Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Days After Obama's Election to the Presidency

Two days after Obama was elected president, I met a man named Rene at a bus stop in New Haven. Rene was originally from Canada, but served in the US military in the Navy during World War II.

Rene was concerned that the state was going to declare him incompetent by reason of insanity. So he was eager to have someone listen to his story. I had 45 minutes to kill til the next bus, so it worked out well.

As soon as I saw him, I wanted to photograph him. He had a peaceful yet powerful message to the world, and it was a message not far from how I’d been thinking about our country for a long while. For the past eight years, the country had gone to the dogs. Rene put it better than I could. His sign reads, “Good bye America. I didn’t leave. You did.”

When I asked if I could take his picture, Rene got very excited, almost beside himself with glee. He said he was going to shave his beard off that day, for the sake of the psych boards, and he’d really like to get a photo of himself with his beard. How convenient. He posed for several shots, then gave me ten dollars and an address and phone number to send them to. When I called the number the next day, it turned out to be the number for Amistad House, a home for homeless people in New Haven. The person at the other end said Rene had not lived there for over a month.

These are the three photos that best represent this semi-well-known stranger. A crusty old man, did time in the service, on his own and in his 80s. He said he never did drugs in his life. You be the judge. I ended up missing the next bus and waiting an additional hour.

©2009 ShiaPhotos/words

Sunday, August 9, 2009

3/4 Photos for NPC Members' Photo Exhibition

These photos were taken the night I was arrested on 18th Street, handcuffed and locked up.

One of the two women arrested before me was roughed up needlessly when the handcuffs were put on.

"Roughing Alicia" 10/12/08 This is Officer Jevric assigned to Adams Morgan for over a year and (says he) doesn't remember anything from that night.

"Corrupt MPD Sergeant" 10/12/08
Corrupt is defined as making up a story that didn't happen and lying about it numerous times on the witness stand in front of a Superior Court Judge. That is what Officer Johnny Tubbs did on April 3rd this year in Judge Cushenberry's court.

Sergeant Johnny Tubbs tells me to get on the sidewalk here while he arrests two women. Two minutes later, I was in handcuffs too.

The sergeant said I opened a squad car door and photographed a juvenile inside in the middle of a crime scene. The prosecutor called this area "a crime scene" and with that fiction got 5 witnesses to agree. One witness was impeached on the stand when she claimed to be the arresting officer but had filled out PD forms to the contrary. The sergeant lied 178 times on the stand to back his original story. The judge said that story "made no sense."

"Alleged Crime Scene" 10/12/08

Saturday, August 8, 2009

January 1st 2009 when the sun came up on Adams Morgan

6:00 AM
Looking down 18th Street from the window of Starbucks Coffee Shop at the corner of 18th and Columbia.

Adams Morgan was trashed that night, more than usual. Why? Because the Adams Morgan revelers had one more reason to trash and they knew they could get away with it.

In an old town house on 18th Street, Madame's Organ offered revelers space at a hefty rate. Perhaps those who paid so much expected to be picked up after, even where the space was public.

After the revelers left and the rats feasted, the birds move in.

Why is littering taken for granted here? Got any ideas?