The ‘Madwoman’ v. the Madness of the State

Michael McConnell
Stanford University Law School
Constitutional Law Center
Neukom Building, Room N325
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610

Dear Professor McConnell:

Thank you for your leadership speaking out against executive abuse of power.

Please forgive the crudeness of my writing tools. My constitutional rights are under siege. I am deprived of basic human agency, imprisoned without access to competent counsel. I write as a slave, praying for a magnanimous master, a “hyena in petticoats” seeking the support of a John Stuart Mill.

the 'madwoman' v. the madness of the state

Arrest” – for What Crime?

On 19 May 2014 I walked into my local police department in Meridian, Idaho, to report the crime of human trafficking, of which I have been a victim for the better part of 2013, and even as recently as January 2014, my brother-in-law was ordering me to perform more tasks for his household in exchange for a roof over my head, indoor plumbing, electricity, and wifi, after having withdrawn his verbally promised support for basic hygiene such as toilet paper, tampons, dish soap, shampoo, and litter for my indoor cat – necessities not permitted by food stamp (SNAP) rules – while also continuing to avoid therapy, counseling, or mediation sessions with a contract negotiator.

Desultorily riffling one corner of the pile of documentary evidence I brought with me, with no attempt to investigate the audio, visual, email, or mass media published links I have collected supporting my claims, which extend further back to add witness expanding the 2011 U.S. Department of Justice investigation into racial discrimination not just with law enforcement within Seattle Police Department but also their administrative victim support services for domestic violence, and still further to my 2005–08 graduate school experiences deeply relevant to the U.S. Department of Education recently announced list of institutions of higher learning under investigation for non-compliance with Title IX, and even further, where my personal experiences add witness to and may well solve a 17-year-old cold case homicide in another jurisdiction, plain clothes detectives merely asked, “What’s Title IX?”

As I began to explain legislation protecting equal opportunities in education for women, they called in two more personnel, and an armed and uniformed white male officer, broad shouldered and easily a head taller than me, ordered me to stand, clamped metal handcuffs so tightly around my wrists that they left reddened indentations and bruising on my skin, seized and searched my backpack without my permission or a warrant, and led me to his police-branded vehicle, where he placed me in the back seat separated by a protective grill, and drove me to the nearest emergency room.

After sneering derisively at me for not memorizing the various telephone numbers associated with my family’s compound, Officer Justin Root likewise would have illegally searched the data on my mobile phone if his technology skills had not been limited by my passcode for that device.

A full day under the flickering fluorescent lights of the ER, where I was ordered to strip down to my underwear and change into scrubs. A nurse filled five vials of blood from the vein in the crook of my elbow, and hooked me up to an EKG. Following orders, I peed in a cup under the omnipresent but averted gaze of hospital personnel. I was repeatedly denied access to my backpack for my smartphone or my journal to document these abuses, or even a book to read to fill the hours before eventually a private, contracted transport service arrived to shift me from St. Luke’s to a visibly financially suffering psychiatric facility doing business as Intermountain Hospital, owned by a corporation calling itself Universal Health Services, with presumably similar operations and lucrative government contracts across the United States, predominantly along the East Coast and in the South, but expansion in the West includes southern California, six in Utah, two more in Idaho, still others in Montana, Oregon, and Washington state, headed by a CEO whose salary and benefits package exceeds $11 million.

Of the evidentiary documents I brought into the police station, the only item missing when my possessions were inventoried by staff at Intermountain Hospital was a brief email from Belinda Dalrymple, a young, naïve state mental health services worker who hails from the small, agricultural community of Caldwell, Idaho, her correspondence punctuated with common grammatical errors that escaped the attention of her emailing software, and sent rapidly on 24 January 2014 in response to my own follow up to her household visit the previous week, which indicated to me that she could not possibly have thoughtfully read or contemplated the potential implications of my communication, let alone the linked sources I provided, before impulsively reacting.


6 thoughts on “The ‘Madwoman’ v. the Madness of the State

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