My husband and I were returning home after spending a week in New York City where we were volunteering for Feast on Good, a conference sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
I was driving while my husband rested in the backseat—somewhere along the way, I decided to stop by my parents house in Statesville.
It was just about 10:30pm when I exited the interstate and was looking for my parents house when …
Statesville Incident/Investigation Report
Officer E.R. Cheek, ORI: NC0490200 OCA file no. 13-3559
On 10-19-2013, I was on patrol on E. Broad St. near Tradd St. traveling eastbound. When I stopped at the intersection of Broad St. and Tradd St. I could hear music emitting from the vehicle across from me on the opposite side of Broad St. facing west. The vehicle’s music was loud enough to be heard in my vehicle with my windows up, over my car radio. The vehicle continued to play its music in a loud manner while we both sat at the red light facing each other. When the traffic light turned green, the red in color Volkswagen (CAN-3487) began turning south on to Tradd St. In the middle of the intersection, I could see that the vehicle was not emitting any red tail lamps and still had the music loud enough for me to hear through my vehicle’s windows. I initiated a traffic stop for the noise ordinance violation (C.O. 14-72), and the failure to burn rear tail lamps. The vehicle pulled into the PVA of Family Video on E. Front St. (200 E. Front St.). I approached the vehicle from the driver side and saw that there was a male in the back right seat and that the front passenger seat was unoccupied. I asked the driver for her information and she advised it would be difficult to obtain. The driver, later identified as Angela Glass, seemed agitated at the back seat passenger, Philip Glass. I allowed her to go to her trunk to get her license. During the process of Glass attempting to retrieve her license, she asked why she needed it and began to get agitated that I pulled her over. I explained to her the two violations in which I pulled her for and she asked if loud music was a crime. I told her it was and if she cooperated and had a valid license I would issue a warning citation. Glass became irate and begun yelling in the in the parking lot of Family Video. Glass was arrested for the misdemeanor noise ordinance violation. When Glass was placed in handcuffs, she admitted to me that she had marijuana in her possession.
Based on search incident to arrest I called Officer Austin to the scene for a female search. Officer Austin located two small bags of marijuana in her gray sweat shirt pocket. I seized the marijuana and placed it into evidence at the PD. Glass was transported to the jail to be brought before a magistrate; at this point in our encounter I still have not identified Glass.
Upon arrival at ICJ, I was unable to locate Glass in NCAWARE of CJLEADS. I continuously try to acquire this information from Glass. Based on her responses, I was suspicious of Glass being a sovereign citizen. The magistrate at that time (Gaskins) also tried getting the basic information from Glass. Glass became irate with Gaskins and began yelling at her. Gaskins issued no bond and advised the jail to hold Glass as Jane Doe. Before escorting Glass to process, I asked Glass if she was in fact a sovereign citizen: she replied yes. In Processing area of ICJ, the jail staff had to physically restrain Glass in the immobilization chair, because Glass was combative. Statesville Police Officers never assisted jail staff in the use of force. The jail nurse rejected Glass and requested I get medical clearance from ICJ. Glass was transported to Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville and cleared by a doctor. Glass was transported back to ICJ where magistrate Gaskins was getting relieved by magistrate Imes. Gaskins informed me, that in my absence, she was able to obtain the legal name of glass from her husband, Philip Glass. Glass was charged with the noise ordinance violation, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Glass was given a secured bond of $5,000 set by magistrate Imes. Glass was given a court date of 12-18-2013.
“unlawfully and willfully did HAVE MUSIC AT UNNECESSARY LEVEL TO WHERE I COULD CLEARLY HEAR THE MUSIC FROM INSIDE OF THE DEFENDANT’S VEHILCE FROM ACROOS THE INTERSECTION OF BROAD ST AND TRADD ST”
Note the CAPS LOCK on the arrest report which emphasizes the proper order of events… He was upset because I couldn’t produce ID fast enough (it was in the car, my husband located it later — all I needed was a moment to figure out where my backpack and purse were) and thought I was one of these “sovereign citizens” and went from pulling me over as a “show” for the ride-along woman for a “warning” to threatening me to take me to jail (absurd, there was no premise or need, though I submitted to his will immediately) and then him adding the additional charge for “weed”.
- Three times he mentions my loud music, I never knew my music was bothering him and would have gladly turned it down had he asked. Later we learn the Statesville Noise Ordinance is unconstitutional.
- I was never identified: Cheek reports “I allowed her to go to her trunk to get her license”, this is misleading—He did not allow me to retrieve my license from the trunk, instead he stood continually threatening if I couldn’t produce proper identification he could—and would—arrest me. I asked him to give me a moment to retrieve it and upon again threatening arrest, I instead offered my wrists complacently. He put me in handcuffs. I was never given a Miranda warning, but I assume that being in handcuffs means that I was under arrest.
- I never ‘admitted’ that I had marijuana in my possession. Standing still at my open trunk, a female officer searched me, while he searched my car.
- They seized my medication. (I had clearly labeled SPARC packaging, not “two small bags”.)*
- The report claims “drug paraphernalia” but this is not true, and thus there is no evidence to support this claim.
In the beginning I was calm, I didn’t know why I was pulled over, but not a bother I thought, as I had done nothing wrong—at least not that anyone could tell. I just needed to tell the officer that my license was unfortunately in the trunk, so I’d have to get out of the car to get it from my backpack. Instead of just letting me get the license out of my backpack so he could give me a warning, he kept provoking me saying that if I didn’t produce identification then he could/would arrest me and take me to jail. He repeated this threat several times, distracting me from simply retrieving my license as he asked. Finally I stepped back and said, “Wait. Do you want me to get my license? If so you’re going to have to give me a moment to close my eyes and concentrate so I can retrieve it.” We were still standing in front of my open trunk which was full due to our being on a trip. He did not give me a moment, and at his next threat I offered my wrists, and Officer E.R. Cheek handcuffed me.
I was upset. I never knew you could be arrested for loud music in your car. I had no idea that my tail lights weren’t turned on, as the car’s interior and headlights were on. It was a mistake. I never admitted ‘having marijuana’ as he says, and I never had any drug paraphernalia.
I was never identified, and am not able to even be identified as Angela Glass. “Angela Glass” is my husband’s ex-wife, who incidentally also lives in North Carolina.
Officer Cheek in his conversation with multiple officers at the scene and later at the court house spoke of “sovereign citizens” which perpetuated his threats of arresting me. He thought he’d caught a “sovereign citizen”. In talking to the magistrate, he said he had never processed a sovereign citizen before. He was excited, and wanted to know if there were special forms.
Officer E.R. Cheek is careful to note “Statesville Police Officers never assisted jail staff in the use of force.” Actually, Sargent Gibson had no reason to rip my sweatshirt, and I told him that I expect him to make restitution when I heard the rip. (It is sentimental as it’s a memory, we were just married.)
The use of force only continued to escalate from absurd scene of cops swarming the parking lot to arrest me for a noise ordinance to the county jail.
Cheeky left me at the jailhouse when he was done checking me in.
Iredell County Jail
Officers Charles Luckey, Fletcher, Adams, (Hance, Campbell — these were the women), et al.
By the time he was done there was no hope of bail that night I was told, and at best maybe at 6am, although they laughed at me and said ‘good luck’ getting a judge on Sunday. I came in and there was a chair which looked just like the electric chair sitting in the middle of the entrance.
I was strapped in, and Officer Luckey was brutal. He pulled the wrist band so tight on my right hand that it was bulging and red. They ignored my requests to ease the pressure,… that is until I pointed out that my thumb was turning BLACK. The male nurse was standing by observing but obviously not going to get into the space of the authority of these smurfs.
When putting me in, Luckey said “put your head back” and I was dazed wondering what he meant as I was already strapped into the chair and my head was already back—he slammed my skull further back into the chair, and I felt woozy. It’s so sore that I cannot rest my head, and from the strained muscle the pain is down through the left side of my neck, shoulder and back.
My head was also hit when they threw me down onto the wooden bench. Was all this because Cheeky told them that I was “a sovereign”? At the time I had no idea, but tried to keep my panic down by singing and being as joyfully me as I could—I mean, the absurdity of the situation was unbelievable.
Remember, I was brought in for singing (noise ordinance) and having no tail lights. (Later I learn the jail doesn’t know what you’re in for.)
I was taken to change into the gray and purple striped jailbird jump suit.
First I had to be searched again. There was an older and a younger woman. The older woman was a beautiful ‘elderly’ woman with died auburn hair to cover what would have been beautiful silver hair, and the younger was the ‘bad ass’ been on the force for 10 years and tattooed kind. The older woman said to put my back to the wall, and the younger said to put my face to the wall. I hesitated and I was being yelled at by both women, and Luckey who was standing just outside the restroom. I stopped, stood firm and yelled myself: “I cannot obey two conflicting orders at once. Which is it? Who is the authority here?” I was thrown face first the wall, and the poor ‘grandma’s’ face to realize that she had caused this. She mouthed and pointed with her eyes to the other woman—she is the authority.
I was stripped of my clothes, showered and then left bleeding wearing just a jump suit. My request for underwear and a sanitary napkin were ignored. After singing (mostly Patsy Cline songs) in the beautiful acoustics of the isolation cell I was placed in, #145, they moved me from isolation into a windowed tiny square room looking into ‘the pit’ while they worked. It was there that I had a gush of blood release from inside me—trust me, I was trying to maintain feminine dignity as much as possible up to that point—and drain running down my leg. I had had it. I stripped off the soiled jumper, later I used it to wipe away additional vagina discharge from between my legs using it to clean up the mess.
Now I am naked in an open sight room, and angry. If you know me, you know that once I’ve had it, I’ve simply had it. I start bouncing up and down saying, “hey everybody, there’s a naked woman over here”. Officer Luckey was the worst. He stopped ignoring me to say “ain’t nobody want to see your nasty body.” Strangely enough I found that insulting. I didn’t want them to see my naked body either, but I’m not going to sit in clothing with menstrual fluid. I believed that a woman has a basic right, even when detained in jail, to sanitary conditions—which given my ‘time of the month’ would necessitate underwear and a pad, or at least a tampon if no underwear. I bounced around, waved my arms, begging for clean clothing, underwear and ‘a pad’. Though it was obvious that they could hear me, as I could hear them when they spoke with normal voices, and Officer Luckey clearly responded to my being naked, I was ignored.
I simply could not believe that a menstruating woman would be left with no means of protecting herself and those who would be in contact with her. My blood was smeared on the window (from my hand) and I was disgusted beyond belief (this is all recorded by the jail security cameras and can be witnessed if they will give up the footage which condemns them for public view).
Meanwhile strangely enough they put another female in the room with me. She was clothed in the same jumpsuit I had just stripped off. She was blonde, and introduced herself. She asked me what I was in for, and why I was naked. I explained the situation and told her that she shouldn’t be in the room with me, as the discharge smelled horrific (later the hospital found that I had contracted a bacterial infection while in the jail cell, prior to being moved to the small holding room where this took place) and it was unsanitary. I gestured at the fluid from my hands on the window and she looked horrified. I don’t know why they put her in the tiny room with me, she said she was brought in for meth, they had busted her lab. As inexplicably as she was brought in, she was taken out of the room.
A few minutes later the door is opened wide with no one in view, and I’m told to come out. As I come out I’m told to walk, and I do so. I imagine I’m being left untouched as I’m naked, and figure that I will now be given clothing, or transferred to the jail cell where I had been before.
I walk with all the calmness and dignity that I can muster. As I was walking I asked where I was to walk to, and someone said “the bench”. At that point I stopped and turned around as I had just passed the end of the bench.
I am surrounded by people and I see Luckey coming at me in the chaos, his face seething anger, as he wields a black canister with gold and red of pepper spray in his hand—snarling he thrust through the others and puts it three inches before my eyes spraying madly. Closing my eyes and covering my face, naked, I fall to my knees and prostrate myself in the corner next to the bench, begging for mercy and clothes. He sprayed it in my face directly in my eyes, and as I was on the ground continued so that my hair and back were coated in pepper spray. I felt the hands of two officers on me, as I was guided away as I could not breath nor function. My throat closed, I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t even stand up straight, nor open my eyes to see. It was the same pair who had searched me earlier prior to having me strip. Amazing what ill-conceived pre-conceived notions will do to a girl’s reputation and experience! To think how peaceably I’d offered my wrists to captivity at the whim of a cop who was bored on a ride-along night and just needed someone to pull over… and now here I am. I was told to shower and the shower was worse than the pepper spray, and I still could not see nor breath.
“The strength of police-issued pepper spray is stronger than what you can get as a civilian,” Kaminski said. “Foggers have particles that are fine. When you inhale, they will get into the lungs and irritate them [and] cause coughing. Streamers can still impact the lungs, but to a less significant degree.” According to a fact sheet from Vandenberg Air Force Base, pepper spray “causes instant pain and closing of the eyes caused by swelling of the eyelids.” If inhaled, the spray causes “swelling inside of the nose, mouth, sinuses and other mucus membranes.” Although the spray’s strength depends on the manufacturer, the Scientific American said that on the Scoville scale, which measures a pepper’s heat, pepper spray ranked hotter than the cayenne and the habanero. — What to Do If You Get Pepper Sprayed, ABC News Medical Unit
“Hot water will open pores in the skin and increase the reaction.” There was no cool water, and the shower was excruciatingly painful. I was being hurried and shushed by the women who wanted to contain me so as not to provoke further anger from the hostile men outside. I groped and struggled to compile with their instructions. Finally being able to open my eyes about the same moment the pepper water started searing my vagina. I had red blotches of burned skin in patches around my body marking the path of the stream down my flesh. I didn’t know then that the water was part of the problem, only later when I got home. I had to shower again later as the pepper remained in my hair and my incessant pleas for help were finally acknowledged as being likely valid and not just what I assume they believed to be ‘attention seeking’. My ear was in so much pain from having no relief from the spray. I wept and gasped trying to breath through the tiny opening my throat. I was searing hot and shivering cold at the same time. I was already in shock from the stress of the strange event prior to this, now I was fighting to keep my body from going under, to maintain control and — for some reason, I kept thinking about — dignity. I was put in a strange wrap which looked like a moving pad turned into a straight jacket. The ladies fashioned underwear for me out of a massive brown pair of granny panties. They had to knot both sides to made them work, you’ll see in the photo below a comparison of my size to what I was given to wear, yet I was grateful.
My family was given conflicting information which kept me detained. My husband reports he was told to go home, because he waited outside but they said that he couldn’t do anything until 6am. Apparently that’s a lie. I could have been bailed out immediately. Dejected, and without recourse, he went home and after arriving an hour later he receives a call from Cheeky. Cheeky tells him that I could be released as soon as he has bail. Exhausted my husband sleeps. He knows not of what is happening to me. I have no communication to know anything at all of the outside. I just know that my family doesn’t have $5,000 to bail me out, and that Sunday isn’t an easy day to address justice.
I begged for my ‘one phone call’, and was left waiting for hours.
They had marked me as a ‘psychiatric’ case and I am denied use of utensils to eat, “finger food” it was marked. However “finger food” just means no utensils and every item was a mess. Sauce, beans in sauce, apple sauce, peas, carrots, etc. I received breakfast and I honestly couldn’t eat because of the pepper spray reaction having closed my throat. I was so hungry and weak, but there was nothing I could do. The next meal came at lunch and wasn’t on a tray—I guess the tray was a mistake for this time it’s in a take out box. As I’m handed the box it splits under its weight and the meat, something of a gray patty of beef-ish looking stuff tumbles to the floor where it takes up residence next to the wafting piles of pubic hair which have been drifting about the floor like tumbleweed. I was told there are no replacements. That’s that. I do my best to eat the rice and the carrots that I have using the cap from the small styrofoam cup of liquid they gave me. When he came back to get the tray that guy was nice and commented on the cleverness, and wondered aloud why they would serve such food for ‘finger food’.
Many hours later, the last meal I got I finally was able to have protein and it was another strange color patty, something like sausage, between two pieces of warm soft white bread. Honestly, I was so grateful I cried.
I had been struggling with my blood sugar all day, not having had dinner prior to arriving in this hellish nightmare. I couldn’t identify anything else on the plate and left it.
I was denied medical treatment — I told them I was having problems—blood sugar, shock waves, breathing, high blood pressure and an alternating rapid heartbeat—that I had medication specifically for breathing (which they had confiscated) and that I was having an allergic reaction to the pepper spray which may or may not have affect the heart rate / blood pressure issues.
This is on top of the pepper spray going into my eye with an popped blood vessel.
Officer Luckey had threatened that I couldn’t even have a shower. [That man should not be on the force, and it seems certain he’s abusive to others. Instead of giving me proper clothing, he harassed me with comments about my body. He treated me like a petulant child, and had had the audacity to tell me that I could “trust him” on first encountering each other. I looked him in the eyes and had believed him. Because I believed him, and because he proved himself to be the worst of the aggressors, I am here writing out this story.]
I asked multiple times in the last six hours to have my blood pressure checked but no one ever came again.
I asked for appropriate food to manage my blood sugar, and was given blank looks each time. Apparently they’ve not heard of “diabetes” (Patterson).
Through out the 20-24 hours of the ordeal my skin was searing in pain from the pepper spray. Shock rolled through my body in waves, the waves eventually getting further apart and the pepper dissipating a bit. I felt so bad for the ladies who were caught in the spray with me, and for their discomfort. The pain would get so bad I couldn’t sleep. The lights never went out, and there was ruckus at all times.
I tried to keep quiet, but found myself howling in pain and begged for assistance again. That was the next shower. That one was worse than the first. I gave up. I went back to my cell with wet hair and continued to freeze. You might as well imagine that I was wearing a furniture wrapping (for moving) as a dress. (I later learn this is called a “suicide gown”.) Nothing to cover my legs nor feet, nor my wet head. No sheets, no blanket, no toilet paper.
I was told if I was “good” then I might be given a blanket that night at 10:30pm. I prayed that I would not be there to find out.
Hance, the woman I came to be comforted by, came to get me and I tried not to be hopeful. I knew that “he” was close so she wasn’t speaking. She ordered me through the door where Luckey stood, and I told her “you know that you will have to guide me past that man”. There was no way I was going to walk through that door with him standing aside it, it felt a trap. She was kind and kept her hand to my back, something I had told her earlier gave me a feeling of security and comfort.
There was my husband and mother. They could get me bail in five hours—my parents were putting their house up for it—or I could see the judge the next morning. I chose the judge. Again, I was persuaded to be released as soon as possible. I wonder if that judge could have simply dropped all charges and done something—I was willing to wait. I told them they could choose either, I wouldn’t know until it happened. I was told I had to go, and I finished by telling them of all the abuse at the hands of Luckey.
I was told I was not allowed to show them the marks on my skin, having been caught on camera starting to lift the absurd wrap up. Those burns are not visible anymore.
I went back to my cell, finally having hope. I had no idea what was going on in the outside world, and there is no concept of time when the lights never change and there is no clock. I knew that it was either 12 hours or as little as 5.
My hands and feet continued in searing pain, my vagina had found relief, and I tried to sleep.
When Hance came to walk me out I felt happy and smiled. I told them all goodbye, and Luckey smirked thinking he was off the hook, I guess. He said have a lucky day, and I turned back to him.
“I don’t believe in luck. It’s for the godless. I don’t need it. I am blessed. — Good ‘luck’, Luckey.”
The irony of the situation is that I walk out barefoot. Officer Cheek was to bring my shoes on arresting me, I asked for the pair of leather Lucky’s. He forgot, though he promised. That’s when I started getting “cheeky” with him, and making friends… I didn’t need luck anymore than I needed those shoes. I hope that we will have access to all the recordings — there was a ‘family video’ that E. Cheek referred to, besides all the video of their brutality in the jail.
I don’t mind the whole world seeing my naked body — I want you to see the truth.
I wasn’t treated like a human, every answer I gave was treated as lie.
My blood pressure was erratic and crazed, yet the female nurse continued to just simply believe that I was on ‘some kind of pills’. Her face read fear and to say she was concerned for my health would be an understatement.
Yet, I could not get medical attention. The hospital that checked me out should never have let me go.
They missed the exploded blood vessel, but noted the extremely high blood pressure and let it go anyway sending me back to abuse I’d never imagine.
* Later he adds “marijuana and drug paraphernalia”—he did not properly record the clearly labeled SPARC packaging, nor mentions that it was packed with the herb lavender. There was no drug paraphernalia, and this charge later seemingly disappeared from the case.