by Brian A. Wilkins
For a total of about six days, I felt about as “normal” as I possibly can since being taken and held hostage by the Tempe Police and Maricopa County from July 22 – September 17. For the second time in eight months, I landed the highest-paying job I’d ever had, on March 5 at a mortgage company. I had to temper my happiness and excitement about getting started, as I had a feeling the U.S. justice system, Tempe Police, and Maricopa County would take this job, as they did the other highest-paying job I ever had, and a couple other jobs since being released from captivity, away from me. I was as upfront as possible with the employment agency that got me the job, regarding the malicious arrest and charges by Tempe, being held hostage by Maricopa County, and ultimately having a sentencing on March 30 for a plea agreement since Maricopa County basically denied me a trial (more on that in the near future). These facts did not deter the staffing agency, which informed me I had been selected by the mortgage origination company for employment.
It was difficult – being homeless, broke, and long unemployed – to even get myself into position to land a job like this. What made it possible was all the good friends and supporters I honestly didn’t know I had until after this adversity struck. I told very few people about landing the job, as I knew it would likely be short-lived. But nobody in my circle of support wanted to hear that. “Don’t say things like that! You have to think positive,” said one good friend of mine. “Man, you keep getting blessings. Someone is looking out for you,” another good friend said.
Monday, March 9 was my first day at work and I must say it was great. I wore a maroon shirt, tie, and black pants, and felt ready to learn all the systems and processes of the company. All the trainees were told to go home after about an hour because the systems we needed were malfunctioning, but we were all still paid for eight hours. Tuesday, March 10 was my second day of work, my 34th birthday, and my last day of work. About an hour into the second day, a woman came to the door of the training room and asked, “is there anyone by the last name of Wilkins in here?” I knew what was about to happen, as I’d been through this a couple times already since September 17. “The company can’t keep you because you have a pending court date,” the woman from the staffing agency said. I guess this was better than “you’re a convicted felon” or “you’re charged with violent crimes,” as I’d heard from two previous potential employers. The results, however, are the same. And like the other times, all I could do is briefly chuckle.
I sat in my car (or my home if you will) for at least four hours, just staring at nothing after hearing the news. It was likely the most gratifying birthday present for Maricopa County and Tempe police to have given me. Somewhere, Tempe cops are laughing as they read this, while thinking “yeah nigger, we control your black ass.” Maricopa County and its cronies are doing the same. I hadn’t planned on doing much for my 34th birthday anyway. I had already gotten my present a week earlier by landing this job. The remainder of my birthday was, predictably, not fun.
In this economy, it is a blessing for anyone to be able to get (and keep)a job not only suitable for their educational level, but also their experience level. Since July, as the economy went from bad to really bad now, I’ve landed three jobs with high wages and good benefits, only to see each of them taken away from me by Tempe and Maricopa County. The Maricopa probation people, after the March 2 hearing, tried to persuade me to get a job mopping their floors or primping their neighbor’s front yard. This would be the full return to slavery they want, which I will not allow to happen. I’d rather die, as I told them.
In the meantime, I just experienced the worst birthday of my life. The literal and figurative empty feeling in my stomach lasted the entire day and is still going today. There is no way to move on from this ordeal because it is continual. The only way to repair the damage the people of these Confederate government municipalities and departments have done is through U.S. courts. Tempe now has 8 days to settle the Notice of Claim served on them in January before the case is moved to the federal courts. And a notice will be served on Maricopa County in the very near future.
Happy Birthday to me! Realistically, with the summer months coming up (110 degree naps in a car), paired with being homeless and hungry, or Tempe cops murdering me, or Maricopa County trying (and failing) to take me hostage again on March 30, this will likely be the last birthday I’ll “celebrate.” But I’ll die trying to make my little mark in this cruel world and helping others who are victims of this 1800s-style malice. Plus if birthdays are going to be like this, I’d rather not have them anyway.
RELATED: 55 Days In Maricopa County Jail blog entries.