Being homeless in Myrtle Beach is no joke. But, some landlords think it is. I was chilling at my studio apartment (which was actually a hotel room that I was renting for about $200 weekly) last week on Halloween night. It was me and two of my homeboys, just in the room, cooking chicken and sausage on my flat inside griddle, drinking some cans of beer. All of a sudden, two policeman come to the door and asked whose apartment it was, and I said mine. I think they said something like there was a disturbance or something, asked for my I.D., and, although I know I didn’t have to, I gave it to them, because I knew I had no pending charges. Plus, I just wanted them to leave so I could get back to relaxing and eating.
They ran my name for nothing (just like they do many folks who are out there in Myrtle Beach homeless), and no pending charges came back. Then, the cop asked me to walk with him downstairs, even after I let him walk through my apartment and look around. I get to the bottom floor, and the cop slapped handcuffs on me, put me in the back of the car, and took me to jail. He said that I was being charged with third degree assault, and I’m like “Assault??! Assaulted who??! I have been upstairs all night, I didn’t do anything wrong!” They took me to jail, fingerprinted me, and I went to the bond hearing the next morning.
When I got there, there was a flat screen with the judge on the video, along with the victim. Apparently, some black guy from the neighborhood had punched a white guy in the face, and that’s what I was there for. The black female judge told me that the victim could see me on camera, although I could only see her face on the screen. The victim told the judge after seeing me that I was not the guy, that I had nothing to do with it, and basically that they had arrested the wrong man. That’s when the judge let me out on a PR (Personal Recognizance) Bond, meaning that I had to pay no money to get let out of jail that morning.
You already know how I felt when I got back to my apartment. I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head, such as how the police just picked up the first black man they saw. I started planning right then and there to get a lawyer and sue the police department for false arrest, false imprisonment, public humiliation (because all my neighbors watched me get embarrassingly hauled off in a cop car for something I had absolutely nothing to do with), and for pain and suffering.
Why pain and suffering? Well, that day after Halloween was a Thursday. And, a little while after getting home, someone put a note through my door, saying that I had violated city ordinance and hotel rules, and that no more rent would be accepted. I was to be out the next morning by 11 a.m.
I was like “Oh, H-H-H-Hell no! I didn’t do shit! I will not be out in Horry County homeless because the police arrested the wrong man, no sir, not today!” I went downstairs and told the desk clerk what had happened, and he told me to come back in the morning and talk to the lady up front then. By the way, all this happened at the Aquarius Motel, and the woman who I was to talk to is named Sue. I don’t know her last name, but it’s an old white lady with short hair and glasses. When I came back it was like 8:30 in the morning, and Sue was there. I normally paid her rent, and she was never not nice to me. I told her what had happened, and that if she wanted proof I could just go to the police station (which is only a few blocks away from the Aquarius) and get the statement from the judge, or just go get the victim from his apartment. She just said, “No, I want you out…”
I pleaded with her to just listen and let me go and get all the proof she needed, but just not to kick me out just because the police made a mistake. She said that the fact that the cops were called it was in my rental contract that I had to be evicted, with no return of the deposit. I couldn’t help it that they were called. Plus, they weren’t called on me, to my apartment, or because of anything I did. Besides, I’d heard after the fact that the fight had actually happened on the first floor, and I was on the third. The cops just started looking from floor to floor, and took me in just because I was black and “fit a description”.
At this moment, I’m staying with family for a week or so until I find another place. I’ll keep ya’ll posted as the litigation of this case develops. But, again, why am I getting a lawyer and suing the police department for all those aforementioned charges, as well as pain and suffering? Because I lost my place to live because of their racist ways, and it left me homeless in Myrtle Beach.