Police Brutality and Mental Health – PART 3
I’ve written two articles already on policing and mental health. The impact of this particular episode still hasn’t quite sunk in. Bang out of order is obviously one of my judgements. Equally, writing this blog, just knowing firsthand exactly what the British police are capable of, means that my life is in potential danger as something equally as bad or worse could quite easily happen at any time.
I was just reading a fellow DJ’s Facebook about returning home to a key UK airport to see heavily armed police officers ‘greeting’ people as they got off the plane. OK. We may be on whatever alert, but I do passionately disagree with the arming of the police. Unless laws are passed for the general public to have the right to bear arms, it is unfair to arm a civilian force. Army and other military services, by all means, weapons are a necessity. But not the police. They do not have responsible enough a mentality to be given the easy power over life and death that a trigger brings. I speak from experience.
If you actually ever look at the mental health act, when you are admitted to a hospital or sectioned, you are supposed to go through a process of assessment. There are balances and checks in place. I do believe that the process is unfair as it stands. However, over the years the mental health system has been opening up to allow the police more and more involvement and they more or less have a free reign today. The ‘Place Of Safety’ in the legislation allows them to use their premises as mental hospital holding cells. As soon as I heard of the police being armed with tasers I was against the idea. I don’t believe that any form of weapon can be safely deemed as providing non-lethal force, in particular a ballistic weapon. it is no surprise to me that there are so many deaths caused by tasers.
I was spending the evening in my home studio, making music. I use Ableton and have various MIDI instruments that plug into it. I was having a quiet jam on my keyboard and laying down the foundations of a new tune. It’s quite a creative process, making music and is very tranquil and relaxing as a producer, although repetitively listening to the same beat patterns as you build up a track from scratch can be frustrating for other people to listen to. My missus has to put up with a lot of this. On that particular evening, she decided to pop out to see her friend down the road. Nicola went and I carried on making music. I powered down the studio for a while and went out to the kitchen to grab a bite to eat. I was in my dressing gown, as I often am at home. As I returned from the kitchen into my living room, all of a sudden I felt a jolt and these wires seemed to be coming out of nowhere at me. I looked down and I had some sharp metallic objects in my heart, with cables attached that were whirling around and heading for me. I immediately, AND I MEAN IMMEDIATELY, ripped at my chest to remove these objects. The wires came flying out and scattered away, off to my left. I had thought I was alone in the flat. I couldn’t get these metal rods out of my chest. Suddenly there was a clatter at the front door as it was being forced open. I ran over to the door, opened it quickly as the intruders were trying to break in and strongly slammed it shut on the intruders and double locked it. They couldn’t get in.
I still had the metal in my chest and wanted it out. It was in my heart, two tiny rods of aluminium-looking, man-made material, with bits of plastic and other junk attached. I knew who the intruders were now, as obviously, I had seen them when I shut the door. It was the police. They now had a battering ram to the door and were attempting to force it; yet couldn’t. They couldn’t muster the strength. There was a hell of a noise coming from them. Lots of shouting and panic. I was alone in my home and I have to say, was truly scared. This was a life or death situation. I took and air rifle pellet in my backside as a kid but this was the first time I had been shot with a gun. I finally just ripped at the metal and they were barbed, fish-hook like prongs that were retaining the rods in my chest. They were almost impossible to remove. I realised that it was a taser that had been fired at me and was thanking my lucky stars that I had managed to rip the wires out prior to the post-impact electric shock being discharged. The idiots had not only randomly shot an unarmed man, minding his own business, in his own home, but they had also misfired their own weapon. I didn’t have any weapons in my home to defend myself and was left to the mercy of what happened when they eventually got in. Alone, with no witnesses, the panic set in. I had removed the metal as best I could and realised that I wasn’t going to die from the first shot. Blood was gushing out of the open wound and it bloody well stung, like never before. It’s a truly horrible feeling, reminded me of how you feel inside your body, under the cosh of the biological weapons they use in mental health treatment. It’s just that this was exterior, on the body, and not inside.
I decided that I needed to inform the public in order to protect myself. I was still trying to figure out how they had shot the weapon. They weren’t inside the house. Either they had fired through the open front window or had fired through the letter box. Either way, there was no warning, either in human voice or any noise at all. I knew they had tried to assassinate me and I just didn’t want to be a random statistic of police murder. I looked out the front room window and, there was, I’d estimate, about 50 or so police officers. All in uniform, milling around. I screamed at the top of my lungs: “HELP!!!” “I’ve Been Shot!” – I felt that I had to let people know. In a life or death situation you have tremendous power in your voice. Despite having a serious traumatic injury to my chest, I shouted louder than I’d ever shouted before. I decided that I would scream the neighbourhood, the whole town, down. I thought of every person I knew nearby, and others in the locality further afield. I was even screaming to friends far away in London, lest my voice should carry as far as it seemed to be able to. Members of the public started to gather and the police were sort of shepherding them around and trying to clear the vicinity. I knew they were up for another pop at me that night. Someone suggested that I jump out of the window but I didn’t really fancy flying out of the flats into a bunch of armed police for obvious safety reasons. There were witnesses now to me being alive. I decided to go off to my bedroom and try to relax in bed. They were still bashing hell out of the door and it would give at any moment. I felt that even the most heartless copper ain’t just going to shoot an unarmed man, naked in his own bed, in cold blood. I lay in bed, pretty sure that my time on this planet was coming to a close. I heard the front door give and was just hoping that the duvet would protect against any further taser shots. I’ve taken a full mains electric shock before, whilst setting up DJ equipment, and electric shocks are not pleasant. Your heart has a weakness after one full shock and is never quite the same.
It took ages for them to open the bedroom door after entering the building. I could hear loads of noise. Movement of people. Suddenly a plastic shield came through the door and hordes of riot police stormed into my bedroom, their shiny metal helmets peaking above the heavy-duty reinforced, hardened plastic riot shields. I’d never been in a riot or demonstration so had only ever seen riot police on TV or in photographs or internet videos. They surrounded the bed with their shields protecting them completely. I was just glad that they hadn’t shot me and I couldn’t see any weapons. I just stayed calm and quiet and then about 8 of them just dived on me, riots shields down, and were trying to squash / suffocate me. They just bounced off me really and it was a non-effective whatever-it-was-supposed-to-be. They all seemed pretty much in a right panic. Eventually, one broke the silence and I realised he was Scottish.
I said ‘Hi, Are you Scottish?’
He said ‘Yes’
I said ‘Where are you from’.
He said ‘Glasgow’
I said ‘Ah, you’ve come a long way.’ Do you support Rangers or Celtic?’
He said, rather proudly, ‘Rangers’
Being a Liverpool fan, there are a lot of links between Rangers and Celtic and our club. I just started having a conversation with this guy from out of town as his mates continued to act silly with their weapons etc. I have to be fair to this guy. He did look a bit shocked and disillusioned with the whole situation.
Someone else took command as they did some sort of hold on me and started lifting me out of bed. They have manoevres, these riot police and I was surrounded by large plastic shields at all times. As I was naked they decided it was appropriate to get me dressed. It’s a surreal experience, I can tell you. Watching a bunch of armed, grown men with plastic shields and helmets and sparkly badges with ‘police’ on, fish around your bedroom, while you’re naked, boxed in by plastic, with blood pissing out of your chest from a misfired taser. I explained to the guy, that the Bermuda Shorts he dug out of my drawer. just didn’t fit me. I hadn’t worn them since I was about 12. I was trying to help the situation. stay calm, release the pressure. Talk to a copper on duty though and they think you’re trying to be smart. They got heavy handed and were forcing me into the shorts. In the end, as we had now shuffled into my living room, a couple of them realised that the shorts just weren’t going on and it wasn’t the best thing to do to a man in his own home, forcibly dress him into child’s clothes. I just kept saying softly, ‘just let me put the shorts on’ They were petrified and trying to cover up what was obviously quite an extreme incident. Someone managed to fetch another pair of shorts from back in the bedroom. I was getting frustrated because they were in my living room causing havoc. They broke my computer system, my studio monitor speakers and ripped all my wiring out. Just out-and-out criminal vandals. I cannot believe how inhumane these people are. Eventually I had a pair of surf shorts on. It was a freezing cold night. I was bleeding, been shot in the chest, attacked by riot police and now I was to be dragged into the middle of my neighbourhood in the dead of night in a pair of surf shorts. Not very practical, Mr Policeman, really? Simple health training. Normally when someone is shot, first aid is applied, especially if the weapon has, perhaps, misfired? They seemed more keen on removing the remnants of the taser in my front room than anything else. Bloody wires everywhere.
If their idea of helping a shot human is to help him get dressed in his old shorts, then they really need to go back to the drawing board. Emergency services? it’s no wonder we have so many bloody disasters in this country. They are incompetent. It’s just inappropriate. How are this lot supposed to deal with an actual riot where the people are actually committed to achieving their aims? They don’t even understand how to get dressed? I can just picture police across the country waking up every morning for mummy to slip on their pants for them and help them get to the potty toilet. They couldn’t blow out a candle with a fire extinguisher: the idiots!
Outside the property, and there were lots of people. The fear for my life hadn’t quite dissipated. Obviously, when you are being kidnapped after being shot, the fear doesn’t erode at all really. Until I get home to my bedroom after the whole charade, however much time it takes, everything is by force, and everyone can be regarded as an unnatural encounter.
Back of the van. I just zoned out in the van. The pain in my heart was great and I know that I was at risk of heart failure. I was not aware of any rulebook to guide you from, when you are shot. It doesn’t help that you aren’t getting immediate medical assistance and I will be eternally grateful to the police for that. Handcuffed (incidentally they went on back in the bedroom – yet still they had to crush me with the riot shields), I was banged into the back of a van. A long time to get going as they were doing their ‘hush, hush, nice police in front of the public operation’ to ease the crowded streets into believing that they were somehow doing some form of fitful employment and public service.
By the time we reached our destination, I just felt like it would be safer to feign unconsciousness and just to fall out of the back of the van when the doors opened, just in case there were any surprises awaiting. It’s a complete bastard, having an open chest wound with shrapnel remnants in it and being handcuffed behind your back, unable to tend to your own wounds. We were at the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport and I was wheel-chaired in to a new little corner of it, shall we say ‘the police’s special room’. The Royal Gwent is a good hospital and I’ve had top notch treatment there over the years. All the time. Except on this occasion. In ‘police corner’ you get junior nurses who do not understand how to use expensive heart monitoring equipment. You get crazed coppers running the whole show. I do not believe that I met a trained doctor throughout the whole incident. It was like some sort of twisted perverted medical saga. They seemed to be getting some sort of thrill by pretending that they were actual nurses. There were two male police officers, quite young, probably the same age as myself, maybe a little younger. One of them was quiet and didn’t speak. the other just kept repeatedly, in a sort of spaced out drone-like mantra, saying. ‘Hi Wesley, I’m your friend!’ He repeated it about 300 times that night. I might have possibly seen the guy once before on a police mental hospital kidnap operation, But i have never spoken to him at all in my life. Never once met him. I don’t know who the hell he is. He’s not my friend. Talk about stalkers! I’m repeatedly asking him to un-cuff me so that I can get medical attention and at the very least tend to myself. I just thought this guys is just so unbelievably sick that I don’t know how I am going to every have faith in the human species again. They were just sort of mincing around, waiting for me to die, in some way of ‘natural causes’. I was detained at this hospital for seemingly forever. then i got bundled back in the van. no medical care at all. Nor medical staff to explain anything and i was just being rotated around by two clueless policemen in full uniform with handcuffs on and some gaping wounds which by now and ceased oozing of their own accord.
It was the short journey to their gaff now. At this stage I was just hoping they’d take me to St. Cadocs’. Whereas, at St. Cad’s there are plenty of ex-police officers on the nursing staff, at least they don’t parade around in uniform and I actually know some of the nursing staff quite well, enough to have a sensible occasional human-to-human conversation.
Back in ‘police world’ I was escorted into Newport Central and, finally, the cuffs were removed. I just couldn’t believe I was alive. My body was numb with shock and I had shooting pains in every direction. I felt never more in need of a medic in my entire life. I was put in a cell with no camera and weirdly they left the door open. The same two police stayed outside the cell all night and I was just walking back and for, in and out of the cell, trying to speak to them, as when they are on their own turf they settle right down and are far less weird than in public. I just tried persuading them to just call it a day and take me home to my missus who used to be a nurse and we could all forget about the little incident earlier. Obviously police don’t quite grasp the reality or the impact they have on people and it was a no-go zone.
I knew I wasn’t getting medical attention and it is imperative that you somehow calm down. I eventually got an hour of snooze on the cell bench. I wasn’t keen on having an open door as I slept,. Especially with two police outside. After all that had occurred. But, survival is survival, I guess.
Next day, transfer to Beechwood secure ward, St. Cadoc’s Hospital, Caerleon. And this is the point where I object, based on what has come to light to me in the past month. I am handed over by the police to a police-employed forensic psychiatrist who will treat me for mental illness against my consent for an indeterminable period. Dr Darryl Watts (see full details here… ) sectioned me under the mental health act immediately. I had zero physical medical attention for my injuries., this man is a convicted felon. Now it’s all very well me banging on about his child sex convictions. I am not a child and we live in a world where there are paedophiles. Deal with it. What alarms me is, that, when you read the articles about his sick habits in the papers, it isn’t just child porn he fetishes about. He is into extreme violence and some weird conspiracy sort of nonsense. He is a dangerous man, who is unreformed as he has never served any time and been punished for his convictions. He does not understand remorse and is a danger to society.. A long time after this whole escapade, I was told off the record by an off-duty policeman, in the knowing loop, that Dr Darryl Watts had ordered the whole taser operation on me.
To see these police charge into my home, rip my life apart another time, attempt to murder me and realise they are all doing it on the orders and advice of a 30 hour a week child porn addict….. Where indeed does this place the British legal system? Yes, Watts won several hearings again this time in Mental Health Review Tribunal Courts. What sort of world is it that I can be judged ill in the head when these people are just not natural at all, nor human?
A long time has passed since then and I’m recovering from the scars. I still wonder the trajectory of the weapon. I’d love to come face to face with whoever pulled the trigger. See what sort of person that they actually are. Not that I’ll ever know.
On a quiet note, just to bring some rationale back, to myself as much as anything…. I can remember when I was taught how to use firearms. On a farm in New Zealand, my mother’s family farm, out in the country, outside Wanganui: My Uncle Johnny took me out hunting. He taught me how to use a shotgun and I took a rabbit – they are pests on the farmland in NZ. It’s a dark feeling post-trigger, and seeing an animal die in front of your eyes is a sight to behold. Shortly after taking kill I was back, aiming. I had a lovely pretty bird, way up in the tops of the trees in the telescopic sight. My Uncle just checked to see what I was aiming at. He asked me softly and i described the bird – its bright plumage, green and beautiful;. He said, ‘Stop Wez’ – ‘don’t fire!’. I had half slipped the trigger and it was on the point of a shot. i relaxed my finger and asked him “why?”‘ “oh, that’s a native pigeon and they are protected birds under Maori law and it is illegal to kill them. You’ll get into trouble if you shoot that one.” I learnt the difference between a fluffy rabbit and a native pigeon and it was a wonderful day. The farm cats feasted on the rabbit and i got to keep its tail.
Guns are dangerous, people, and the police should not be carrying them, certainly not for medical purposes.