Mar. 25, 2017

Fast Food Crack Dealer

I have worked in the medical departments of the jail systems between five to seven years. I even ran the medical department as the head nurse for over three years in one jail. The stories I have to tell make me just shake my own head in awe. I’ve decided to start sharing them.

While at work, I had the opportunity to meet each inmate personally if he or she had been incarcerated for at least two weeks. Some I had the pleasure of meeting within the first 24 hours. Alex was one of those people.

Alex’s crime or charge was that he was accused of selling crack cocaine through the drive-thru at a fast food place. The police charged that when a crack buyer came through the drive-thru they were to ask for the manager, Alex, and then use “code orders” to let Alex know how much they were buying. Alex was, in fact, a manager at a local fast food restaurant.

The franchise was alerted when some people from the inside made anonymous calls and tipped them off. The chain alerted the police who set up a sting and busted him. There’s video of all the transactions.

This was local news. Actually, I think it made state news. Everyone in the town laughed at his audacity to sell through the drive-thru knowing there is a video camera taping every sale, legal or otherwise. Being in a small town where everyone knows everyone, it was only a matter of time before he was caught anyway.

I had to treat him the first day in jail because the cops had to use force to arrest him. He wasn’t going quietly. Alex continued getting medical treatments for a couple of weeks and even came in to see the doctor one time. Over the course of his visits to medical, we talked a little.

Alex’s story: After telling me his charge, I said in amazement, “That was you?”

“No! Dat is not me,” he vehemently denied. “I do not do no drugs. Go head and drug test me. I ain't got no crack cocaine in my system nowhere. I don’t do no drugs!”

“But Alex, they are not saying you were doing the drugs. They are saying you’re selling them.”

“Yo, yo, baby girl, it be like dis, I don’t do drugs. It ain't me,” he said animatedly shaking his head. “I ain't saying some people in there not doing drugs, I jus saying, it ain't me.”

I’m very familiar with the game of verbal distraction. It is a con man’s go-to move. He’s trying to divert the question and answer. I say again, “Alex, no one said you or anyone in Burger King is doing drugs. They charged you with distribution. That means they are accusing you of selling them, not doing them.”

“Well, I don’t care what day be saying, it ain't me.”

As I’m treating his wound, I know, without a single doubt he is going to lie to me but I ask anyway, “How did you get these wounds?”

“Da po-lease man! Day be hitting me and shit. I’m gonna sue da hell out them mutha f***er’s!”

I snicker under my breath. As I said, I know it is coming: the lies. “Why did they hit you at all?”

“Dats what I dunno!” He’s very animated in his explanations. I can tell he’s got a temper, a mean streak of sorts. He goes on, “Day came in da place and say I was under arrest and to lay down on da flo. I set my tongs down and slowly lay down like day say. Next thing I know, day be kicking me in da head and stomach. You can axe airy one in there dat day and day can tell you how those mutha f***er’s did me!”

Sometimes Alex is brought down with a group of men for sick call. Some of the other inmates can over hear Alex’s occasional conversations with me about his charges and the police brutality against him.

When I call Quinton back to the exam room, he says, “Yo, Michelle, listen, they doing Alex wrong, you know dat, right?”

“I don’t know anything, Quinton. I only know what people tell me and I can’t even tell you if that’s the truth or not.”

“I know what you saying, but look here: Five-O beat him up for nothing. He tried to cooperate and they did that to him. I ain't trying to be ugly but, It’s jus another situation of the white man trying to bring a brutha down. You feel me?”

“I’m feeling you now,” I said as I take his pulse and blood pressure.

I knew a couple people who worked at this particular place and this is what they said: He was reported when some of the staff realized they were on video and someone could actually see those tapes. They feared they could be held accountable for what Alex was doing when they were innocent so they turned him in to the franchise.

When the cops came in and Alex became aware of what was about to happen, he grabbed one of the female cashiers and tried to get her close to the “flaming grill” to hold her as a hostage. Alex got hit from behind when a cop was able to get close enough to take him down. But, he had most of his cellmates believing “it was another case of the white man trying to bring a brother down.”

The first time I met Alex, I had been working in the jail less than one week. Having grown up in a criminal environment, I was already on to their attempts at peddling their defense to anyone who will listen. I know they do that in case there is a “stoolie” amongst them. The stoolie can testify on their behalf.

I thought it was hilarious though when so many of them accused me of not knowing anything about the criminal world. Many tried to pull the wool over my eyes. If they only knew…

While still receiving treatments from the medical department, Alex was transferred to the state prison. He had taken a plea deal for ten years. Innocent people do not take plea deals within weeks of being arrested if they’re as innocent as Alex professed to be.