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Rotten To The Core – Lemmy’s Arrest

Our friend and  house guest from England,  Lemmy Caution retold his horrific experience of 1999

Lemmy’s Arrest…

…what follows is the sorry tale of Lemmy’s arrest and subsequent trial during the s-s-sweltering summer of 1999 in New York City. It speaks of crime and negligence and how these are played out on a routine, everyday basis …it exposes c-c-corruption and a casual disregard for law…it contains truths that some would prefer to remain hidden…

…so it goes that during the summer of 99, Lemmy was walking back from his good friend Eddie Constant’s place in the East Village and decided to cut across town to take the A train uptown. When Lemmy arrived at the station and swiped his ticket the turn-style jammed and so he swiped it again and then again. Seeing that other people had decided to jump over, Lemmy did the same. Less than a minute after he had done so Lemmy was accosted by two guys who pressed him against the wall and demanded to know who the hell he was and what the hell he thought he was doing. Admittedly, Lemmy couldn’t resist telling them he was King Tut but even so it seemed that it was with indecent haste that Lemmy was cuffed in chains and thrown in the back of a Police Car. A Hispanic guy called Ernesto was already in there and also handcuffed. Then the cops t-t-turned to Lemmy and his fellow con and asked if we knew of any criminal activity in the area. This being near Washington Square, Ernesto gestured to the various guys lined up on the corner and sarcastically said “yeah, he’s a dealer, the one next to him is dealer, so’s the one next to him as well…in fact they’re all dealers” . The cop replied “tell us something we don’t know” to which Ernesto said “well you asked”. But the cops obviously couldn’t be bothered or were being paid off to look the other way and so Lemmy and Ernesto were driven down to Chinatown and thrown in some jail near Canal St.

Then the fun really started…

My Prison Lemmy Caution

…the initial booking was meant to be done by the two cops that arrested us…but by some once in a lifetime miracle the computer was down…which meant that Lemmy couldn’t be processed and also meant that Lemmy’s name couldn’t be run through the computer and checked against the database of known felons on the run. Thus by some equally miraculous co-incidence , this meant that the arresting cops couldn’t go back out on the streets to continue  their work policing the city and making it a safer place but were instead forced to stay inside and play cards and drink coffee for the entire duration of their shift. Eight hours later at the end of their shift when it was time to go home rather than go back out and work the streets, the computer miraculously started working again. Lemmy was in awe about how an inanimate machine could be so considerate as to not to work for the precise duration of their shift—meaning they had to stick around the jails playing cards while they waited for it get back online rather than pounding the streets—and how at the very moment they were due to go home it started working again..

…but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, there is still much to be t-t-told about Lemmy’s initial hours banged up in the can…

…first off, it is important to note that Lemmy had a valid ticket and had already told the cops as much at the station. “Go ahead, check it you’ll see it’s valid but the turnstile doesn’t work” But the cops weren’t interested in Lemmy’s ticket or whether it was valid and just wanted to cuff him and get him into the car so that they could take him down to the jail and get on with their card game. The ticked was confiscated with Lemmy’s other stuff…then as he languished in the cell he started getting b-b-bored after a couple of hours and so started to speak loudly to Ernesto by recounting the plot of Kafka’s Trial and how it was funny that the country’s values on freedom were so easily undermined by a bunch of lazy cops and how this wouldn’t happen in Lemmy’s country as the cops were professionals who went about their business in a thorough and systematic manner. Of course Lemmy wasn’t really talking so much to Ernesto (tho he became quite interested in how Kafka’s Trial ended) but was really talking to the cops in the corner playing cards, who he could see were getting distracted from their game until one came over to Lemmy’s cell and started chewing off Lemmy’s ear about how cops in England all secretly carry guns and that Lemmy should be grateful as New York was so much safer now than in the 80s because of the work the cops were doing. Lemmy said that the only danger he’d ever been in while in New York is from lazy cops and that he certainly didn’t feel safer knowing they were playing cards and making up false arrests rather than getting their ass out onto the street. This seemed to rile one of the other cops who came up to Lemmy to ask “what his problem was” to which Lemmy replied that his “problem” was that he had a valid ticket and had now been banged up for nearly 8 hours. “What the fuck do I care about that” came back the answer…

James Cagney

Lemmy imagined himself as Jimmy Cagney as he pressed his face up to the c-c-cold metal bars of his cell

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