Friday, July 29, 2011
The Arrest (part 3)
Twenty days after our arrest, June 22, 1995, Sarah and I were flown to the New Orleans International Airport escorted by five detectives from the parish where the shootings happened. During the flight I overheard them saying they might need to put bulletproof vests on us “just in case.” I had expected some reporters, but the possibility of someone actually trying to shoot us had never crossed my mind. Needless to say, I was very apprehensive about arriving in Louisianan.
We landed in New Orleans later in the afternoon. Neither Sarah nor I were given the vests, and I wasn't sure if that was a good sign or not. The section of the airport we entered at was completely empty. We had been taken to a different entrance than the other passengers, so it was just the detectives and the two of us walking the desolate hallway. At the door, we were met by more cops and plainclothes detectives. I noticed the tension in the air and the feeling they were all getting ready for something. They boxed Sarah and I in separately, and we started down a long, vacant hallway. As soon as we turned a corner, I understood what they had readied themselves for. In front of us was a wall of reporters.
I couldn't believe there were so many people waiting for us. Apparently, we were big news in Louisiana as well. There were even tourists mixed among the reporters snapping picture as well. Most likely, they had mistakenly thought a celebrity would be coming through the terminal when they saw all the television reporters waiting. As if on cue, they all surged towards us. A wave of reporters crashed against us and the chaos erupted. Everywhere I looked there was a camera stuck in my face and questions shouted at me. I looked over at Sarah and noticed she had started crying. The reporters were asking her questions like, “How does it feel to shoot somebody’s mother?” just trying to get a reaction out of her. The detectives slowly plowed through the mass of people and made their way through the airport.
Outside, at the front of the airport, we were placed in separate cars and sped away. The local television vans followed inches behind, it seemed, from our bumper. I couldn't believe how hard they were pursuing us, and worried what the reception at the jail would be like.I was driven to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail at Amite, Louisiana. On the way there, the car I was in got tied up in traffic, and I lost sight of the car Sarah was in. By the time I reached the jail, she had already been booked in; and, after a few minutes of waiting, I was led to a dorm. The dorms were open area with no individual cells like you would see on TV. Each dorm housed 16 inmates each. I was given sheets and a blanket and some other personal hygiene products and led inside. I made up my bed and went to sleep. Just as I was about to drift off, I saw Sarah and myself walking through the airport on the television attached to the dorm’s wall. I closed my eye wishing it was all just a dream, but I knew it was all too real.