, because
then we would not press charges and avoid the corrupted police and Court of
Justice. But no, the neighbour upstairs is not the one pressing charges, it
is the police, and so, this thing will no be dropped, it will go ahead and
end up in perhaps two trials! Or I don’t know if they will link it all
together.

And if this goes to trial, we will have to prove that the police entered our
apartment illegally without a warrant, we will have to prove the police
lied, we will have to prove the neighbours lied, it is going to be a
nightmare. I have no doubt a jury will not believe Stephen in such
circumstances. And yet, what choice do we have?

It seems, when a crisis occurs, everyone ends up doing something wrong. In
this case, Stephen only talked a bit too loud, by far the least important
charge. And yet, I fear they will turn this into something horrible and we
will pay dearly, whilst none of them will be affected. The police and the
neighbours will be celebrating their victory over the queer bashing. Another
fucking queer to the floor. let’s all laugh our heart out!

The woman next door, she said the Police told her they went inside to get
me. I was not there. And yet, I wonder how re-assuring this thought is, they
broke in to get me! And I wonder. the full implications of this simple
statement. Was I meant to be arrested as well, despite the fact that I could
not possibly have been involved in any of this? Dear me, I can only imagine
what would have happened if I had been there.

And this is in that kind of state of mind that I am about to go to work
tomorrow, reading about similar cases turning my stomach, and that terrible
Line Manager that I can no longer stand. I am sick, just like Stephen’s
mother is and has been since this whole thing started. She is so weak now,
if it does not kill her, I’m pretty sure it has already taken a few years
off her life.

One thing is certain, somehow the Police can now enter your apartment
without a warrant, whenever they feel you are in so weak a position, that
you could not possibly denounce it. And they are right, even without being
in a weak position, how do you fight this? We wrote a complaint letter to
the Police, we have no doubt it would not go anywhere, and they will still
press charges.

All I can do is to write this article and hope that it gets through. That
you will realise what this means. Do you?

I wrote this article two years ago, and never sent it from fears of what the
police might do as a consequence. But they leave me no choice, because it
happened again recently. Not over a tree, but over a cat. A neighbour of
ours stole our cat, and we can prove it, she’s micro-chipped to us. Well,
they lied again to the police, said we somehow dropped cat litter into their
letter box (they don’t lack imagination, I must admit), when in fact once
again that other neighbour actually hit Stephen on the face, another Actual
Bodily Harm. I don’t know about you, but we love our cats.

The next day I had the police at my door, extremely threatening, they
freaked me out, saying loudly that they were arresting me and that I needed
to get dressed. When they finally understood that they had the wrong man,
they said that they needed to get in to see if my partner was not hiding
inside. I refused to let them in, I asked them to show me their warrant.
They told me they did not need one if they thought I was harbouring the
accused (who was in fact, once again, a victim). Through lies again they
forced their way past me, just to find out that I was telling the truth. I
asked them again to show me those papers who gave them the right to enter
our property illegally. They refused.

A few days later the whole thing was dropped, when the police no doubt
realised that we are not living in a nice area, our neighbours are all liars
and all have a list of antecedents as long as my arm. But the damage was
already done. Twice now the police entered our apartment without a warrant.

If the police is willing to break the law and enter your apartment illegally
over a broken tree and a stolen cat, can you imagine the length they will be
willing to go to in any other circumstance? My God. The truth or justice
don’t matter to them, once a false accusation has been made, they will treat
you as if you were guilty, they will treat you like a criminal, like an
animal.

And even then, this is no way to even treat criminals, nearly killing them
within one night in prison at the local police station. I have heard similar
stories from my friends living in America. I really wonder if there are any
rights and liberties left anywhere in the world, when considering that we
are not safe in America or in the United Kingdom from police harassment,
including homophobia. And it saddens me greatly.

I’m sorry but I had to speak, I had to denounce it. I will not be terrorised
like this by our police force, especially when we are but the victims.

It is official, the Police no longer need a warrant. Brace yourself as this
can only be the tip of the iceberg.

***

“Without irony, this life would hardly be worth living.” RM

All previous political articles by Roland Michel Tremblay:

http://www.themarginal.com/destructivism.htm

His email address: rm@themarginal.com