Like Scarface said: “every time you try to get out, they just keep trying to pull you back in!”
After a long, stormy night under the cardboard, Ken West needed a shower.
A friend, he said, offered him a chance at showering off at his house – but when West showed up, he saw five men with a substantial amount of illegal narcotics.
“I had to bounce,” West said, explaining that he needed to leave the life of illicit substances behind. “Those guys get wild when they get in that stuff.”
Lamenting the reality of the American justice system, West noted that although minor offenders can do long jail time for a small amount of narcotics, that doesn’t mean that the drugs are not a social problem of mass proportions.
As for himself, West has just emerged from the bowels of the Albemarle County Jail after a period of over 30 days of incarceration. The crime? Violating a restraining order from a spiteful girlfriend.
In following up on West’s crime and punishment, Leading the Horse spoke to the woman who took out the restraining order, then called the police and had West arrested in February.
Claiming “psychological abuse,” the woman was unable to provide specific examples of any behavior that would warrant arrest and incarceration. Saying over and over that she “loved her Kenny” she maintained that “she needs to get herself right now.” At some points, she maintained that West went to jail willingly to get three square meals a day, an idea that West himself emphatically denied.
In short, from past reporting and knowledge of the actors (which you can read all about in the archives) it appears that West has been the victim of a poisonous, tumultuous relationship, and a punitive legal system (his girlfriend, in our view, is also a victim, both of her own situation and of Kenny’s annoyingly repetitive “gospel”). It should also be noted that America absolutely needs a system to protect women from their boyfriends, spouses, and other men in their lives. Domestic violence is no laughing matter. But in the “court of the street”, the jurisprudence of those who live with their actions, it should be said that like many who have been caught up in the American dragnet, West probably did not need to spend over a month awaiting a hearing at which he was released, unless his penance was in order to serve the general principle of domestic abuse protections. Oddly enough, West himself maintains that he was guilty and willing to do his time, explaining that his real crime was breaking the judge’s order.
Citing the prestige and the responsibility that America gives its judges, West argues that by accepting the punishment, and “fessing up” to the judge, he was able to achieve his eventual release, and justice was served.