Thursday, April 8, 2010
"VEGAS UNWRAPPED SOUND OFF"
Have you ever been arrested? Have you ever been held in a holding cell awaiting to be booked for a crime?
Then let me assume by your answer that if you were to be asked what is like to be in one of those holding cells, using legal jargon, it would be hearsay on your part, correct?
OK, what I'm about to sound off actually happened to me, Ricky Cash, this past Thursday in North Las Vegas Municipal Court. Now, I have to do this disclaimer. After consulting with my attorney and him knowing my part in this show, ( VEGAS UNWRAPPED) on www.lvrocks.com, he advised me not to talk about the particulars of my case since it is still ongoing, but, if I had anything to report to my listeners about anything else that occurred while I was there then I should blast away, especially after I told him the story.
So hear goes:
I went to court to resolve a matter that happened to me about 6 months ago. There was a disturbance and I was summons to appear in court as the defendant . I arrived at 2:00PM accompanied by my much better half and regular “VEGAS UNWRAPPED” listener and contributor to our shows chat room, Kami.
We sat in awe listening to a Judge whom I will not name now, perhaps at a later date, but for what it's worth, the best way to describe him and his methods was like a NAZI GESTAPO OFFICER. Now remember folks, I'm no judge, but I have some understanding of the law not because I watch Law and Order regularly, but because Kami is a certified Paralegal and we have spent hours and hours in discussions about every type of case imaginable.
So here we are and “Your Honor” is sentencing people for jay walking, expired car registrations, failure to register a vehicle in Nevada, failure to report to court, noise disturbances with dogs, and a variety of other really hard criminal offenses like these to:
Are you ready for this?
180 days in jail with bails ranging from a $1,000 to $10,000 and in some cases only full cash bail, which means no bail bondsmen who gets you out with 15%, and are you ready ? No Bail which on Law and Order is called remand. Are you Friggin kidding me?
Wait my friends it gets worse.
My name is called and the judge says to me what is your plea?. Now you have 3 options. Guilty, not guilty, and no contest. No contest seems to be the right choice for me but here's where I made my first and perhaps biggest mistake of my life. I didn't discuss this with an attorney because I had none, simply because I thought this could be resolved rather easily.
So, I said “no contest and will the court please oblige me with an explanation?” He said, “sure but before I hear that, first tell me did you do this and this and this and this etc? “ Knowing I was going to get to explain it I said “YES!.” He then says before I get another word out, “Your going to Jail next case.”
I said “What? “ And in my absolute very best Robert DeNiro I said “Are you takin to me?” He said, “Marshall cuff this man, take him out of my court and put him in a holding cell until next Friday April 9th and he can post a $4200 bail.”
I was stunned, Kami was hysterical and all I could think of is great, I'm finally going to meet Bubba and my ass tightened so much I thought it was shut for good.
So from court, about 12 of us were herded like cattle to the Holding Area next door, all of us dangerous criminals, and all I can say at this point is to tell all our listeners here in Vegas and for those of you who plan to to come here, “don't, I repeat don't my most pleading terms do not even think of breaking any law no matter how stupid they may appear to be at all in the township of North Las Vegas or you will be sent to this horrid place for God knows how long”.
After about maybe 20 minutes of initial processing still cuffed with our hands behind our backs I was put into a room about 20 by 50 feet which should accommodate about 10 people with one open open toilet area. You could walk around a bit, exercise, sit on an aluminum seat bench or on the concrete floor.
The problem was when I got there there were already about 50 people in this room. Now remember these “prisoners” were not murders, rapists, child molesters or hardened criminals. In fact if I did a survey of every person in there and in thet wo days I was there I did speak to most of them there were probably, maybe one or two at the most who were repeating felons who committed these and more serious crimes. The rest of us were all about misdemeanors.
Now here's the process. If you posted bail at the court, from the time the money goes from the payment area to the jail and they process you out after taking a 5 minute medical, a 10 minute interview, a 10 minute fingerprinting , and maybe in about a ½ hour or 45 minutes total you should have been in there no longer than maybe 3 hours total at he most.
NO, not by a long stretch. The average wait in the holding area is anywhere from 48 hours to as much as 5, yes 5 days that is right friends 5 days in that confined area with one toilet, no soap, no showers, nothing but the clothes on your back in a room where the temperature is set at 50 degrees. There was never, not even one time where anybody came in the place to wash a floor, spray a disinfectant or anything like that. They served the same meal three times a day, one slice of bologna and one slice of cheese on two slices of stale wheat bread along with a cookie a small bag of chips and a drink which seemed very close to Jim Jones' Jonestown Kool Aid.
Think about it 5 days, 15 meals the same exact thing. After the first of these meals I was trading the sandwich and the drink for cookies and chips.
These are the most deplorable conditions you could imagine from such a place. They literally treated me and the rest of these people like animals and to think that a vast majority were experiencing this like me for the first time was incredible.
I did my best and tried to talk to all the inmates. My message was the same if they were 18 or 50. I told them not to ever be here at my age. They have choices in this world and the decisions they make will determine the consequences they will receive. After 2 days of this the brothers gave me a new name. Friends you want to guess what it was?
It was “OG”, which does not stand for Old Guy. It stands for Original Gangster. Isn't that special!
In closing let me say two things. First I am certainly not defending people who break the law on any level and people do have to take responsibility for their own actions which I was perfectly ready to do, but to be treated this way in these conditions was absolutely unreasonable. And second somebody perhaps one of the TV stations or the RJ or somebody must get inside and expose these conditions so the public can see just what kind of justice they are paying for.
For me personally, I am not finished with this outburst by a long shot. I am out of steam.