Although only one daughter was present for my arrest, all of us were affected. On Christmas eve the same fall ( I was arrested in October), we blew a tire in a snowstorm on the way home from a family get together at McDonalds. Imagine the look on the poor deputy's face when he stopped to help us. I was crying, because I thought he could see the details of my arrest on his computer, the older two girls were crying because they thought I was going to get arrested again, and my youngest daughter was screaming, "you get away from my mother, you bad man!!"
Funny now, maybe, but at the time, it was frightening and heartbreaking. If we went for a walk and a police car slowed down, the girls started crying, and one or more might scream. It took years and many visits to the police station to fix the damage done.
At the end, my wonderful attorney Gerard McAuliffe was proved right, and the system did work. The judge dropped the charges, sealed my case, and told me I was free to go. It took six months, and a lot of sleepless nights, but I was declared innocent. He even apologized to me for what I had been put through, and offered to write a letter of explanation to assist me in the adoption proceedings that I was currently engaged in with Fulton County Department of Social Services (ironic, huh??). The investigator did NOT apologize. I assume it was because he was not sorry.
As I left the court room that day, someone touched my shoulder, chuckled, and said, "I know, where do you stop to get your reputation back, right??" He couldn't have been more wrong. The people who knew me, who mattered to me, knew the whole time that I was innocent. I don't care about the others. What I miss the most is my sense of security that was robbed from me. Again, if I tell the truth, am honest, and operate my life with integrity, I should be safe from arrest and threats of prison, yes??
I always wished that I had the courage to write a letter to the investigator, and say to him, if you learned nothing else from arresting me that day, I hope that you learn this:
Not EVERYONE who comes through your office, or climbs into your police car is guilty. Just because you BELIEVE I'm guilty doesn't make me guilty. Just because I'm POOR doesn't mean that I'm guilty. You should look at EVERY investigation, and ask yourself, "What if I'm wrong? What if she IS telling me the truth? Shouldn't I investigate her a little further??"