Today has been an important day for 3 reasons. Firstly it is my sister’s birthday. My sister has faced a challenging time of her own and of course she’s rocking her life, being true to herself and grasping at positivity. Happy birthday Sophie.
Secondly it is Hug Your Cat Day 2018. Nova really enjoys hugs and she deserves this day because she’s great.
Thirdly, today was the day that a detective came to interview me about how I was treated by the leading police officer in the case about the accident. For many people this will be the first they have heard about this because I was too afraid to write about what happened before. Now I am not.
When I was admitted to hospital this police officer would not speak to me directly. She was rude and emotionless towards me. She, at all points of this process has refused to talk to me in person or on the phone. When asked to provide my contact details for this interview today she said she didn’t know me.
In the hospital she talked about me as though I wasn’t there. I had to ask repeatedly to make a statement about the cause of the accident. She did not return Jerry’s things to me personally and would not let me see his body unless a colleague of mine signed for the belongings. She only gave me some of them back on the 5th January, the rest were returned by someone who is not even in the police force on 12th January.
On the return of Jerry’s possessions I realised that his phone was not there. The police woman told me she had his phone on the 3rd January. A man who came in the ambulance with me told me he saw her take the phone from Jerry’s jean pocket. When I tried to ring her to ask about the phone I was diverted from person to person and told there was no record of the accident on their system. Strike 1- how could you deny the existence of an accident where a person died?
When I got a Malaysian friend to eventually speak to her directly she was told that there was no phone recovered from the scene but that there were several onlookers. She said that I was confused and forgetful and must have misheard her saying she had the phone. Strike 2- how could you lie about having this phone and imply innocent people have stolen something which you yourself have taken?
Don’t tell me that I am forgetful and confused. I remember everything that happened.
It took me until the 27th February with US embassy involvement and the involvement of different Malaysian friends to finally receive the phone. The phone was tracked to the police station using the serial number by the US embassy. It took this police woman 20 days of repeatedly being asked to post the phone for her to final do this when I messaged her saying I’d have to get the embassy involved again. Prior to this she messaged my friend saying she did not have to post it and it was not her job to do so. She said if I wanted it back I’d have to drive there. Strike 3- how could you do that to a person who is injured and mentally traumatised? Why would you force them to drive back to the place where they suffered a horrific accident?
On the 27th February I received Jerry’s phone back in the post. When I opened the package the screen was smashed. What I wanted was photographs. I wanted our memories. I wanted an answer to where my Christmas present was located in George Town. I thought I still had a chance of getting these so I removed the SD card and put it into my phone. When I did that I realised that everything was deleted except for 2 photographs. The 2 photographs were of a male police officer posing. Because I am still a better person than he is in spite of being more angry than I’ve ever been in my life I will just show you part of one of the photos.
All of Jerry’s photos gone. Phone restored to factory settings. Not a single image, music file, message on the phone. Just two images. Today the detective asked me how that moment affected my mental health. I will be brutally honest. When I realised what they had done to his phone I had a break down. I smashed things in my apartment. I howled. I temporarily gave up any ounce of strength I had been holding together and I thought about giving up. I didn’t because I’m a trooper obviously. I didn’t get to say that to him today because I was too choked up to get words out. Instead I just looked at him. Strike 4- how could you steal a dead person’s phone, delete it’s contents and then play with the phone in a mocking and immoral manner? Why would you deny a grieving, struggling person the ability to retrieve valuable memories?
After this happened a friend of mine contacted the police officer to ask for an explanation. She said she never saw the phone, it was handed to her to post, the photo must have been taken accidentally. How insulting to everyone’s intelligence. I found out today she did take that photo. The photo was taken on 6th January after she had given me some of Jerry’s possessions and after she began to lie about the phone. It was taken 3 days after the accident when I was in hospital. The phone was working 3 days after the accident. I could have had the phone by then. Jerry was on whatsapp on 3rd January at 10.10pm. It’s not possibly him. Strike 5- how could you read the messages sent by grieving friends to their dead friend’s whatsapp?
I was advised by everyone not to write anything about this at the time. Powerless. Unable to get justice for something so utterly unthinkable. No one was sure what would happen to me if I complained. I have a life here and a wonderful job. Who do you complain to about the police when the police are the issue? Myself and Jerry’s family did the only thing we had any power over, complained about the handling of Jerry’s body and possessions to the US embassy. Hats off to them because they filed a complaint from the US to Malaysia. This complaint has resurfaced over the weekend when the detective I spoke to today said “This is horrific why has no one looked into this?”. And so he tracked me down, interviewed me and told me he will do something about this and that she will be made accountable. He also apologised to me on behalf of Malaysia. Today I found out that the bike was checked after the accident and the brakes were broken. The police woman filed the report as an accident caused by Jerry speeding. Strike 6- how could you blame an innocent dead person for something that you know was the fault of someone else? I have spent a lot of energy telling people it wasn’t Jerry’s fault.
So, police officer who I am nicely choosing not to name, and your idiotic friend, what goes around comes around. He told me that you cried when you were being interviewed. Believe me, I have cried more.
Karma’s a bitch and Jerry I’m as stubborn and as determined as you.
One thought on “4th June. Day 151.”
Oh Lauren, this made me sob. I’m so sorry that after everything you’ve been through you’ve had to endure this injustice and additional pain. Karma indeed does come around and big hugs to you for being so brave and gracious through all this. You’re an inspiration! Xxx