When she called my name, her podium pressed against the steel bars, I wasn’t sure what to do. She repeated it loudly. “Are you here? Come to the front.” she finished.
I rose from my seat on the concrete floor and approached the bars. Later that night the men around me referred to it as pedigree.
“I’m going to get you ready for court, please answer my questions to the best of your knowledge.” She wanted to know everything from my address and phone number, to education and employment, including my salary on a weekly basis.
I wasn’t sure my weekly salary, I earned an annual salary. It was a realization that should have come sooner, and would be solidified with each person I heard go through the process, most of these men didn’t have jobs and if they did it was weekly pay at best.
It was the first of many real life examples that night that the justice system is all about wealth and poverty, to an extent I wouldn’t begin to realize until I had to hire an attorney.
I would learn the real cost of freedom.