Once again reality collides with Michael Jackson’s personal world bubble. In his recent interview on 60 Minutes, he made a number of claims that are manifestly false:
“They were supposed to go in, and just check fingerprints, and do the whole thing that they do when they take somebody in. They manhandled me very roughly. My shoulder is dislocated, literally. It’s hurting me very badly. I’m in pain all the time. This is, see this arm? This is as far as I can reach it. Same with this side over here.”
The police, however, have pretty convincing evidence to the contrary:
“Mr. Jackson was treated with courtesy and professionalism throughout the arrest and booking process,” according to a statement posted yesterday afternoon on Sheriff James Anderson’s official Web site, sbsheriff.org.
“Both his attorney and his personal security thanked the Sheriff’s Department for the level of cooperation and professionalism demonstrated throughout the process.”
“I am not saying he did not dislocate his shoulders, but as he walked out of the jail, he raised both shoulders giving peace signs to media,” [Retired Sheriff Jim] Thomas said. “Both arms; no wince of pain or anything else. It does not connect with me.
Also, and this is pretty important, the police videotaped the entire booking process. It was also witnessed by about 20 people, including some inmates. That wasn’t the only mistreatment Jackson alleged, either:
MICHAEL JACKSON: Then one time, I asked to use the restroom. And they said, “Sure, it’s right around the corner there.” Once I went in the restroom, they locked me in there for like 45 minutes. There was doo doo, feces thrown all over the walls, the floor, the ceiling. And it stunk so bad. Then one of the policemen came by the window. And he made a sarcastic remark. He said, “Smell does it smell good enough for you in there? How do you like the smell? Is it good?” And I just simply said, “It’s alright. It’s okay.” So, I just sat there, and waited.
ED BRADLEY: For 45 minutes?
MICHAEL JACKSON: Yeah, for 45 minutes. About 45 minutes. And then then one cop would come by, and say, “Oh, you’ll be out in in a second. You’ll be out in a second.” Then there would be another ten minutes added on, then another 15 minutes added on. They did this on purpose.
First of all, his booking only lasted 35 minutes total, so that 45 minutes is obviously exaggerated. Did Michael have a watch with him in the bathroom? I doubt it. The condition of the bathroom itself is also highly suspect:
“There are no bathrooms like that there. Jails don’t smell that great, but there would not be a bathroom with stuff like that on the sides and floors.”
Regarding the search of his property at Neverland Ranch, Jackson is apparently extremely miffed that the police, well, searched:
“My room is a complete wreck. . .And they had 80 policemen in this room, 80 policemen in one bedroom. That’s really overdoing it. They took knives, and cut open my mattresses with knives. . . I’m not sure what they took. They never gave me a list. . . They had the whole house to themselves to do whatever they wanted. And they totally took advantage. They went into areas they weren’t supposed to go into like my office. They didn’t have search warrants for those places.”
Lemme ‘splain something to you, Michael. A search warrant entitles search of the entire property for which it’s issued. If your ranch was on that warrant (which it was), the police can go wherever they damn well feel like to search it. There’s no such thing as “places they’re not supposed to go.”
Cutting up mattresses in sex cases is pretty routine, because a mattress can contain physical evidence (blood, semen) that may be used against the suspect in a trial.
The claim of 80 policemen in one room is ridiculous. Unless Jackson has a bedroom the size of the Santa Clara convention center, 80 cops in one room would get in each other’s way. They wouldn’t be able to search because they’d be too busy elbowing each other.
As to the accusation that he was not provided with a list of the seized items:
“Someone was given a list. If they had not, you’d hear [Jackson's lawyer] Geragos screaming about it.”
Perhaps Michael himself has not seen that list. But that doesn’t mean one was not provided. California law requires a list of items seized in a search warrant to be provided, and there’s no reason not to do so in this case. Plus, as pointed out, if that were true, plenty more people than Jackson would be screeching about it.
So what do we have here? Is Michael Jackson consciously lying in order to make himself out to be the victim that he so loves being? Or is all of this true within the confines of his own little, warped world?
It may all be a matter of perception. Jackson claims that his mugshot and booking was an attempt to belittle and humiliate him. Of course, everybody who gets arrested goes through that same process, but he’s Michael Jackson. Isn’t he entitled to special treatment because he’s rich and famous? Of course not. Being arrested is not supposed to be a dignified event. A little humility is certainly warranted, and perhaps some shame that one has come to the police’s attention, depending on what one is being arrested for.
I’m sure that the jail restroom is not the nicest place in the world. It’s probably old and abused, with fixtures that need to be replaced and/or walls that need to be repainted. It probably smells pretty unpleasant. In short, a far cry from the sort of restroom Michael Jackson is accustomed to using.
But feces smeared on the walls? C’mon. And I don’t believe the accusation that the cops locked him in there and mocked him. A case this high-profile is going to make police be on their best behavior. I’m sure most of them are completely professional the rest of the time, but for this arrestee in particular, they’re not going to do anything to bring attention to themselves or give the public a reason to criticize them. They even videotaped the whole thing.
Now granted, none of this means that Michael Jackson is guilty of the crimes of which he is charged. But a person’s credibility is of vital importance in situations where the only witnesses were the suspect and the victim. Jackson has established here (or re-established, for some of you) that he is not a credible person and cannot be trusted to accurately convey reality.
If Jackson really believes he was mistreated the way he claims, then other aspects of his personal witness must also be suspect. Is he in denial? About more than just his treatment at the hands of the Santa Barbara police? Time will tell.
Anderson played portions of the video and audio tape capturing parts of Jackson’s transport from Neverland Ranch and his arrival at the sheriff’s office in a private chartered jet. His handcuffing was also shown on video.
But the sheriff said he was treating Jackson’s televised accusation as a formal citizen’s complaint against the department, and as such he has launched a state investigation into the matter.
If the singer’s allegations are found to be untrue after the probe, Anderson said he’ll file a complaint against Jackson for making a groundless accusation against an officer.
Good for them. They shouldn’t let such slander go unpunished. There is also some video available at Fox News.