Archive | Damages RSS feed for this section

Peace , Love & Justice for Cisco

15 Apr
Cisco as a puppy.

Cisco as a puppy.

 You Kittens know that I totally ban all political fucktardery from this and my FaceBook Page. I am making an exception, because Cisco’s story must be told. You know I am a big, BIG animal advocate. Without my retarded gang of Rebel Crabbit, China the Zombie Dog, Trixie the Co Dependant Fox dog, Dexter the Serial Killer Chihuahua and Tiger the Freeloader cat, well, life just wouldn’t be fun. I was in the middle of writing a bitching rant when the FB post (copied below) popped up.

I am quite literally in tears after having read this. I can not even begin to imagine what Mike, Cisco’s Daddy, must be feeling tonight. Aside from lonely, broken and helpless; the pain can’t be measured. As you will read below, an Austin Police Department “officer” was at the WRONG address, shot and killed Cisco in his yard as Mike stood helpless. The “officer” did not apologize but blamed MIKE for Cisco’s death because Cisco wasn’t on a leash in HIS OWN YARD!!!

Not. Even. An . Apology.

Now I am just going to take the liberty of sharing this in hopes that our little club of crazies can put some momentum behind justice for Cisco. There are 10,000 of us reading this blog everyday, 55.5 thousand of us on the FaceBook page and a combined reach of 2.8 million people. Between us all “liking”, “sharing” , calling APD and emailing- surely we can help comfort Mike and get some sort of justice for Cisco.

After you read Cisco’s story below, I hope you will take action by lodging a complaint to APD. Here is the information I found on their site: www.austintexas.gov

* Office of the Police Monitor:  (p) 512.974.9090  (f) 512.974.6306 (w) www.austintexa.gov/department/police-monitor

*Officer Misconduct: (p) 512.974.5200

An  account of Cisco’s last day, written by Candace Michele

I am usually not one to get into the politics of people’s opinions of law enforcement. I know there are good and bad people in every walk of life, but I always try to give the benefit of the doubt to those that are in a position to “protect and serve”. But yesterday, a harsh reality was “served” when I received a phone call from a very near and dear person to me. The words I heard

Cisco grown up & happy

Cisco grown up & happy

coming through my phone were nothing I would have expected in a million years—a very distraught voice saying, “The cops just shot and killed Cisco! They killed my best friend!” In shock, I asked what had happened. At the time, I only got a very brief description, as Michael Paxton was in shock and traumatized over the horrific loss of his dog. I immediately drove to his place (which is about 30 minutes away). When I arrived, I found him clutching Cisco’s body, crying and trying to understand what had just transpired.

Apparently, unbeknown to Mike, there was a domestic disturbance between a male and a female in his neighborhood, and the Austin Police Dept was called in. Unfortunately (seems like such an understatement), Mike found out quickly about the call when he walked into his driveway from his back yard where he and Cisco, his Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Healer), had been playing frisbee. Police officer T. Griffin, Badge #6778, was standing behind Mike’s vehicle, in his driveway. Before Mike even realized Officer Griffin was there, the officer had pulled his gun on Mike, yelling at him to freeze and put his hands up. In a panic, Mike stated to the officer that he lives there, and asked what and why this was happening.

Hearing the commotion, Cisco came from the back yard and into the driveway, barking at the officer, as any dog would do. Mike’s hands in the air, a gun pointed at him, he was afraid for his life, and therefore could not move or attempt to quiet or restrain Cisco. He told the officer that Cisco would not bite him, to please not shoot his dog. Almost immediately, a bullet was put into Cisco’s chest, killing him instantly. Mike still leaned against his truck, unable to move, was not allowed to even hold his best friend as he took the last breath of his abruptly-shortened life.

As was realized after this horrific event had transpired, THE COP WAS AT THE WRONG ADDRESS!!! An innocent man was traumatized by not only having a gun pulled on him by someone that is supposed to be there “to protect and to serve”, but his best friend of seven-and-a-half years was wrongly shot and killed. FOR WHAT?! Because Officer Griffin did not confirm where he was supposed to be before these events transpired!

Nothing will likely happen to Officer Griffin for any of this, as his supervisor arrived after everything took place, and she defended his actions. Mike was given the officers’ information, as well as a phone number to call, if desired. No apologies, no sympathy. Nothing. The officer even told Mike that Cisco should have been on a leash! IN HIS OWN YARD?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

We ended up taking Cisco’s body to be buried at a friend’s house, out in the country. Four of us spent two hours digging and breaking through limestone-filled ground, to make a hole large enough to lay to rest this man’s best friend and companion.
There are so many things wrong with this situation, that I just can’t even express it in words. My heart aches for you Mike. I know how much you love Cisco, and how much Cisco loved you. Although I am not sure what justice can or will be served in this case, your story will not go unheard. Along with many of your friends, in an effort to gain some sort of justice for you and Cisco, I am tagging all of our local news media here to get the word out.

This type of excessive force has GOT to be stopped. There needs to be consequences for behaviors such as this. There needs to be a system of “checks and balances” used, to be certain this type of thing doesn’t happen anymore—none of this would have occurred, had the officer just VERIFIED THE CORRECT ADDRESS before pulling a gun on Mike and his dog. I urge anyone and everyone that reads this, to please share this story, and let it be known that these happenings aren’t just things we read about going on in some “other city”, but right here, seriously affecting people we know and love.

Share, Like, Email and call. Next time this “officer” ,or another, can’t at least respond to the correct address; it will be your pet, your child or you.

 I hope you will take action by lodging a complaint to APD. Here is the information I found on their site: www.austintexas.gov

* Office of the Police Monitor: (p) 512.974.9090 (f) 512.974.6306 (w) www.austintexa.gov/department/police-monitor

*Officer Misconduct: (p) 512.974.5200

Advertisements

Purge

1 Dec

 The only things I really collect are shoes, snappy replies and resentment. My emotional stability is threatened by the weight of my  hoarding activities so something is going to have to be purged to make room for shoes and witty remarks. Farewell, resentment! Not the “I wish I had done whatever” resentment, but the “that person is seriously pissing me off ” resentment. So Kittens, consider this your warning that you all are in the resentment vomit splash zone.

  • *The Girl told me she shared my blog with her Grandma, who responded, “I am disappointed in your mother” after reading one paragraph. I know I am not for every one and that is ok BUT I think you never say shit like that to a Mom’s kid.  Especially mine who will likely scorch your ass with examples of how you are not perfect.  This comment really struck me. It didn’t make me regret my writing, but that I possibly fell a little in my daughter’s eyes. I imagined she likely felt a  little pain with her grandmother’s comment but I thought wrong. She replied with a , ” I AM proud of her”. That was so much better than any black eye I could have given.

*Recently I have had a few people on my personal Face Book page say some really off shit…I was offended so you know it was waaaaaay over the line. And a person who has revealed themsleves to be a user- wanting to use my work to further their career and agenda.  I’ve been pretty pissed to tell you the truth about it. Hurt by it. I don’t take this blog lightly, it’s the culmination of sweat, tears, vinegar and feelings- a mixed drink that is hard to create over and over. It’s work, real work that most times is obnoxiously fun but some times wrangles the feelings right out of my heart. Words that must escape before a nuclear melt down ensues.  My fans on the Skinny Cat FB page are my little community of crazy where they get me and I them; our little corner to binge and purge knowing we are all pals and in the same boat floating down the WTF river.  To have some one try to use that group of my kindred spirits to further them selves makes me rage. It’s been weighing on me and causing many an emergency call and text to Carrie. Which made me ponder why in the hell are they my Friend on FB, much less in real life,  to begin with? Not any more , they’re not, because of the simple action of Un Friending. No announcement needed, no declaration of war. Just a silent action that speaks loudly and clearly that they are no longer in the circle of awesome.

*While chatting with my sister this weekend, we rolled into a subject that we always come around to: our Mom. For once I didn’t fill with anxiety, pain and puke. I just said, “I don’t care about it anymore”.  I’m over the resentment, hurt and anguish, hurtful emails, words, punches, assaults and all. I kept coming back to this paragraph during editing thinking there must be more to say about this because of the subject. But there is not and that was the second moment that something bigger than I am reiterated to me that I am over it. I didn’t plan on it- just one of those moments when all of me said I don’t care any more and the universe whispered back, “Well done”-  and I instantly felt lighter, stronger and faster.

Unsalvageable Men

9 Nov

The audacity and selfishness of people amazes me. Leaves me feeling like I am on the wrong end of a champion prize fight: breathless, beaten and without the capacity to get up. Broken. In my humble opinion I believe you can do what you want to yourself; behave as badly, recklessly and without any measure of morality so long as your stupidity only affects you. There are not many possibilities in life to only damage yourself because we are all connected to some one. Some thing. We all have an obligation to protect each other, from ourselves and from the ubiquitous monster under the bed. Right? The world is going to hell in a fiery diseased hand basket but it does seem possible to continue to protect our humanity on the long ride down. I thought. After all of the unimaginable violent levels of hell I have personally ran through , I still had a little hope that good could prevail. That was broken this week as the Penn State news flashed across the t.v. Maybe it was too close to home. Maybe it was that “just one more” that tipped my justice scales to set them all on fire. Probably both.

If you haven’t heard what it is that literally made me throw up – here it is in summary. Long time defensive coach  Jerry Sandusky, the man credited for making Penn State known as Line Backer U, was arrested for sexually assaulted 8 young boys and then handed 40 counts (21 of them felonies) of sexual abuse from a grand jury. Fourty. The assaults were years ago and should have been immediately reported by a grad student who actually walked into the Penn State football locker room and witnessed  Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy. The grad student, Mike McQueary, told the head coach (Joe Paterno) who in turn  told a Senior V.P. (Gary Schultz). And it ended there. No one called the police. No one helped that little boy. Do you know why? Because McQueary and Paterno only had to report it to Schultz; and only he was legally obligated to report it to police. Because they didn’t have to. There were wide-spread rumors on campus about Sandusky raping little boys to boot and yet no one intervened! In the mean time, that 10-year-old boy and 7 others continued to be brutalized in the name of Penn State continuing its storied football legacy and the school retaining its virgin white reputation. Can you imagine that 10-year-old boys disbelief that a trusted adult was violating him so brutally and then knowing another adult saw it happen and yet no one saved him? I can.

I don’t share this with you in order for a bunch of “I’m sorries” to rain down. I feel like the only way I can communicate my true disgust with this story is to tell you my own. You’re going to be uncomfortable. So am I. You might find yourself holding your breath in hopes a big punch line or gotcha will be in the next line. It won’t. I think people need to know what it is to be those little boys, to be any kid, who is left for spiritual dead like that little boy in the Penn State locker room was.

I was seven. My mom had a friend named Bob who liked to have me over to stay the night, to be a nice person at first and baby sit for her. It wasn’t long before he insisted on my sleeping with him in his bed. The first night he raped me, I remember knowing I did not want to go upstairs, I knew something bad was going to happen to me and my instinct was to run. I pleaded with him to let me stay down stairs with the other kids that were there. I cried and begged the other kids to let me stay with them- to save me. They were as helpless as I was.  I know now why they all said nothing. It was because they had all experienced what I was about to and didn’t want to be next. I don’t blame them- what could a bunch of young kids do anyway. We were out in the country, nowhere to go and cell phones were only available on Saturday mornings on The Jetsons. He pulled me up the stairs by my arm and by my hair because my legs refused to climb. Once in his room he forced me to drink warm milk and swallow a pill. I threw it up and he answered with a swift and hard slap across my face.  Grabbing me by the back of my neck, he made me eat what I couldn’t swallow followed by a glass of water and another pill. I don’t know what that pill was but I don’t remember anything after being thrown on the bed and raped by that man. The next morning I was bruised, bleeding and crying uncontrollably. I remember us all eating cereal and no one would look at me. This happened over and over. He would pick me up with other kids and we would all silently hope it wasn’t our turn this time. His daughter came to our apartment one day and told my mom and step dad what was going on- that he had done the same to her. She was one of those kids not looking at me as we silently ate our cereal every morning after.  I remember every detail of the next night Bob came to pick me up. “The Onion Field” was on t.v. I recall what every one had on and every detail down to the butterscotch candy  in the green glass bowl on the coffee table. I told my mom I didn’t want to go. I cried. They made me go- even after Bob’s own daughter told my mom and step dad what he was doing- they made me go. I was stunned and could not wrap my seven-year old mind and heart around what was happening. Was this permission for him to continue to rape me? Was this worth a night off for them? There are no words to describe what it feels like to watch someone let a monster hurt you. I still wonder about that. No one did any thing about it. Ever.

Let me just be really clear here about what McQueary should  have done when he turned the corner in that locker room. He should have grabbed Sandusky off of that young boy and beat the shit out of him. Pummeled him to with in an inch of his last breath. Then he should have wrapped that boy up, taken him to a secure place and call the police, an ambulance and his mother. There is no excuse at all for not helping that boy and handing Sandusky over to the police instantly. That Paterno is being allowed to retire at the end of the season, on his own terms, is beyond me. He should be fired immediately and have his retirement taken away. Those boys didn’t have any control over their situation when they were being raped and molested and certainly were not afforded any negotiations.  Paterno, McQueary and Schultz all have guilty hands in the abuse of those boys by not doing anything. All involved should see jail time and a sexual predator badge slapped on them forever because they knew what was happening; they may as well have held the boys down for Sandusky. What kind of person sees and hears about a kid being raped and does nothing simply because the law didn’t require them too. Doesn’t your conscience require you to act? Doesn’t your humanity demand it of you? If not, then you are more broken than me. They are unsalvageable men that should pay the same price that those little boys have, and will ,for the rest of their lives.

Silence

11 Sep
We all have our story. We all know exactly where we were and how we felt today ten years ago. That day still stings me. I didn’t lose anyone but I think we all lost a little piece of our souls knowing it could have been us. It could have been me. So it’s a private day to me and I don’t watch the replays, the news, the commentaries or the interviews. Some may say it’s selfish but today I am in Austin having bar b que with my family, catching up with friends and enjoying time with The Girl. We have to keep moving forward. Keep living. Keep appreciating every minute of freedom we have.
I love this Country in a fierce maniac kind of way. This is why , if you want to know, click to this link and read on.

More Than Cowboys & Bar B Que

5 Sep
How to help with the Texas fires…
Donations needed, volunteers, Red Cross amd donation drop off sites.
Scroll to the bottom of this page and do something.UPDATE 9/5/11 12:44 PM:
The fire in Bastrop has now burned 24,000 acres,  more than 300 homes lost and thousands of displaced people. The fire is 16 miles long and 4 miles wide.
Austin Pets alive has taken in all of the dogs from fire affected shelters.
Austin Humane Society has the cats. See below for info.UPDATE 9/5/11 3:13 PM:
There is an URGENT NEED for horse transport for evacuation in Bastrop County, TX. Barns that were used to house evacuees are now in the fire’s path. Rt 304 still open both ways. Anyone in the area who can help, please call Beth at 512-467-4893 or Rachel at 512-581-2940. The American Legion in Bastrop is accepting pets and livestock.
http://www.centraltexasnights.com/clubs/americanlegion533.html

The Red Cross is asking all Bastrop Co. evacuees to go to their website and register on the Safe & Well list. Please do this so a firefighter doesn’t risk his/her life to find you.
https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

 I have been sitting here trying to write a piece about the epic fail I experienced at the taco stand Saturday. I can’t think of a funny thing to say because the state I love is on fire. You can say what you want about Texas and believe all of the stereotypes that are out there about Texans. The truth is, if you’re interested to get to know us, we are more than cowboys and bar-b-que. Texans as a people are well mannered, thoughtful, friendly, loyal and outstanding neighbors. We wave at strangers passing us on the road, we stop to help people that are in a broken down car or dealing with a broken down life. We help with each others kids, we show up for neighbors weddings and we carry each other through funerals. When the chips are down, there’s no better place to be than a neighbor of a Texan.
Bastrop State Park: 6,000 acres and home to many thousands of unique wildlife.
It is surrounded by more than 3.000 homes, businesses, churches and schools.
Aside from our outstanding people, this state is amazingly beautiful. We have it all: canyons, mountains, deserts, plains, lakes, basins, rivers, the gulf coast, metropolises, ranches, skyscrapers, champion gulf courses and tremendous wildlife parks. We have every industry you can think of and our own militia. If there is something you want to see, do or be a part of- there is no need to leave the state border. Our culture is as diverse as our landscape but equally friendly and loyal. For about 24 hours we have been glued to our t.v.’s because Central Texas is burning down. Watching pastures burn up that will result in starving livestock and dramatic grocery price hikes. Watching rail yards burn and highways buckle that will result in the entire nation slowing from transportation issues because our highways are major trade corridors. A family friend in Bastrop has likely lost the house I sold to him when I was a Realtor, he was the best man at my wedding long ago and remains a true and loyal friend post divorce. Another friend who is a cowgirl to the bone has lost her horses. The horses that carried her to rodeo championships, but more importantly, have carried her with  love and friendship through some truly tragic life events. More than livestock- these horses were her friends. Her support. As I am writing this, I received a picture text from my sister in Austin, showing me their church on fire. The church we have all gone to numerous weddings, funerals, baptisms and most recently The Girl’s and my Niece’s graduation party.
These 3 photos are of Bastrop the City &  Bastrop State Park yesterday and last night. 3,000 acres have burned to the ground and it is still on fire. A total of 14,000 acres so far are gone. All residents were ordered to leave yesterday, most do not know if they have a home to return to. It’s unlikely- as the fire has now spread to neighboring counties.
And it’s still burning. The 6,000 acre Bastrop State Park is 50% burned- it’s still on fire. Austin, Steiner Ranch, Cedar Park,  Pflugerville, Apache Shores and more towns have fires burning. My funny bone is aching for my friends and fellow Texans right now. It is so bad, that we have called all able firefighters  back to duty from retirement, vacations, days off and anyone willing to pick up a house and fight to save Texas. If you are given a chance to help, please do it. If you are in the Central Texas area, get ready to help clear debris, donate feed for livestock and help rebuild your neighbors house, barn and dreams. It’s all hands on deck time and you can bet we will all be there ready with shovels, an ear to hear the heartaches and our hands full of dinner and cold drinks.
More of the fires in Central Texas yesterday – and still burning today.
Wanna Help?

Volunteering

  • Call Red Cross to volunteer at 512-928-4271

Pets

Where and how to donate

  • Email serve@celebrationchurchtx.com to get involved with providing supplies and relief for the families affected by the wildfires.
  • Red Cross is taking only monetary donations at this time. Check their website for partnership for food and clothing donation assistance.
  • Facebook page taking donations — though no cash items.
  • Faith Family Services in Hutto is picking up clothing- and food donations for delivery to area pantries and organizations in direct contact with victims. They are also coordinating emergency housing with area homes. For more information, email faithfamilyhomes@yahoo.com or call 210-334-1708.

Drop-off locations for donations

Evacuee information and phone hotlines

  • Hays County evacuees can call: 512-753-2180
  • Travis County evacuees can call: 512-974-6199
  • For information on Bastrop fires: 512-332-8856 and 512-332-8814

Closures

  • All BISD campuses closed.

Twitter hashtags on the fire

  • #txfire
  • #txwildfire
  • #centraltxfires

Damages

26 Jul
Compassion
I wish I had some of the things I wrote when I was a kid but privacy in my room or my thoughts wasn’t a luxury I was afforded. Often I would stay up late writing my thoughts, happenings and dreams- then promptly flush them down the toilet before they could be discovered and interrogated. I think I would have never been anything but a writer had I had the encouragement of my words to reflect on. To push me forward. To comfort and protect me and buffer me from future catastrophes. As we all find out in life; our destiny is littered with trash to step over, obstacles to maneuver around and tragedies to overcome and heal from. There have been times I was starving and wishing for food. And times I have had a refrigerator full of food, but tried to starve myself into feeling again. I’ve done plenty to be ashamed of. There are plenty of people who should feel ashamed of what they did to me: rape, robbery, holding a gun to my head and shredding my very being into bloody lifeless confetti. Starting at seven I was on the path to self-destruction. If I had been written onto the front pages of tabloids -most would be waiting- hoping- to hear of my death so they could all say , “See, I told you she would die young- she did it to herself- she wasn’t strong enough”. And that brings me to her. To Amy Winehouse. I have been insanely affected by her death. It’s weighed on me since I read about it Saturday and it has been like a  too tightly wrapped scarf since.
Truth, Goodness & Beauty
I don’t know her on a personal level- but I remain a huge fan of her talent and that undeniable broken soul that would leap out and grab me every time I heard her sing. I related to her and somehow felt a connection. An “all of the shit we’ve been through has been fucking awful and evil- but look at us shine and kick ass” connection. The people that should of protected me did not. The people who wanted to protect me could not. It appears that she lived the same reality. In my head- we were kindred spirits. Damaged but in tact. Shattered but functional. A million little pieces held together by sparks of a soul engulfing voice. Her’s singing. Mine writing. For whatever reason, she fell into the rabbit hole and never hit the bottom. Even in death, I feel like she is still falling as the press, and seemingly everyone else, is busy tearing her and her monsters down. Where is the compassion for her and why are so many viciously chewing on what’s left of her? Is that what I have to look forward to: damages trump talent and goodness in the end?
Humanity
I love this article from Russell Brand– that shows a different side of her. Friend Amy. Loving Amy. Ridiculously talented Amy. I wish someone would have saved her. Would of stepped in closer to draw her back to the surface and to the light. I can not stand to hear people say she was unsaveable, broken and so easily discarded. People I personally know attacking, pointing fingers squarely at her and writing her off- nearly laughing at her demise. Arrogantly spewing I told you sos and dismissing any traces of good . Had they known me 20 years ago- they would of said the same about me. When you wrap your head around that- you start to wonder who your true friends are. You discover which ribs the compassionate hearts beat behind and which eyes you should hide your demons from. Is it so impossible to give her, anyone, more compassion and empathy. If we can’t -if we won’t- extend some measure of humanity, then what’s to become of the rest of us when we find ourselves falling down a rabbit hole?
%d bloggers like this: