Words by Melchisedek El Shalom
On Thursday, December 6, 2018, at 12:32 pm, as a part of an investigation by the Ashland Police Department, I, Melchisedek El Shalom, age 20, sent a written statement. I declined an in-person interview due to my distrust of the Ashland Police Department. This is my account of what happened on November 26, 2018 shortly after 7 pm.
Excerpt from Submitted Written Statement
“On November 26, 2018 at about 7:00pm, I left home on Clay Creek Way in Ashland, OR for a walk downtown and to stop at Safeway for my [D]ad. I was chatting on the phone with my sister in Philadelphia.
As I reached Ashland High School, an Ashland Police car swooped in front of me. As I walked around the car, an officer jumped from the car and pushed me back. Initially, I thought they were approaching me for speaking loudly on my phone.
The officer told me that I had just committed a crime at a nearby dispensary. Afraid for my safety, I started a Facebook live feed on my phone.
At that point, two other police cars arrive on the scene, three policemen in total. They repeatedly told me that I’d been harassing a woman at a dispensary nearby. They stated that they had been doing an investigation and they knew it was me.
I vehemently denied the charge. I have never stepped foot into the dispensary.
I asked an officer if I was under arrest, he said no…
I asked if I could leave and he said no.
They asked my name and I told them. Knowing that I have a black wallet, I was afraid to pull out my ID and asked that they retrieve it from my pocket. I informed them repeatedly that I am on probation, underage, and that I had not been to a dispensary. I suggested that we go to the dispensary and check the footage to clear me of the charge.
I called them racist and that stated that they were harassing me because I am Black. I stated that I feared for my life because a person was just killed by police in a nearby town. That infuriated Officer Bibby, he frisked me, slammed me on the hood of his car and cuffed me as I repeatedly stated that I was not resisting arrest.
The older officer agreed, saying “Yes, you are not resisting arrest.”
They searched my bag, only to find my crystals and my money. Officer Bibby then stated that he knew I probably didn’t do it, but insisted on taking me to jail anyway, stating that it was because I was not cooperating. The older Officer questioned his taking me in, suggesting that he let me go, however, Officer Bibby insisted that I would go to jail.
At that point I was put into the back of Officer Bibby’s car.
The drive to Medford was terrifying as the Officer took back roads and blasted Heavy Metal Music. I screamed from the back[,] “Officer you never told me your name!” He never responded.
I continuously stated that my parents would be looking for me. I asked why I wasn’t being taking to the Ashland jail. I honestly feared for my life. One moment I was walking past the High School that I graduated from and the next I was in a car on a dark back road with an aggressive policeman blasting [sic metal] music.
Request for Copy of the Report
On Monday, December 10, 2018, I visited the Ashland Police Department seeking a complaint file, or the investigative report findings. I was given a standard, one-page complaint form.
I am demanding to see the investigative report and I want it released to the public.