Arrested for Peaceful Protest at the State Capital, June 1st 2020

On the steps of the capital were tanks.

State Patrol didn’t surround us and arrest us right after curfew, instead electing to point guns at us as we sat and sang.
Chanting the names of those murdered, writing the number to call for bail on our arms, and singing what we could remember of Bill Withers’ Lean On Me.
Meanwhile they blocked the med bus, holding it hostage until they could arrest everyone inside for breaking curfew.

We were handcuffed with zip-ties, some too loose, some far too tight.
The arresting officers had to be told what they were arresting us for.
We had to offer up our signs to write on because they didn’t think to bring clipboards. The officer who arrested me had to ask 3 times where he was when he was at the state capital.

After what felt like 2 hours of sitting on the grass, we were put in paddywagons, no idea where we were headed.

After another eon in booking, they put 12 of us in a 3 person cell during a pandemic.
None of the officers at the detention center wore face or hand coverings.

We were stuck there with no updates and no way to tell the time for hours, forced to piss in front of eachother.

We saw from the little window of our cell someone too sick to move or think, almost catatonic just sitting in a chair wide open in the middle of the building. At one point he was interacted with by someone in a biohazard suit. We were corralled past him with nothing but mouth coverings.

My cell was full of people who’d never been arrested before, even a lawyer. We all knew our constitutional rights were being violated. We could do nothing. Imprisoned against our will and the supposed powers of our constitution with no way to fight back.
We had every single finger and palm print scanned, photographed, eyes scanned.

People with criminal records were forced to repeat their name and “United States, United States” into a pay phone, with a security camera there so footage could be more easily matched — or faked.
To my knowledge, the script was:

Law Enforcement (cop): Pick [it] up. {a telephone}

Telephone: Speak

[pause for clean audio recording of what someone sounds through a telephone]

Telephone: Speak for 60 seconds


Telephone: Repeat After Me: United States. United States.



Whilst first-time offendors were packed in like sardines, repeat offenders were put into a room like a cavern from hell.
Built to make whispers so loud they hurt your ears, disorientating to the point of debilitation. Nigh impossible to understand anything, even your own thoughts. Where it feels like every sound, even your voice, comes from all angles at once.

I was let out with 1 other person at 4:46am, into one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of Minneapolis/Saint Paul.
We had to walk 5 miles to get to her car, past barricades and national guard snipers.

A few days prior, I had my friend write my mother’s cell phone number on one of my arms, and the number to call for bail on the other. It turns out I didn’t need the latter because the arrest was deemed unconstitutional by the court without me even having to show up. I was held illegally and unconstitutionally with no recourse.

A cop at the detention center said “When you grow up you’re going to regret this” to me.
I sincerely hope the same for her.