It was Monday April 15th, 2019...a windy and mildly cold day was coming to its conclusion. I had been working on my latest mixed-media painting when around 5:00PM I decided to step aside from my work and have a brief stick of cigarette. I walked around my little studio casually puffing here and there when I decided to capriciously glance out of the window. 

     It was then that I saw 2 to 3 uniformed Washington DC police officers with battering rams approach the main entrance of 1801 28th Place SE...the building I live and work in. One of them,presumably the task force leader screamed “open up! Police! We have a search warrant!” I became instinctively petrified. I was not even remotely involved in any criminal activity, however this is quite an instinctive common reaction for Black and Brown people in America. “The day has become much more interesting”, I thought. Somehow I knew exactly which unit in the building the police were going to. Fortunately the law enforcement  personnel were able to enter into the building without breaking the door (after all we have no intercom).  Without having gotten too far up the steps they began knocking determinedly on the door of a particular unit. Again they bellowed “Police! We have a search warrant! Now open up the door!”

  At this point I got into nosy neighbor mode and opened up my front door to listen to the events taking place below for they had reluctantly opened the door and bore the onslaught of what sounded like a blend of interrogation and fine toothed comb searching. The woman of the house, an older woman who generally appears to be in her mid sixties shouted “Don’t tell them/say anything!”

    I took bolder steps and looked down from an angle of the stairwell when I caught one of the officers eyes and we exchanged silent “head nod” acknowledgements of one another. The search continued and created an event that even other neighbors stood on the outside of the building to see the results of. 

     The irony of this is that just one floor right above the target of the police is the headquarters of...the Dopamine Clinic...I point this out as ironic because to the more modestly educated class of people who encounter the name of my studio it gives almost immediate psychographic imagery of organized crime level drug dealing. They know little of neurochemistry so I don’t blame them (and the origin myth kind of guides them to this as well).It simply creates a conversation opener that allows me to introduce them to the concept and mission of my arts and leisure company. 

   However murky may be the waters of its’ past, the Dopamine Clinic is completely legitimate. I have in fact even posted business cards on the bulletin board at our local police station and freely pass out cards and information about it to cops on the beat just as freely as I would in an encounter with any citizen or visitor. I live in a way that requires no secrecy... 

    It’s no secret that The Dopamine Clinic is notably known locally and the address is so publicly available that given the typical human reaction to the studios’ name coupled with the previous fact, one with even mild intelligence or minimal common sense would have to conclude that an illegal drug/crime operations’ proprietor(s) would want to keep the least amount of association or proximity to such a place...

     It may not have been so in this instance if the search warrant was in fact executed for anything drug related. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies...or maybe most people who try to operate these types of enterprises are often very stupid or perhaps careless and under qualified.

   I’ll give you my take on things...Check it! For almost a year and a half since I have lived here the targeted unit has had a continuous flow of itinerant youth going in and out of the unit at all times of the day and night. The resident adults of the home seem so uncomfortable with being referred to by the names they introduced themselves with that it reeks of pseudonym discomfort. Everyone is a “son” or a “daughter”...The man of the home has seemingly below average intelligence or at least a terrible memory possibly due to aging and a proclivity to lying that has over time made him something of a bad joke to me. This is the kind of guy that will lie about what he ate for breakfast so do not believe I’m exaggerating...The micro behavioral indications of unease are viscerally obvious. Everyone who goes in and out of there is behaving in a visibly unnatural and nervous fashion...And did I mention the obvious law enforcement metric for catching criminals who are not sophisticated or organized? It’s basically a Material quality of life to income ratio! Here’s where my Jeff Foxworthy comes in (sorry for the use of generalizations)...In other words “if you’re Black or Brown and unemployed and have a brand new car...you might be a drug dealer”...”If you’re supporting multiple dependents without assistance from the state or employment...or an investment portfolio...you might be a drug dealer”. “If you can’t tell the truth about who you are to your neighbor...you might be up to no good”. “If you’re getting each others names confused all the time in a household...you might not be a family”.

   Anyway I offered the officers some juice or water from above just as hospitality and to make it clear that the Dopamine Clinic and Akindele Akerejah have nothing to hide. I can’t say what will become of this household but I can say this, once you have law enforcement that invested into prosecuting you for a crime or crimes it is essentially over for you. And so if you’re given a chance by God to avoid arrest,arraignment,indictment,trial and conviction my advice is to wash your hands of all criminal activity and the associations thus...And this only applies to financially motivated crimes where there were no murders or tax issues and so on. However I’ve seen it so many times in the Black community...So I told my next door neighbor “I don’t know how people think they can get away with crime in 21st century America. Nobody is ‘snitching’...you’re on tape and you’re on film!” If you add that to the lack of network sophistication and the ethics issues of the criminal element, as well as the heavily monitored condition of Black people in general you would have to realize that even the singular geniuses of the community would find it nearly impossible to make crime pay...However the genius knows what the common player in the rackets does not...when to get out.

   8 years ago I told myself, like Michael Corleone said to his wife Kate in The Godfather...”Within 5 years the Dopamine Clinic will be completely legitimate.” And it was so...

    To all those in the underworld who are skeptical of what I’m saying please understand me when I tell you that the worlds most talented criminals are almost always turned into agents of law enforcement to effectively deal with the non elite members of their class...And kids DON’T DO DRUGS and OBEY THE LAW... now I’m signing off...I have a teleconference with my handler at INTERPOL...(j/k)

               by Akindelé I Akerejah