Didn’t know in any way that would happen like that at the Capitol, but with 2020 in the rearview mirror. The gear was for the Ellipse, expecting counter-protesters like we saw in 2020. Walking to the Capitol for a protest was just an extended part of the day.
Silence can be a virtue in some situations. As King Solomon wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:… a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7) Silence in the face of bigotry and injustice, however, only enables harm and hurt.
Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoeller (jailed in Nazi Germany for speaking out) confessed that in a poem he penned after the war. “First they came for the Communist,” he wrote, “but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.” He added, “Then they came for” the Jews, the Catholics, and others, “but I didn’t speak up.”Finally, “they came for me—and by that time there was no one left to speak up.”
That extrapolation comprised of going to the area of protesting and using the megaphone for a favorable voice. The line of protest had advanced to the steps of the west side before my arrival. The location was unexpected but also unchallenged. Fred Allen once said, ”What’s the matter with you, kid? Don’t you want to grow up and have troubles?”
I took a few robust breaths from being awestruck at the amount of people and proceeded unabated to the front. Seems legit, right? Well, I thought so… no problem. Said some silly things from a safe distance away so as not to engage officers. They shot me multiple times from a good distance away and them pepper sprayed me. Ouch! I dropped at that spot.
Shortly after trying to get help, I could hear explosions and people yelling. People passed me in droves as I tried to regain my vision and breath. I heard the words “they made it into the building” and that was my cue to leave.
Didn’t think entering the building was feasible at the house of the people but I can’t ignore the ambiguous possibility. Just not something I would do. Never been in there before, not the time for me to visit. That’s just my view of it.
The house of the people open to the public is self-evident but if that ingress is challenged, what then?
When those doors opened, I left. I began my journey back to my hotel room. I was on fire from pepper spray and bone-chilled, soaked with water. It was very cold on that day and a Texas boy don’t do cold very well. I managed to get sidetracked during my trek and encountered opposition protesters. I found my hotel room and showered the pepper spray off the best I could. Dressed in dry clothes and ventured to 7-11 a block away for milk to calm the pepper reaction in my eyes. Stayed in my hotel room for the remainder of my stay in DC. Drove out the next morning on Jan 7 and returned home to my normal life.
At home, I told people of my misadventure in DC. Seen myself on TV, sitting on the banister where I dropped. Didn’t think that I did anything wrong that day. Just a peaceful protester, protesting. Told the usual exaggerated fish stories full of rhetoric and embellishments. Continued with daily life, like always.
I believed any dynamics from any paradigm shift of events were not around me that day. Why should it?
I went, protested and then I went home.
Am I so naive to believe it was that simplistic? Umm, yes… Lots of people at the Ellipse, in one place, for the same protest. Lots of people in the same place thinking personal protective equipment was warranted. Construction hard hats and old baseball helmets, etc. Yep, head protection… media donning gas-masks. Huge amount of people knew to protect bodies yet a real insurrection would have very little discussions about PPE and a whole lot about actual real weapons. No, not like a protest but more like an insurrection of warlike proportions.
An actual insurrection would come complete with most everything required to overthrow the most powerful country in the world. Calling people deplorable and implying hundreds of thousands of people are idiots flies in the face of January 6, 2021 and reality. How is that little known fact diluted? Narrative perhaps? Could it have been only a peaceful protest with the dark cloud of 2020 to derive a false narrative? Nothing to see here, don’t mind the man behind the curtain.
Moving on. I went to work, paid my bills the best I could, smoked briskets and did a little hunting. Life seemed normal…
In the early morning hour of January 16, 2021 my wife and children awoke to the sound of explosions. At around 0600 hours, the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, SWAT and Texas State Troopers performed a predawn military style raid on me and my family. Rifles and handguns trained on my wife and children, including their friends who had been staying the night.
Confusion clouded my mind. Did they confuse me with something nefarious that happened that day? Did they somehow get me confused with the bombs I heard about on the news? Surely not possible. I was just a protester, protesting! There must be some logical mistake.
Questions I couldn’t answer, and then a ride with agents to a county jail. Quarantined for COVID, precautions? Didn’t receive my medications and I was denied them completely for multiple days.
After a period of days without cholesterol, hypertension and anxiety meds—note, these meds have been a daily regiment for over 12 years—I had the first seizure of my life. Six days from the day of my arrest, and denied very critical medication. Medication that unequivocally states not to quit abruptly for fear of seizures and possible death.
Subsequently, after violently vomiting, I sat on a bench in the cell a moment before becoming disoriented and then falling to the floor. The last thing I remembered was twisting to land on my back. When I woke, I was wearing a hospital gown in shackles and chains with armed guard’s both inside and outside the ICU door.
I was visited by doctors and nurses. Blood was taken so many times, I lost count. I wasn’t even allowed to leave the bed to relieve myself by either count. A bed pan for both bodily functions. I felt more for the orderlies than for my precarious situation.
My wife was neither notified of my conditions or location. She only knew I hadn’t contacted her which validated something precarious had taken place. I crashed to the floor at approximately 2am on that Friday and was released late afternoon on the following Monday. Nearly a full four days had passed since the seizure began.
Medical treatment consisting of blood monitoring and constant observation. Because my medications had been withheld during the most stressful time of my life, my potassium and sodium levels crashed. The levels plummeted to the point my body was forced to protect itself. I no longer had the ability to sustain life without assistance. Good job guys…
Who did I kill that warranted the attempt on my life? Oh wait, that would be nobody, shocking!
Spent 21 days in that hellhole of a jail before being transported to Grady County County Jail Oklahoma. Wow! what a shithole… The water comes complete with an oil sheen in every cup. Complain, they tell you “that’s how the local water looks” deal with it. Housed in a pod with up to 29 others. Met a bank robber and played chess with a murderer, yes a real a person who murdered. Dude killed his mother and set her body on fire. He beat me two out of the three games of chess. I guess that’s all part of the experience.
Met another who killed his father because he kept him and his brother as prisoners and the only way they could escape was to kill him. What in the AF!!! Had multiple confrontations over the phone, microwave and messaging kiosk. One phone for 30 people is asking for problems.
It was 31 days of pure hell until… the transport. Shackles and chains destination, CON-Air. Flew to varying locations before final destination and a subsequent 4 hour drive to DC. The US Marshals driver was speeding at 90+ mph and got pulled over by a sheriff. The knuckle bumped the Marshals and away we went. Shocked again? I didn’t think so.
Once at DC DOC, booked and locked in a cell 24 hours per day. After a couple days we got one hour per day to make phone calls home. 23/1 lockdown continued even after being moved into our final destination of C2B for more 23/1 lockdown. Arrived DC March 8th and after 53 days of incarceration, we got lockdown again 24 hours per day for 8 consecutive days. That was followed by 2 hours per day out-of-cell time. On June 24th, what they called pre-pandemic recreation schedule of 5 hours per day began and that was the extent of our daily so-called freedoms, until new variant lockdowns recommenced.
Little to no sunlight, piss poor nutrients lacking food and unbelievable costs for phones to call family. Very little social interactions if any due to COVID restrictions. No, absolutely, NO Barber services. My beard is now more than one inch longer than my middle finger. We had no access to the law library to understand what weapons had been formed against me. We have little to no religious services. We have to do what we can and ask God for help in our time of need. Had a disagreement with another and when I turned the corner, slipped in coffee. They claimed it was a fight but they didn’t see it so they made their own assumptions. Tossed in the hole for 35 days in violation of DOC policy 5300.1I of no more than 30 days without Wardens approval and without the key components of Disciplinary Report, Investigation and a Hearing. They made a bad judgement call and then they failed to investigate their mistake. Again, shocking!!! Due process violations much?
Those 35 days consisted of 23/1 lockdown again for the weekdays and 24 lockdown for the weekends. Handcuffed before leaving the cell and then escorted to the TV room or recreational area before removing the cuffs through the food tray door. I’ll never raise my voice to anyone again… who does this to people?
I’ve lost my freedom, lost my family and it appears I may potentially never see my only son again. My heart may never mend and that’s only the half of it. My wife and best friend is devastated beyond comprehension. Lost her husband, her only son, and with all that has happened she has lost her ability to sustain normal life. Can’t go to work due to how bad this has affected her. The love of my life is taking the full force of this attack, not just at me but at my entire family.
I love my wife and I love my children, all of them. Nothing can break my love for them, each and everyone of them. Please help them. They are struggling financially, emotionally, socially and mentally. They don’t deserve this struggle or the attacks. They certainly don’t deserve the death threats. People have chased my eldest daughter and intimidated her on many occasions. My youngest daughter has endured harassment from supposed friends and schoolmates. All my girls are suffering from anxiety and depression. They need help to understand and cope with the things that should never happen to an American citizen for exerting their right to peaceful protest.
I believe with all my heart that this country is the greatest on earth. I can say this with proper context. I have been to other countries. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jamaica, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei and the UK.
I can easily say they are nice in some ways and not nice in others but they can never hold a candle to The United States of America.
God Bless you and God Bless America,