The pre-pretrial conference
I had questions going into Monday’s pretrial conference: What are my odds of going to jail? How long is this bullshit going to take? Should I have shaved? Are they going to tattoo my alleged crime onto my back until I bleed to death? And what the hell is a pretrial conference?
I’ll try not to waste too much of the good readers’ time here because, like all my friends who said they’d come, my arresting officer didn’t bother to show up either. (The proceeding was postponed until August 25th.) More accurately, I don’t really have any friends. And Officer Donna Donovan was too stupid to find the right courtroom.
After Fallon dealt with my case, he tended to another client in a room across the hall, which is where we found Donovan wandering around, picking her ruminant nose and looking generally befuddled. She attempted to show Fallon an email on her phone, which proved that she’d been deceived into standing in the wrong room, for an entire hour. No matter that is was the wrong judge. And she wasn’t on the list. Buffalo Police cannot be expected to absorb every little detail of their surroundings.
She then went across the hall—eschewing any eye contact with me—to get her bit of paper signed. Cops get four hours on the clock, at time-and-a-half, for every court appearance. Just because she was too incompetent to make that appearance doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get paid.
So it was a big waste of time. Geoff Kelly, editor of the local alt-weekly Artvoice, showed up to report on my case. And I suspect there’ll be more media interest once we publish the mostly-recovered video. In a previous post, I speculated we’d have that done in a 48-hour period. That was a week ago. My bad. As it turns out, recovering deleted camera footage is a pain in the ass.
Everything’s been recovered, save for one crucial piece of footage. For reasons I don’t understand, the first bit of my arrest footage is truncated. The camera is pointing toward the ground and you can hear the sound of cuffs. I ask why she’s arresting me, and Donovan says, “It’s called ‘disorderly’.” I have to say that my video skills are often not orderly, so she has a point. Not really.
Anyway, the above stills are from when Donovan went after Bunting:
She flipped out and said, “I don’t want my picture taken. I don’t want my picture taken!” She then charged at Bunting, stomped on his foot and slapped the camera down from his face. She threatened to arrest him. Myself and a few others informed her that it’s not illegal to videotape her in public.
So there you go. BEAST scientists are still working hard to recover the footage from the first half of my arrest. Once we have it, or it’s clear that it is indeed lost forever, we’ll publish what video we have. I’ll not offer a presumptive timetable; it happens when it happens.
But some of my questions were answered: My odds of going to jail are not high, but very real; that bullshit took about an hour, which was spent waiting for the lost Officer Donovan; shaving was totally optional; and a pretrial conference is where the lawyers and the judge consider the charges, past offenses (none), and hammer out a deal. I will reject this deal, for I committed no crime.
I still don’t know about the tattoo, though.