Oh what a night it has been!
First of all, today was the beginning of my last semester at UT. I had three classes, all of which seem like fun, so this should be a good semester. After class, I picked up two kegs for Veronica and Steph’s Birthday Bash with Aaron and Drew. We delivered the kegs, ate some Mexican food, and proceeded to spend the next hour and a half playing Lemmings for SNES. Turns out, that game is as amazing as ever.
Once 11:00 rolled around, we decided to head over to Steph’s sorority for the celebration. We were surprisingly late, and the party already had at least seventy people. Within thirty minutes the evening’s entertainment (i.e. the Skandanavian stripper, Bjorn, whom we hired to grind all over Veronica) had arrived. Of course, the second I try to capture this moment of disgusted excitement my camera dies. Granted, I hadn’t charged it in nearly a month, but it was probably the worst time/day for such an event to occur. Why, exactly? Read on, loyal Wardies (if President Bush can do it, why can’t I?).
The party continued to grow in both density and ethnicities as evening became morning. The house was unbearably hot,so Greg and I decided to settle outside in the parking lot, where we remained for at least an hour. Conversations were had, drinks were ingested or spilled, cigarettes were smoked. It was a lovely time. And the TABC ruined everything.
12:45 AM: Four police officers arrive. One is wearing a white shirt. This man is a douchebag. He works for TABC, and has chosen to pick on our little party out of all the late night events in West Campus. After chatting with a few people at the party, he proceeds to knock on the front door. By this point all minors with half a brain have retreated inside, or fled the scene. Seeing as how I was a) over 21 and b) sober, I found myself overcome with joy at being able to sit around and talk without fear of getting a ticket. After two attempts to knock on the door, some idiot actually opens the door and begins to talk to the officers. Of course they immediately accuse him of trespassing, because he “has no idea who lives in the house”. Understandably, the cops start to get agitated.
The cops ask Veronica’s brother, Michael, if he lives at the house. He answers no. The cops continue looking for the owner of the house, and Michael asks the officers what we all need to do. Mr. TABitChface responds with, “I already told you to back off.” He had not. As the officer berates him, Michael asks what he had done, and is told he is violating the direct order of a police officer. He asks why he is being told to leave the porch, and is arrested. They originally say that he is being arrested for disobeying the order of an officer, but this charge is later upgraded to interfering with a police investigation (a Class B misdemeanor). When I question one of the other officers, he tells me that it is illegal to even question a direct order from a police officer. If they tell you to do something, you are not allowed to ask questions or seek clarification. You must simply comply, or be arrested. I politely challenged the Constitutionality of this claim, and he told me that the police must look after their own interests, and never know when their lives could be in danger from a lack of obedience. He tells me that “something could happen like the riots downtown a few years ago.” You’re saying that twenty kids outside a sorority house pose an equal threat to hundreds of drunk pedestrians on Sixth street?!?
Instead of arguing, I ask the officer how to go about getting Michael out of jail, and what steps must be taken to record eye witness testimony of the events that took place. He tells me that Michael is not going to be processed for at least two hours, if not more, and that we have to go to the Travis County Jail for more information. At first he won’t let Veronica talk to him, or collect his personal belongings, but they later allow her to take his keys and cell phone. Still in utter disbelief that someone (not to mention a first year law student) was arrested for failing to immediately obey a police order, we all watched the police officers get in their cars and drive away with Michael in the back seat. A few people made shouted out gems such as “gestapo tactics”, “police state” and “what happened to the Constitution?” Then it happened. One of Veronica’s friends started the slow clap. As the West Campus police walked away, the entire congregation outside of Steph’s sorority began a cinema-worthy slow clap that even Molly Ringwald would be proud of. Looking back, it was probably the highlight of the party.
The rest of the evening was spent downing Taco C queso and waiting for time to pass until we could go get Michael. Veronica and I finally got down to the county jail at 3:30, and were informed that Michael would not see a judge until the next day. It made us feel pretty helpless, but there was nothing to do but go home and wait. It’s now 4:36, and I just hope he’s able to get out before tomorrow evening. One of the ladies sitting in the waiting room at the jail said that it typically takes 24 hours to release someone, regardless of their charge. Hopefully this will all turn out to be something we laugh about for years to come. It’s hard to look at it that way right now, but I have hope. Tomorrow Veronica is taking him to a concert, and Saturday I’m taking him to the first UT football game, so it’s still possible for him to end up looking back on this weekend with fond memories. If nothing else, I’m sure it will help motivate him to keep persuing his law degree!