America Can be a Scary Place for Americans

Larissa Nearing’s story is a poignant illustration of what can happen when you are busy living your life.

Larissa Nearing and her son
Larissa Nearing and her son

(SAN DIEGO) - We are a nation of rules and laws, with over 40,000 new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2012, alone. With such a minefield, even for the most sober citizen, it is easy to slide down the rabbit hole. Not see a construction zone sign; it could cost you dearly. Overdrawn at the bank; there are fees and penalties. Recently, in Oklahoma there was a 21 car pileup on an icy street and every driver received a $252 ticket.

Larissa Nearing’s story is a poignant illustration of what can happen when you are busy living your life.

On November 3, 2011, Larissa began what seemed like a routine day. She had taken her baby to daycare in the morning and then went to work.

Around noon, she got an urgent phone call from a neighbor who said her apartment was on fire. She rushed home to find the firefighters wrapping up and learned that the apartment above hers was where the fire originated.

She saw from her doorway all her worldly goods. Many of the items had been wrapped in plastic by the fire department. But she noticed her speakers for her DJ business were not protected.

She tried to enter her apartment since the fire was out and police officers were standing inside her apartment talking. She was prevented from entering and so she asked if they would please protect her speakers. Larissa explained she had a DJ business and this equipment was vital for her livelihood.

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Courtesy:eastbayexpress.com

There was one officer, Scott Crane, who ignored her pleas for help. She says she never was hostile to the officer, but was just frantic to get her possessions protected from further damage. After several attempts to reason with the officer, she said he spun her around and stated, “You are under arrest for obstruction of justice”. He then proceeded to take her to the back alley away from all the neighbors and witnesses. But the media, about five TV stations and even more news reporters showed up while Larissa was being handcuffed. She kept asking “Why are you arresting me? What have I done wrong? Why won’t you help me? My equipment is worth $20,000. That’s my business. Why are you doing this?” Because of her upbringing she knew not to lose her cool and did not use any language toward the officer that would be deemed inflammatory such as swearing at him. She knew she shouldn’t be getting arrested. "Don’t hit him. Don’t swear. Don’t hit him. Don’t swear," was the mantra ringing in her head.

It seemed the more controlled Larissa was the angrier the officer became. He was rough and at one point her breast came out of her dress and was exposed. Mercifully, another officer came to her rescue and covered her up. Then Officer Crane threw her into the back of the police cruiser. The media was capturing everything on film.

When he put me in his cruiser, he pulled some marijuana out of the trunk & started waving it around. “Is this yours? If it is, you are going away for a long time.” She responded that she was 100% legal and possessed a medical marijuana card issued by the state of California. She had moved to California in order to be legally compliant as she had suffered a severe car injury and marijuana was the safest and best way to ease her pain. He laughed at her. Later she learned that the San Diego Police department officers exaggerated on camera the amount they found. One officer extended his arms outward suggesting a huge amount of pot. When this accusation was made she lost her job. The reality was she only had a small amount, well within the legal limits of California law. Unfortunately, a false accusation has the same repercussions as a true one. Employers don’t care to check out the veracity of these charges. You are guilty even if proven innocent.

 

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