The Ordeal Doesn't End When The Raid Does
After tearing apart our home and interrogating us, the police seemed to finally believe that my girlfriend and I were not connected to our neighbors' operation. They arrested our neighbors, but my girlfriend and I were not charged. We couldn't put the ordeal behind us quite yet: For one thing, cops don't clean up their mess, even if they find out you're innocent. Our house was trashed.
One of the first things we did was call our landlord. Even though the police had found us innocent, our landlord was pissed, and insisted that we were to blame for her house being torn apart and one of her tenants getting arrested. Because of our ... machinations? I never did follow the logic. We decided that we were moving out immediately, so she threatened to charge us with an eviction if we didn't pay her two months' rent for the privilege. We moved out a few days later. We didn't pay the extra rent, but she did keep our deposit. Fair's fair, I suppose.
U.S. Air Force/Sr. Airman Whitney Lambert
Admittedly, ol' Druggie McDealerson probably cost her a fair bit of cash, too.
But even after moving to a different city, we still weren't done. Nearly six months later, my girlfriend got a phone call from the county's public defender office, saying she'd been subpoenaed to testify in our neighbor's trial. For the defense. She was expected to testify in support of the person that dragged us into this mess. For months, she had anxiety dreams, thinking about having to relive the event in court, in front of the police that tore our house apart, saw her naked, and terrorized us. Fortunately, the day before the trial, our old neighbor ended up taking a plea deal, but the subpoena still caused a huge amount of stress in our lives when all we wanted was to forget any of this happened.
Probably not much of a plea deal if she was the best witness they could scrounge up.
It's been about a year since the raid, and the trial ended a few months ago, but I am still affected by the ordeal. Whenever a police car pulls up behind me, or I see an officer on the street, I immediately panic, even though I'm not breaking any laws. I'm too terrified to even speed now, because the thought of interacting with a police officer terrifies me, which I guess is probably a net positive for everyone involved? A lawyer told me that I'd probably have grounds to sue the police, but I'd rather just put the event behind me. I don't want money, and I especially don't want to endure a long, drawn-out trial -- I just want to roll an occasional stop sign in peace. It's a meager dream, but it is mine.
Kevin and his girlfriend now run their own graphic and web-design business. You can find it at http://www.asmarterimpact.com/. Kevin also has a Twitter where he says things sometimes.
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