edit: I have been mining & consulting for Bitcoin since March of 2011. I do not know if I should post my company here. I have been a Redditor for many years, since the early days of the Digg exodus. This is a fairly new account.
I have submitted this story to the Sacramento Bee, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Transgender Law Center, and the ACLU with no response. I have secured representation in this matter.
As I write this, my hands are shaking, and I am terrified. I have had nothing but nightmares since I got out of jail at the end of October. I get physically ill almost every time I eat. I cannot sleep properly. I am afraid to leave my house.
On April 2, 2016, I was on my weekly weekend exploratory drive through towns I’ve never been to in California. I stopped at a bicycle event in the town of San Andreas, California. As I parked my car and got out, a man asked if I wanted I could borrow his bicycle and he would move my car for me. I left my keys in the ignition, and started riding the bicycle I believed he had pointed to. I rode three laps around the event, there was a trail other people were heading, and it was kind of busy. Apparently I went the wrong way into town. I only made it about a half mile and was about to turn around, realizing I had driven the bike the wrong way.
I was approached by two police officers and an ambulance. They asked me if it was my bike and if they could search it, I said no it was not my bike and said they could search it if they wanted. They had me sit on the side of the road, then told me to get in the back of the K9 squad SUV vehicle. A person from the ambulance poked my finger. At no point did they ask me what was going on. Someone got in the vehicle, and we headed off to another location. I was never told I was under arrest or informed of my rights.
The vehicle stopped inside the garage of what I would later learn is the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office jail. I was booked, and they asked me what medicines I take. I listed the several medications I was prescribed. I was transported to solitary confinement. I was never offered a chance to make a phone call, either to a bail bondsman, an attorney, or to let anyone know where I was. My parents were in Sacramento to help me move out of my apartment, and had no idea where I was.
I spent two months in solitary confinement before being allowed to make a phone call. During this time, I was let out for a few minutes a handful of times to take a shower, and a couple times to go in the “yard.” Almost every day I spent 24 hours a day for many days at a time in a tiny cell. I asked to make a phone call, and there were phones in the block, but none of the correctional officers knew how to use the phones, and none of them would show me how. I was introduced to a nurse at some point, I asked her for my medications. She made an appointment with the doctor, who I would end up seeing a total of one or two times during my entire stay. I have been prescribed hormone replacement therapy since January of 2013 for being a transgender person. I believe the actual psychiatric label is “gender dysphoria,” although the DSM often changes this description. I am prescribed 2mg of Estradiol twice per day, and 50mg of Spironolactone twice per day. I am prescribed 2mg of Klonopin/Clonazepam twice per day, for anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder from surviving three hurricanes in New Orleans. I have been taking Klonopin/Clonazepam since 2010. I am prescribed 600mg of Neurontin/Gabapentin three times a day, an antisezure medication. I have taken Neurontin/Gabapentin since 2012. I also take 1 gram of the fish oil Lovaza, and Metformin, for high cholesterol. During the 7 months I would end up staying at the jail, I would never receive any medication a single time, except the one time they brought me the wrong medication “Latuda.” For the first two months, I had dozens, if not hundreds of seizures. I asked for medical attention every single day. The guy in central control, reached by pressing the button near my cell door, kept yelling at me to stop hitting the button, and that it was only for emergencies. I asked what was considered an emergency, as I needed medical attention immediately. He told me to talk to the “CO’s” or correctional officers almost every single time. I was not told I was in jail, that I had been arrested, or what I was charged with.
Klonopin/Clonazepam is one of the medications in the “benzodiazepine” category. It is one of very few medications which can cause death through the withdrawals of taking it for a period of time and then quitting abruptly. I asked the nurse several times for Klonopin/Clonazepam, and was ignored. The withdrawals are a worse hell than anything imaginable. I attempted suicide three times – once by slicing my wrists with a razor, once by hanging myself with a towel in the cell, and once by jumping off a platform/wall in the “yard.” Each time my commissary items and books were taken away, and I was lead to a “rubber room” cell upstairs. There is nothing in this room but a barred hole in the floor, and they take away your clothes so that all you have is a blanket.
At the end of May, I was taken to court. At some point I was given some kind of psychiatric evaluation by a psychiatrist in Stockton, Dr. Cavenaugh. I was driven to the meeting with Dr. Cavenaugh after being woken up after passing out from exhaustion having been up for three or four continuous days with no sleep. The psychiatrist did not turn in his report in time for the court date, so my case was delayed an entire month. On the day of court, my father showed up, and we chatted on a video screen. He informed me that I was in jail, accused of grand theft for stealing a racing bicycle. He said there was nothing either of us could do. I told him they were not giving me any medication, and begged him to hire an attorney. He did not even attempt to find an attorney or speak with anyone. He said the nurse was in the jail making sure I was ok and that she told him she saw me all the time. I had only seen the nurse about three times in the two months, and all she did was check my blood pressure.
I put in a request to see the doctor about transferring to a facility where I could get my prescribed medications. When I met with the doctor, she told me the jail had all the capabilities to get me my prescribed medications. I asked for my prescribed hormones, Klonopin/Clonazepam, Neurontin/Gabapentin, and was ingored. My dad and/or my mom put some money in my commissary account, I asked how to use the phone and the commissary machine to order commissary, and finally a correctional officer showed me how to use them. It is now June 2016, I have been locked up over two months with no access to an attorney, or telephone calls.
I am let out of my solitary confinement cell once a week at the most for about a half hour to an hour. I have just enough time to take a shower and make a phone call to my mom and dad. I beg them to contact an attorney, as I am afraid I am going to be allowed to die in here. They say I’m not going to die, the nurse is taking care of me, who I had only seen two or three times, she tells them she sees me everyday and I am usually sleeping. This is not true, and I go three or four days at a time with no sleep before finally passing out from exhaustion.
I ask for a phone book at one point to call a bail bondsman and or an attorney. They actually give me one eventually, but take it away before I am able to make a phone call. I have nothing to copy the number to another piece of paper. I am told I was eligible for bail at one point, but now my case is suspended because they are trying to find me incompetent to stand trial due to not being given my psychiatric medications a single time in Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office jail.
I go back to court in June, where I meet my assigned public defender again. I am not allowed to speak in court. They have found me incompetent to stand trial. I have not had a phone call to an attorney or access to one. I have not spoken in court.
Another month of pure hell. Four months of seizures, solitary confinement, hardly any sleep, no medication, and being placed next to two psychopaths. One man is a full blown schizophrenic also being denied medication. He screams almost non stop in his cell the entire time I’m there. Another man from Mesa, Arizona, is an unmedicated bipolar patient. Some days he is very nice and gives me candy and books. Other days he pounds on my door and threatens me. Throughout the five months I end up staying in Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office jail C-Block, these two are the only other people I encounter, with the exception of one local man who ends up with us for about two weeks. My block mate is suing the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office after not having been to court yet in 19 months. He has discovered a private group owns the jail, and they make $129 or so per inmate per day. He suspects they mess up paperwork and inmate cases on purpose because they can make money off extending our stays unnecessarily. My block mate also believes the public defender is working with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office instead of the inmates he is assigned to defend. They had assigned him a public defender that he is seemingly unable to fire. Every night, the television and lights are off from 11:30pm to 4:30am. During the day, they blast music, and talk through the intercom at eardrum piercing decibel levels. If you do not comply with their demands to return to your cell, they turn up the volume. All day and all night long there are heavy metal doors clanging, being slammed open and shut, triggering my intense post traumatic stress disorders I’ve been in weekly therapy for over three years for. I am not given any medication at all, despite seizure after seizure, and my situation is clearly deteriorating from lack of sleep. Even the correctional officers start to feel bad for me.
At the end of July, I am returned to court. The judge sentences me to Napa State Hospital, a psychiatric facility where I will be force medicated on the wrong medications against my will. On September 6, I am transported along with the unmedicated raving schizophrenic to Metropolitan State Hospital in Los Angeles, California. Five months of solitary confinement, told it is for my own protection, and not one time have I had access to any of the medications I’ve been prescribed.
I want to note that in October of 2015, I filed the legal paperwork to legally change my name and my gender from male to female. As far as I know this paperwork went through with no problems, but my identification is not updated and I have not heard anything more from the court. I have another attorney checking into this.
Despite my legal status as a female, I am called my old male name, a person who does not even exist anymore according to any state entities. I am housed with males in Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, often a death sentence for transgender inmates. At Metropolitan State Hospital, I am further denied my prescribed medications and hormones, and am housed with 53 males. I am threatened multiple times by deranged psychotic criminals who repeatedly demonstrate they have no problem resorting to violence over the most minor perceived transgressions.
The morning after the night I arrive in Metropolitan State Hospital in Los Angeles, a nurse lies to the rest of the staff that I tried to grab her. I am held down by a dozen humungous men and injected with unknown substances. I am asleep for possibly days. When I come to, I ask for my prescribed medications and hormones. Eventually, I am given 40mg of Geodon twice a day, along with unnecessary and excessive amounts of thorazine, and the doctor also forces me to take Lithium.
My father visits me at Metropolitan State Hospital a couple times. He talks to the doctor, and informs her I need Klonopin/Clonazepam 2mg twice a day. They keep me on the Geodon & Lithium, and add the Klonopin. In October of 2016, I continue completing the three tests I need to demonstrate my competency for court so that I may return. I do not fail any of them even once, determined to get back to my life and my Bitcoin financial technology consulting company. I tell the team of doctors and social workers at Metropolitan State Hospital I regularly handle six figures of cryptocurrency accounts and am a Founding Member of Bitgive Foundation, www.bitgivefoundation.org. They do not believe me despite telling them to look up my name at the Bitgive Foundation website and giving them the primary founder's contact information.
The entire time at Metropolitan State Hospital in Los Angeles, the denial of my prescribed hormones continues. They do not care that I am a transgender person. I file several complaints with the rights advocate. At the end of October, my condition having been stabilized through the proper dose of Klonopin/Clonazepam and an extra high dose of Geodon, I am transferred back to Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office jail. The day I am there, I am again denied any medication. My father had informed me that while incarcerated in Metropolitan State Hospital, where I could have ended up indefinitely if I had been continued to be forced to take the wrong medications by court order, the prosecuting attorney in the case has agreed to drop the charges if I become competent to stand trial. This increased my optimism and encouraged me to perform well by studying hard for the competency tests. I passed them easily on the first try. My old block mate is in the jail in another block I end up in, A-Block, where we are no longer in solitary confinement. He gives me an apple at lunch, and says he is glad I am doing much better.
In my final court appearance, having never had any contact with my assigned public defender outside of the court room despite several calls to his office, I am offered a plea guilty to misdemeanor theft with restitution for the bicycle. In exchange for a guilty plea, I will be able to leave that day, and resume my hormone replacement therapy which I had been doing for the three previous years. Believing I will not be able to get any medication in jail, and worried they will just keep bouncing me back and forth from court assigned state psychiatric hospitals to jail, I accept the plea and am released that afternoon.
I had been released from Metropolitan State Hospital with no prescriptions. I was released from jail with an expired debit card that didn’t work, a set of keys for a vehicle stored at an unknown location that had been retrieved from my father from the impound lot earlier in the summer, a set of clothes from the hospital, an empty wallet, and nothing else. I have no money, no medication, no water, no food, no way to get into town, and no way to pay for a hotel or medications. Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office has taken the very clothes from my back when I had gotten arrested, a pair of designer jeans and a rare edition band T-shirt, along with expensive underwear. I get a ride from a nice taxi driver before finding out my debit card doesn’t work, I use her phone to call my mother who was able to pay her $40 for the ride that night. My father is able to use Expedia to reserve a hotel room for the night in Angel’s Camp at the Travelodge Inn. My dad purchases plane tickets immediately to fly from Phoenix to Stockon, and drives in the next morning. He was not even informed that I had court, let alone that I would be released. Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office clearly doesn’t care if I died in their custody, or die out in the streets. In addition, my 2010 Ford Escape XLT has a dead battery, and all the gas has evaporated during the hot summer months.
In summary, I was tortured for five months by Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, through unnecessary solitary confinement and through continued denial of prescribed medications. I was not given any of the medications I need to survive, let alone function. I can not believe I am somehow not dead. Some of the correctional officers just made fun of me when I asked repeatedly for my hormone replacement medications and Klonpin/Clonazepam. I have an unknown number of seizures, many times being completely unresponsive when correctional officers pounded on my door or even came into my cell. They all knew something was seriously wrong. I put in an uncountable number of requests for medical attention, and was only given a slip by correctional officers to see the doctor one time, who did absolutely nothing to help me.
I was further denied adequate health care by Metropolitan State Hospital in Los Angeles. I was court ordered to take the wrong medication, Lithium, and they forced me to take excessive amounts of Geodon, leading to extreme discomfort through akathisia. I am in a perpetual state of restlessness for two months due to akathisia, with no ability to deny the excessive medication. At one point I was involuntarily put in five point restraints for an entire day, and repeatedly injected with extreme and excessive amounts of thorazine, for the high crime of asking one of the nurses to be nicer to me and other patients after she screamed at us nonstop every day. At no point in the seven months in my care of the state am I once offered a single hormone medication for my transgender status. I inform every person who will listen of this fact every single day of the seven months.
Since being released at from Metropolitan State Hospital and Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office at the end of October, I have nothing but nightmares. It is hard for me to keep food down or sleep at night. I have been evicted from my apartment for not being there to pay the rent, leading to worries I may be homeless unless I can get everything together and find a place to live. I was sleeping at a friend’s house in Lansing, Michigan, and am now searching for property to open a fresh shrimp poboy sandwich shop and 24 hour coffee shop with some friends in Dayton, Ohio. I have plenty of Bitcoin, but Chase Bank has shut off all of my accounts – checking, ATM, and credit cards. I have survived by staying in hotels with my Bitcoin through Expedia who accept Bitcoin directly, and buying food with Whole Foods gift cards from Gyft, an online company that also accepts Bitcoin directly. The disruption in my hormone replacement therapy could have a myriad of unknown physical and mental health problems. I will have extended post traumatic stress disorder from being incarcerated and left for death / ignored in Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office jail. I often have nightmares that I am still locked up. I have chest pains all the time and my cardiac health has deteriorated from not being given access to my cholesterol medications while locked up. I have completely lost my faith in humanity, having seen first hands conditions in which human beings in the first world no less simply do not care one iota about the health of a fellow human being, even thriving on the suffering of others. I am terrified to leave my house, as this could apparently happen to anyone at anytime for any reason.
Sometime near the end of May of 2016, while locked up in Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office jail, I woke up with a searing, burning pain in my right eye. I ask for medical attention, and see the doctor and / or the nurse. I tell her I am seeing things that aren’t there, “tracers” and “fuzzies.” She says this is all in my head and she does nothing about it. I see an optometrist in Phoenix after I am released, who tells me my cornea is cracked, and I may have a detached retina. She refers me to an ophthalmologist specializing in eye surgery, and informs me if I do not have immediate surgery I could go permanently blind. She can not believe the doctor at Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office jail did not do anything about these symptoms. The ophthalmologist takes a bunch of pictures of my eye with top of the line equipment, and informs me that the eye has mostly healed up on its own. I end up not requiring eye surgery, by some kind of miracle. All of this happened because I borrowed a used bicycle, at a public bicycle event, where I was told I could do so by who I thought was the bicycle’s owner. This entire document is 100% truthful, with zero exaggeration. I am even leaving out several instances where I was launched and manhandled back into my cell by burly correctional officers, who for the most part handled the use of force professionally. For several weeks the water was completely shut off in my cell & it was flooded with raw sewage. I do not even know where to begin making this right, or to prevent this from happening to any one else. Hardly any one I talk to even believes my story, as they believe this simply can not and does not happen in America.