The Onset Of Disability - Part One
"According to the Social Security Administration,
the onset of my disability came on April 15, 2004." - Alfred Wiggins, Jr.
The Deposition of Alfred Wiggins, Jr.*,
Copley Court Reporting, Inc.
October 27, 2008
This interview features:
Q: Mr. Jim Cox, Esq., Attorney for the defendants.
A: Mister Al: The Plaintiff.
A: There was nobody outside. I said, okay, okay. And he had me put my briefcase on the squad car. Now, at the time I did this, my angina started kicking in, and I remember getting scared here because I remember angina, and it's not good stuff. So I asked him if I could get a drink of water. I didn't tell him I was having angina, but I did ask for a drink of water. He said okay. And I told him the water was in my briefcase. He looked at me kind of strange. I said, "Look in it yourself, there's nothing in there but my homework and a bottle of water." He said, "Go ahead and open it up." I did, got the water, drained it. I put the empty back in my briefcase, then said, "Okay, go ahead."
So they put the cuffs on me, or they put whatever on me to restrain my hands, wrists and they began to search me. So the chief went in this pocket here in the jacket --
Q: Just so the record will be clear, you're showing us the interior pocket of your leather coat?
A: Yes, top left.
Q: With the zipper?
A: Got the wallet out, counted the money in front of me, which was very important. There was a little over a thousand dollars, child support money, all of it. And he put it back in front of me, no tricks. And he sniffed me. He said, "You been smoking something?" I said "I've been smoking [cigarettes]," and I had been [smoking against the advice of my primary care physician]. He said, "Are you sure?" I said "My car is in the parking lot, [and I gave him my license plate number for], Rhode Island. My keys are in my right jacket pocket, feel free to search." He said, "Okay, never mind."
And I'm not sure what happened after that, except that I got put in the car. And, oh yes, I was still having angina, but the chief was talking to [one of his men]. The sergeant was driving. And the sergeant, I had this belief, I have this belief from the Army, that usually the lowest ranking individual of the group is usually the stand-up guy.
So I said, "Look, can you tell me, where are you guys taking me?" He said, "Look, as far as I know, we're just taking you to the hospital, that's it. I said, "Okay, that's fine."
Q: Can I stop you there? I'm going to ask you more questions about the day, but let me back up a bit.
You said you had called the chief in the past?
A: Oh, yes.
Q: What had you called him about?
A: I called him about some very disturbing things I had seen on campus.
Q: What were they?
A: I had seen women walking around [in] broad daylight with black eyes. It's just the way I grew up...I was taught that if you see elderly people, children, or women, or any combination of those three, walking around in fear in broad daylight, there's something wrong in your community.
Q: How many women had you seen walking around with black eyes?
A: At least two, in one instance, consecutively.
Q: Had there been anything else that prompted you to call Chief Tillinghast?
Q: How many times had you called the chief?
A: Never before that. Oh, I called him once and left a message.
Q: And then you said as you walked downstairs from the third floor of the library, you talked to him about a number of things.
Q: What were the things about which you spoke to the chief?
A: I told him I believed he had a problem on his hands, that he had a problem -- where I come from, we call it a problem with manhood. If you have males who believe they can circumvent the rights of a woman, or of women, by just slapping them around, beating them up to make themselves feel better, law enforcement has a problem. It's not about a psychiatrist or social worker; that's after the fact. Those are crimes. The first person you go to is a police officer.
A: What else did you talk to the chief about as you left the library and went out to the cruiser?
Q: Besides asking him if I was being charged with a crime, nothing.
*Edited by Alfred Wiggins Jr.