Thompson asks judge to throw out charges for recording Fall River cop

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

The post below was first published to BayStateExaminer.com on March 15, 2014 by Andrew and Maya. It’s shared here because the threats levied at George Thompson are ludicrous, and reactionary by Fall River police employee Thomas Barboza, which has only been compounded by those in legaland, including prosecutor Robert Kidd who hasn’t yet dropped the threats, and judge Joseph Macey, who’s thus far refused to dismiss the charges.

___________________________

Thompson asks judge to throw out charges for recording Fall River cop
by Andrew and Maya

George Thompson, who was arrested on January 6 for recording a Fall River police officer with his iPhone, was in court Thursday where his attorney asked a judge to dismiss the charges against him.

Thompson was charged with violating the Massachusetts wiretapping law which prohibits secretly audio-recording conversations. He was also charged with resisting arrest.

Thompson said he began recording Officer Thomas Barboza because he saw the officer, who was supposed to be working at a detail, talking on the phone loudly and swearing profusely on the street outside his apartment. He said his arm was fully extended when he was shooting the video, making it obvious what he was doing. He also said that Barboza called him a “fucking welfare bum” when he approached him.

george-thompson-bay-state-examiner-fall-river-ma-film-police-copblock

George Thompson shows our friends at BayStateExaminer.com the porch of his former apartment where he was unjustly arrested by Fall River (MA) police employee Thomas Barboza

In his arrest report, Barboza offered a different account, claiming that Thompson “had a cell phone,as [sic] if just resting, holding it close to his body infront [sic] of his middle chest area.”

The report still makes it clear that Barboza saw Thompson’s phone and that Thompson said that he was recording twice. Despite this, Barboza wrote in his report that Thompson had been secretly recording him.

In the report, Barboza describes a violent arrest in which he “knocked the phone from [Thompson's] hand and pushed him onto the porch floor.” Barboza said that he resorted to violence because Thompson resisted being handcuffed by “pulling his hands apart.”

Fall River Police Outfit
508-676-8511
685 Pleasant St., Fall River, MA 02721
http://frpd.org

The Fall River police have said that two days after Thompson was arrested, his phone was somehow reset while in their custody, deleting all its contents. The police have accused Thompson of resetting the phone remotely using a cloud service. Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine told WPRI that a warrant was issued to Apple to find out if this allegation is true.

Thompson has denied resetting the video, saying it was most likely a police officer who did it. He said he wanted the video to be made public and has no reason to have delete it. He also said that the phone had no service at the time it was reset, so he couldn’t have remotely accessed it.

Last Monday, Thompson’s attorney Daniel Igo filed a motion to dismiss in an attempt to get Judge Joseph Macey, the judge who is hearing the case, to throw out the charges.

According to the Igo’s motion, “the allegations contained in the Fall River police report do not describe a secret recording but are more properly viewed as an exercise in free speech.”

Igo cited the case Commonwealth v. Hyde, in which the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a recording could not be considered secret if the recording device was “held… in plain sight.”

Igo compared Thompson’s arrest to the recent case Glik v. Cunniffe, in which a federal appeals court ruled that a Massachusetts man could move forward with a lawsuit against three Boston police officers who arrested him for recording them with a cell phone.

Igo said the facts of Thompson’s case were “strikingly similar” to those in Glik:

It is alleged that Thompson like Glik used his cell phone to tape officer’s actions while the officer was on duty. Both cases occurred while the officers were in public. In both cases, the police acknowledged the cell phone’s presence. In both cases, the officers were told that they were being recorded.

Igo also wrote the resisting arrest charge should be dismissed because Thompson was not accused of violently resisting and because the arrest was not made in “good faith.”

Assistant District Attorney Robert Kidd, who is prosecuting Thompson, said during Thursday’s court hearing that he wanted more time to review the motion.

Fall River District Attorney office
508-679-1911
http://bristolda.com/offices.aspx

Macey refused to dismiss the charges immediately, agreeing to give Kidd more time. He scheduled another pretrial hearing for April 11.

If you’re within driving distance of Fall River, consider showing up on April 11th to stand with George Thompson

fall-river-george-thompson-bay-state-examiner-copblock

fall-river-district-attorney-robert-kidd-bay-state-examiner-copblock

Fall River Assistant District Attorney Robert Kidd (508-679-1911) is prosecuting George Thompson for filming police employee Thomas Barboza in public

fall-river-center-for-justice-judge-joseph-macey-bay-state-examiner-copblock

Joseph Macey (508-491-3280), judge at Fall River Center for Justice, refused, at this iteration, to dismiss the threats levied against George Thompson.

george-thompson-daniel-igo-fall-river-bay-state-examiner-copblock

George Thompson and attorney Daniel Igo exit Fall River Center for Justice, set to return on April 11th for another pre-trial hearing.

Thompson remains optimistic

Despite the setback during Thursday’s court hearing, Thompson remains optimistic.

“I’m gonna beat ‘em. I’ve already won. They just don’t know it yet,” he said.

History suggests that he will beat the charges. According to The Herald News, at least five other people have been charged with wiretapping for recording police in Greater Fall River since 2008. Of the four cases that have been resolved so far, three were dismissed. The only person to have been convicted took a plea bargain.

In addition to winning his criminal case, Thompson said he is pursuing several avenues to hold the Fall River police accountable for what happened.

Thompson has already filed a complaint against Barboza. The Fall River police chief sustained the complaint and punished Barboza, although Thompson was unhappy with the punishment. Barboza was given with a one day suspension and prohibited from detail work for 15 days for talking on the phone and using inappropriate language.

“They slapped him on the hand,” Thompson said. “That’s a slap not only to myself, that’s a slap in the face to everybody. A five-year-old kid would get more severe punishment.”

Thompson said that once he beats the charges against him, he plans to make sure the police department holds whoever is responsible for deleting his video accountable.

“I’d like to see the dirty Fall River cop that erased my video – cop or cops – somebody is gonna get fired in Fall River,” he said. “If something as minute as that video of a police officer goofing off can be tampered with and destroyed, what other evidence has been tampered with or destroyed while sitting in the Fall River police station?”

It remains to be seen if the police will get to the bottom of who reset the phone, but Police Chief Daniel Racine told WPRI that he would take action against whoever was responsible.”If a Fall River police officer erased that video, he’s fired and I would suspect the district attorney would take out charges. If any other individual did that, we will take out felony charges,” he said.

Thompson said that more people should exercise their rights and try to hold police accountable for misconduct.

“Too many peoples’ rights get violated and people sit back and say ‘Look, it’s only me. I can’t do anything about it,’” he said. “With the internet and the technology going on now, you can be one person and you can shake people up.”

Related: Documents related to George Thompson’s case

Note: The video of Thompson’s court hearing was provided to us by Tim White of WPRI. Court rules only allow one video camera to record court proceedings at a time, however, the video must be shared with any other news media present. Tim White got the video back to us very quickly and we are very appreciative.

Thompson asks judge to throw out charges for recording Fall River cop is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Badged Serial Killers: The Growing Murder Culture of Cops (Part IV) by Bill Buppert

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

This essay was first published to ZeroGov.com on February 26th, 2014 by Bill Buppert. It is the fourth in a five-part series that investigates the growing death culture of the American cop and the predator prey relationship between badged thugs in the pay of the King and the following victim classes among the Helotry that is America.

__________________

by Bill Buppert

This series of essays have been concentrating on the more innocent and less strong among the population and the caging, maiming and killing that has been targeting the elderly and in some cases infirm.

In Part One, I spoke to the cruelty and violence police are increasingly visiting on the most innocent of all – the animals. In most cases, the cops, in the name of officer safety, maim or kill the canine (and feline) offenders (and cows).

In Part Two, I spoke to the cruelty of cops against children.

In Part Three, I spoke to the increasing war on woman by the thin black and blue line.

One does not have to far in the news to find these stories and I want to repeat that police brutality and abuse is under-reported and non-reported to a large extent and the prison complexes probably hide legions of personal narratives that would chill the most brazen police apologists in America.

I lost my 86 year old father to Valhalla this past year and my wife’s grandparents lived with us in to their 90s until they passed when we lived up north. Old folks are more fragile and not as quick as their younger days that make the following stories I relate to you even more horrific. Please keep in mind that most of these horror stories involving badged brutality are less than a year old and the last two decades has seen a tremendous uptick in police brutality against innocents so this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Jaywalking seems to be a popular trigger like the young college girl mauled by the cops in Part III of this series. Mr. Wong was assaulted by New York’s finest:

nypd-kang-chun-wong-bill-buppert-copblock

“According to the report, suddenly on Jan. 19 while en route to his West 97th Street apartment, “Wong walked right into a nightmarish police operation” that had been concocted by the commander of the local police precinct, “in response to a spate of fatal pedestrian accidents.”

When all was said and done, the octogenarian was left bloodied, his head, arm and ribs injured and sore from a violent confrontation with police, he told the newspaper. Wong said he was left in disbelief that after a lifetime of abiding by the law everything could have gone so wrong, being knocked unconscious on the street and handcuffed in a local hospital emergency room, and facing a range of criminal charges.”

Mr. Wong is suing the city for five million but this won’t affect any of the thugs involved because the taxpayers will foot the bill if he wins. Nice work if you can get it. These cops are not alone, there a number of lawsuit stars on the force:

“Meet Detective Peter Valentin. Det. Valentin makes approximately $125,000 per year, including overtime, for his role as a narcotics officer with the NYPD. In the last 8 years, this cop has been sued for violating the civil rights of the people 28 times, or about once every 3 months or so. The suits that have settled have already cost the city (read: the taxpayers) over $884,000, as exposed by the NY Daily News.”

One of the trends one observes in the mountains of narrative stories on police misbehavior is the vicious and bullying nature of the encounters and the escalation authored by the police in almost every instance.

Don’t expect any of the cops to face punitive measures or even lose their jobs; they appear to be what they want to keep in the ranks. The man who savaged this 70-year-old woman is back on the force, of course.

kevin-jones-glynn-county-sheriffs-office-kathleen-mary-allegrone-bill-buppert-copblock

“Her head makes a thud sound as it hits the ground. Allegrone “suffered a bloody nose and an abrasion on the bridge of her nose,” according to the Times Union.

But Doering said the senior citizen dug her nails into Jones’ hand and wrist and that his officer was justified in throwing her to the ground to prevent her from doing so.

Police Chief Matt Doering said Glynn County officer Kevin Jones “acted reasonably” during the Dec. 5 [2013] incident that took place in St. Simons Island, Ga.”

Some of the heroes tased and shot and killed a 95-year-old man in a nursing home in Chicago:

park-forest-police-john-wrana-bill-buppert-copblock

“The Park Forest police version is that on the night of July 26, John Wrana, a resident of the Victory Centre senior living facility, threatened staff and paramedics with a 2-foot-long metal shoehorn and a metal cane. The police statement neglects to mention that the old man also used a walker, at least according to photographs supplied by Grapsas.

“Attempts were made verbally to have the resident comply with demands to drop the articles, to no avail,” the police statement reads. “The resident then armed himself with a 12-inch butcher type kitchen knife.”

But [the family's] lawyer says that Wrana’s family never saw a knife in his room and that staff also told him Wrana didn’t have such a knife.

“So where did the knife come from?” [he] asked.”

He refused medical care, they called the police and after they were done, he no longer required any more medical care at all.

These are not unusual and the increasing violence against senior citizens by police is becoming more frequent in concert with the last ten years of rapid militarization of police forces.

Speaking to the hoplophobic nature of all police forces across the US fed by the DHS propaganda machine that despise the private possession of any firearms.  72-year-old Jerry Wayne Waller was gunned down by the cops investigating a burglary.

fort-worth-police-jerry-wayne-waller-bill-buppert-copblock

While investigating around the home, officers met up with an adult male who was armed with a handgun. At least one of the officers fired and struck the man, killing him at the scene. But, according to former city council member Becky Haskin, that man was simply a neighbor who was also looking into what may have set off the security alarm.

“Officers felt threatened by the man [Waller] with the handgun and he was shot.”

The Fort Worth Police Department has not confirmed that information as they are continuing to investigate the case.”

Recently, an 80-year-old man was gunned down in his home in California by cops at the wrong address:

john-bones-eugene-mallory-bill-buppert-copblock

“The deputies crashed through the front gate and began executing a search warrant for methamphetamine on the property. Detective Patrick Hobbs, a self-described narcotics expert who claimed he “smelled the strong odor of chemicals” downwind from the house after being tipped off to illegal activity from an anonymous informant, spearheaded the investigation.

Deputies approached the house, and what happened next is where things get murky. The deputies said they announced their presence upon entering and were met in the hallway by the 80-year-old man, wielding a gun and stumbling towards them. The deputies later changed the story when the massive bloodstains on Mallory’s mattress indicated to investigators that he’d most likely been in bed at the time of the shooting. Investigators also found that an audio recording of the incident revealed a discrepancy in the deputies’ original narrative:

Before listening to the audio recording, [Sgt. John] Bones believed that he told Mallory to “Drop the gun” prior to the shooting. The recording revealed, however, that his commands to “Drop the gun” occurred immediately after the shooting.

When it was all over, Eugene Mallory died of six gunshot wounds from Sgt. John Bones’ MP-5 9mm sub-machine gun. When a coroner arrived, he found the loaded .22 caliber pistol the two deputies claimed Mallory had pointed at them on the bedside table. 

Mallory had not fired a single shot. The raid turned up no evidence of methamphetamine on the property.”

There is no surprise here in the grisly aftermath of yet another no-knock raid in the imbecilic drug war. Notice the cops are employing a sub-machine gun and the lies started immediately but the recording of the incident clearly demonstrated (again) the consistent trouble with telling the truth that plagues all police behavior today.

Katharina Lambert, age 88, was mauled by a police dog in her house during a no-knock raid on her home. Most likely, Miss Lambert would have been tried for murder if she had maimed or killed the dog to defend herself since she does not wear a badge. The appended article has an interesting listing of other such incidents.

echevarria-san-bernadino-police-k9-katharina-lambert-bill-buppert-copblock

“Lambert awoke to vicious bites to her arm and shoulder causing serious injuries like puncture wounds and severe bruising, she says. Echevarria had to physically remove the dog from Lambert to stop the attack.

She also claims that medical treatment was delayed and that the department knew about her severe hearing impairment. She doesn’t pull punches when it comes to accountability. She is personally zeroing in on everyone involved and believes that the culture of San Bernadino police encourages the idea that “it is permissible to unlawfully enter a person’s home, deploy a police K-9 to attack innocent people, refuse to accommodate a disabled person, and delay prompt medical care.”

A similar police dog attack killed an 89-year-old and he died of his injuries and the poor taxpayers footed the bill, of course for officer savagery.

The beatings continue:

“A 62-year-old grandmother, Daisy L. Morales, has filed a lawsuit against a Worcester police officer and the city after she says she was wrongly arrested and assaulted nearly a year ago. Morales’ suit contends the assault by officer James Powers of the Worcester Police Department was racially motivated.

“The individual defendant mercilessly beat Ms. Morales at her home simply to ‘teach her a lesson’ for questioning his police authority,” states the lawsuit against Powers and the city of Worcester.

Filed with the U.S. District Court in Worcester on Friday, the suit accuses Powers of beating Morales in her own home while Powers was in uniform. The alleged beating left Morales, then 61, with “life-threatening, permanent injuries which have required extensive surgical procedures and ongoing physical therapy treatment,” according to the lawsuit.”

You have to read the full text of the affidavit and the attached report to see the absolutely rabid nature of the cop (James Powers) involved when he perceived his authority was challenged by a diminutive elderly woman.

He is the poster child for the attitude that seems to be the rule and not the exception among the thin black and blue line:

“He turned on Ms. Morales with a wild look in his eyes and shouted: ‘I will show you police brutality!’ At this, the large, menacing Officer Powers charged at the diminutive Ms. Morales, picked her off the ground, and body slammed her with all his might.”

These are just a few of the horror stories of police brutality against the elderly in America and the same thing happens globally, the curious combination of psychopathy that seems to combine cowardice, bullying and sheer fear for their lives make s the cops quite trigger-happy and eager to physically dominate hurt people in many encounters.

elderly-caged-in-us-prison-industrial-complex-bill-buppert-copblock

I also suspect the abuse captured on video and audio of these rabid encounters is the tip of the iceberg when compared to the prison system in America that has the highest per capita prison population on planet earth with 25% of the worlds prisoners and 5% of the global population. The elderly prison population comes with its own unique pathologies.

“[T]he largest absolute number of people in prison. The US prison population is much larger in absolute numbers that the prison populations of China and India, countries with four times the US population.”

The American Civil Liberties Union published a report in 2012 which asserts that the elderly prison population has climbed 1300% since the 1980s, with 125,000 inmates aged 55 or older now incarcerated.

The problem remains an increasingly savage police presence in America that get worse by the year while their own threat environment gets increasingly safer making them one of the safest occupations in America apart from their self-immolation on retirement. The increasing obesity problem among cops as a nation-wide (if not global) phenomenon leads to early cop deaths after retirement along with the indiscipline in lifestyle that most overweight folks suffer from. After all, police careers are the number seven job of the top ten for attracting psychopaths in America.

Hence, the tremendous increase in police violence against the civilian population. There is a watershed event forthcoming where this behavior by alleged protectors will lead to quite a bit of unpleasantness visited on these occupying forces posing as cops across America.

In Part V of this series, I will be discussing the brutality against the disabled to include the wheelchair-bound and mentally retarded.

bearcat-bill-buppert-copblock

Badged Serial Killers: The Growing Murder Culture of Cops (Part IV) by Bill Buppert is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Cop Block Founder Sues Greenfield Police Following 2010 Arrest for Filming

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Cop Block founder Ademo Freeman shared the following article on his Facebook page. Here’s what he wrote:

Here’s a write up about my pending lawsuit with the Greenfield (MA) Police Department. Some of these facts are not correct – as usual (best example is in the title, says the charges were dismissed but later states – correctly – that Pete and I were found not guilty at trial) – but I don’t really want to spend any more time on this issue. All the information about Pete Eyre’s and my case is documented in detail at http://copblock.org/greenfield

By Jonathan Adams at www.OpenMediaBoston.org 

BOSTON/South Boston – Founder of police-accountability group Cop Block Adam Mueller is suing the Town of Greenfield, Mass. and Greenfield police officers following his arrest for filming officers in 2010.

The lawsuit filed July 1 at US District Court in Boston, comes after felony charges of illegal wiretapping against him were dismissed at Greenfield District Court in July 2011.

It alleges that the Town is responsible for having not provided training to officers about the public’s constitutional rights to film law enforcement, and that as a result of the failure, “it was highly likely that the Greenfield police officers would unconstitutionally arrest people for openly recording police conduct or conduct of other governmental officials.”

The complaint says that Mueller, together with his friend, Peter Eyre went to the Franklin County House of Corrections on July 1, 2010 to enquire about bail for a friend of theirs.

The pair spoke with correctional officers at the jail, while openly filming their interaction with a camera, who ordered them to stop recording inside the lobby or to leave the premises.

Outside the front entrance to the facility, they were again asked to stop filming, but the pair refused to do so.
Greenfield Police Department was contacted to remove Mueller and Eyre from the premises, and they were arrested by Defendant Officer Todd Dodge for, “wiretapping, trespass, and resisting arrest.”

According to the complaint, “When Plaintiff-Mueller and Mr. Eyre questioned why they would not be permitted outside the House of Corrections to film ‘the people who work for them’ (meaning the correctional officers and Defendant Dodge), Defendants Dodge and Other Greenfield Police Officers placed Plaintiff-Mueller and Mr. Eyre under arrest for trespassing.” (Explanation in original)

The men were kept overnight in a cold cell without their pants or blankets, were denied from making a call to reach legal counsel, did not have an opportunity to be released on bail, and that Mueller’s mobile home was illegally searched and then towed.

They were arraigned the following day and released without bail, though the Greenfield Police Department kept their cell phones and camera as evidence.

Mueller was tried before a jury at Greenfield District Court and found not guilty of all charges on July 18 and 19, 2011.

“The individual Defendants’ actions were taken with reckless disregard for Plaintiff-Mueller’s constitutional rights. Plaintiff-Mueller acted lawfully in openly filming and recording police conduct and governmental official conduct,” the complaint says.

Mueller suffered from symptoms of “emotional distress” after being charged, even though “he knew he had not violated the law, but he worried that a felony conviction would result in a substantial jail term.”

Defendants allegedly “arrested Plaintiff to intimidate him and to serve as a lesson to Plaintiff and others that attempting to openly record police officers in Greenfield could result in arrest,” and that they, “caused criminal charges to be brought against Plaintiff without probable cause and with malice.”

Around May 2011, Mueller also was issued a citation by unidentified police officers, while handing out leaflets to the public.

The leaflets he distributed, “described to members of the public of his impending trial and the actions of the community’s police department,” and it is alleged that, “The issuance of the citation for jay walking was in retaliation for Plaintiff-Mueller’s exercise of free speech …”

The complaint alleges a number of violations including against freedom of speech, the state’s Civil Rights Act, freedom from malicious prosecution, due process, and freedom from retaliation.

Video of the interaction with officers at the Franklin facility was placed online at some point after his arrest.
Mueller, with an address in New Hampshire, was convicted in an unrelated Manchester case on August 13, 2012 for illegally recording phone conversations with a police officer and school staffs without their consent, and posting video of those conversations online.

He was given a suspended sentence on two charges, and on a third charge the sentence was suspended except for 90 days.

The phone calls and film were made by Mueller following the alleged use of excessive force caught on camera during the arrest of a high school student at a Manchester school in 2011.

New Hampshire Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal on his conviction on October 26, 2012.

Mueller is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and the payment of legal fees and costs in his suit against Greenfield.

The defendants had yet to file an answer to the complaint by the filing of this report.

The case will be heard by US District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton.

This article was produced for Open Media Boston’s Open Court Project.

Cop Block Founder Sues Greenfield Police Following 2010 Arrest for Filming is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Families Ripped From Homes By Police In Watertown

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

An anonymous submitter shared the following via CopBlock.org’s ‘submit‘ tab, attributes to November Yankee.

This is an absolutely sickening display of police force, violation of the Constitution, and clearly shows that America is now dead. Welcome to the Fourth Reich.

Notice how the homeowner is pulled from the house and does not give permission for the police to enter. Notice too how the militant SWAT officer screams at the boy “hands up!” as if he is about to shoot the resident.

 

WATERTOWN, MA — On Friday, April 19, 2013, during a manhunt for a bombing suspect, police and federal agents spent the day storming people’s homes and performing illegal searches. While it was unclear initially if the home searches were voluntary, it is now crystal clear that they were absolutely NOT voluntary. Police were filmed ripping people from their homes at gunpoint, marching the residents out with their hands raised in submission, and then storming the homes to perform their illegal searches.

https://www.facebook.com/PoliceStateUSA

This was part of a larger operation that involved total lockdown of the suburban neighbor to Boston. Roads were barricaded and vehicle traffic was prohibited. A No-Fly Zone was declared over the town. People were “ordered” to stay indoors. Businesses were told not to open. National Guard soldiers helped with the lockdown, and were photographed checking IDs of pedestrians on the streets. All the while, police were performing these disgusting house-to-house searches.

It was just a few years ago when I presented the following video on another website. People rolled their eyes and the majority of the comments were along the lines of “that will never happen here.” The frog is boiled now my friends.

 

Source

 

Families Ripped From Homes By Police In Watertown is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Copblock Radio Episode 1

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Join us, Eric and Adam, for the first episode of CopBlock Radio.  We look forward to improving over the next weeks to bring you a better prepared show so please bare with us as we work out the kinks.


(http://youtu.be/tkz25mq7xws)

Police using out of state plates:
http://www.copblock.org/29852/manchester-police-use-unmarked-with-mass-plates/

NYPD Pepper Sprays kids:
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/cops-pepper-sprayed-5-month-old-baby-mom-alleges-lawsuit

Massacusettes doesn’t learn from its own mistakes:
http://www.copblock.org/29819/copblockingnorthampton/

Activist faces 81 years in jail for distribution of plant material:
http://www.copblock.org/30084/richpaul/

Ohio Copblocker gets out of jail, some restrictions may apply:
http://ohiocopblock.org/896/ohio-cop-block-admin-jailed-for-a-shipping-error/

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/article/3517426

Seattle Copblocker charged in last year’s May Day Protests.
http://youtu.be/U2bPZJYQLks

For comments, questions and suggestions please send your emails to copblockradioshow at gmail dot com.

Copblock Radio Episode 1 is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Stand with Jonas Correia: Join Us in Copblocking Northampton

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

RELATED OVERVIEW: CopBlock.org/CopblockingNorthampton

FACEBOOK EVENT: Facebook.com/Events/173712242783034

6:00pm – 7:00pm – Local Burger (16 Main St., Northampton) – we’ll be getting acquainted, going over scenarios, sharing contact info as needed, and generally just making sure we stay as safe and have as big an impact as possible.

7:00pm -  ? -  the streets of Northampton – We’ll work to document police interactions and will do outreach to those we pass. More info at: CopBlock.org/Copblocking101 &CopBlock.org/Flyers & CopBlock.org/KnowYourRights

UPDATE April 13, 2013

The post Northampton Recap contains the video below and footage streamed when in Northampton using an HTC phone to Bambuser.com/channel/CopBlock and recorded in HD using a GoPro Hero2 and uploaded to YouTube.com/CopBlockRaw. Footage collected by others can be found at YouTube.com/Fr33manTVRaw

Stand with Jonas Correia: Join Us in Copblocking Northampton is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Stand with Jonas Correia: Join Us in Copblocking Northampton Mass.

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Twenty-six-year-old Jonas Correia was outside Tully O’Reilly’s, a bar in Northampton, a college town in western Massachusetts. Using his cellphone, Correia filmed the actions of Northampton police employees who were at the bar to remove someone for allegedly hitting a bartender in the throat. Correia wasn’t interfering. He was filming. Yet he was was aggressively approached – at least two wearing “Northampton PD” badged barked explicative-laden threats, then less than five-seconds later, Correia was maced by Alan Borowski, tackled, handcuffed, caged, and is now threatened with the catch-alls of disorderly and resisting.

Fortunately the incident was captured by a Rachel Rothman, who happens to be a lawyer. Despite that objective evidence, double-standards have been afforded and the thin blue line maintained.

We’re heading to Northampton to do some Copblocking.

Join us in Northampton, Friday, April 12th. It will send a message to the Northampton police employees that macing someone for filming won’t be tolerated. Stand with Correia, we’ll all be safer because of it.

Facebook Event: Stand with Jonas Correia: Join Us in Copblocking Northampton

6:00pm – 7:00pm – Local Burger (16 Main St., Northampton) – we’ll be getting acquainted, going over scenarios, sharing contact info as needed, and generally just making sure we stay as safe and have as big an impact as possible.

7:00pm -  we’ll hit the streets of Northampton and will continue to have a presence in town as long as folks have interest. We’ll work to document police interactions we witness and will do outreach to those we pass. Depending on comfort level and the type of camera had, some can hang back and film from afar, while others can be closer.

You can attend one or both of the components based on your interest and time.

For Correia the fact that a bystander filmed the incident has brought it to the attention of tens of thousands of others, some who have made calls, and some who I hope will join us on Friday, April 12th in Northampton.

Folks wearing badges can no longer set the reality. Lies on a police report can’t stand up to the disinfecting light of transparency. We saw that in Austin, when video captured by a bystander vindicated Antonio Buehler.

Correia is slated to have pre-trial on May 16th.

Who will be the first Northampton police employee to vocalize to others what they know internally to be true – that Borowski acted in the wrong when he went after Correia?

Northampton Police Department

If you join us, bring your camera. And be sure it’s charged. Each additional person filming will act as another layer of protection.

If you have a smartphone visit CopBlock.org/Apps

  • download a free streaming app (like Bambuser, Qik or UStream). Cop Block will be streaming to Bambuser.com/channel/CopBlock
  • download “Police Scanner 5-0″, then click: Directory > United States > Massachusetts > Northampton Police. While walking around a few of us will stay abreast of activities via that scanner feed and an earbud

Some of us present will be communicating via handheld marine band radios. We’ll decide on the channel once we are in Northampton and locate a channel free from other traffic.

If you have the time, you may want to review the document Copblocking 101 and the video below

Note that we’re going to attempt to connect with Jonas Correia and Rachel Rothman. It’d be great if they could join. Also, we’ll be doing outreach to some potentially like-minded student organizations at Smith College and through other outlets to get the pending Copblocking on the radar of more people. Updates will be posted here. If you have ideas you think we should pursue please do share them here.

Related:

Open Letter to Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz

UPDATE APRIL 5, 2013

Today calls were made and a voicemail was left with Jonas Correia and Rachel Rothman, thanking them for their actions and informing them that some supporters will be in town on Friday, April 12th. Both Correia and Rothman were invited to attend one or both of the scheduled components. We hope to hear back and connect with them in-person.

UPDATE APRIL 7, 2013

Rothman confirmed that she will be present on Friday, April 12th.

UPDATE APRIL 10, 2013

We’ll beat Local Burger from 6:00 – 7:00pm on Friday, April 12th. This location was chosen as its pretty central and should have ample space for a small group of folks to meetup.

Local Burger
16 Main St.
Northampton, MA 01060

UPDATE APRIL 10, 2013

Stand with Jonas Correia: Join Us in Copblocking Northampton

RELATED OVERVIEW: CopBlock.org/CopblockingNorthampton

FACEBOOK EVENT: Facebook.com/Events/173712242783034

6:00pm – 7:00pm – Local Burger (16 Main St., Northampton) – we’ll be getting acquainted, going over scenarios, sharing contact info as needed, and generally just making sure we stay as safe and have as big an impact as possible.

7:00pm -  ? -  the streets of Northampton – We’ll work to document police interactions and will do outreach to those we pass. More info at: CopBlock.org/Copblocking101 &CopBlock.org/Flyers & CopBlock.org/KnowYourRights

 

Stand with Jonas Correia: Join Us in Copblocking Northampton Mass. is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Northampton, MA Police Employees Pepper Spray & Kidnap Videographer

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

The write-up below was originally posted at PhotographyIsNotACrime.com by Carlos Miller on April 1, 2013

Massachusetts police pepper sprayed and arrested a man for video recording them instead of walking away upon ordered.

They then spent the next several minutes handcuffing him and stuffing him inside a police car while a woman who repeatedly identified herself as an attorney recorded it all.

The incident took place in a bar district in Northampton. And the video was uploaded today. Other than that, there is not much information available other than the following brief description:

Northampton, MA police arrest an innocent black man outside of Tully O’Reilly’s for no reason. All he did was take out his phone to start recording the police. He did not fight back, did not resist, but was pepper-sprayed and slammed onto the ground and arrested.

The video starts off with some type of police action across the street. Cops look as if they have made some arrests but the suspects are sitting on a sidewalk and everything appears to be under control.

Then we see a man standing in front of the officers, appearing to hold up a camera, which is when several officers storm up to him and order him to walk away.

He continues to stand there, apparently recording, which is when an officer unleashes a cloud of pepper spray in his face while two other officers pounce on him, tackling him in the middle of the street.

The man begins yelling out, “I didn’t do anything.”

The attorney, who is only identified as “tired ofit” and who created her Youtube account on Saturday, apparently to upload the video because it’s the only one she has, also begins yelling at the officers that he did nothing wrong.

And soon her female companion begins yelling at the cops, accusing them of racism because the man they are arresting is black.

Russell P. Sienkiewicz, Northampton police employee

Meanwhile, a security guard who apparently works at one of the bars in the area begins ordering the two women away, but the one holding the camera does a good job of standing her ground.

At one point, the security guard claims the public sidewalk is private property that belongs to the bar, which is something we’ve heard before but it’s not true.

The lawyer’s companion continues to shriek at the cops, which is one of my biggest pet peeves because it ends up drowning out everything else in the video due to her proximity to the microphone.

The lawyer also maintains the camera in a vertical position, which means we are left with a third of a screen of actual video.

But other than that, she did assert her rights in a calm manner when they repeatedly tried to get her to move away from the area.

While the video clearly shows the typical display of aggression we’ve become accustomed to seeing from police, many commenters on the Youtube video side with the officers, including the following doozie from a Lindsay Pedersen.

This is so stupid, and immature for an “attorney” to post. Way to be professional, you get a gold star. What this video doesn’t show is what happens prior to this event, I’m sure the guy wasnt standing in the corner with his phone minding his business. No I’m sure he was causing a scene and being disrespectful. Police have a job to do and it’s to keep the public and themselves safe, act ridiculous and you deserve it. If you’ve been to tullys, I’m sure you know this wasn’t a safe scene

While the man who was arrested did not physically threaten the officers, the cops will most likely argue that he was standing too close, which made them feel unsafe.

That still didn’t give them an excuse to attack him the way they did.

___________________________

Northampton Police Department

Northampton, MA Police Employees Pepper Spray & Kidnap Videographer is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

This Week’s Corrupt Cops Stories

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

A Massachusetts cop had his own informal prescription drug take-back program, but that was pretty innocuous compared to some of this week’s other entries. Let’s get to it:

In Somerset, Massachusetts, a Somerset police officer was arrested last Thursday for tricking elderly residents into giving him prescription drugs. Ricardo Pavo went to a senior retirement home asking residents about their emergency contact information, whether they had any guns or vicious dogs, or any unused prescription pills. Residents reported handing over drugs like tramadol and hydrocodone to Pavo, who was caught with the drugs in his patrol vehicle after someone called the police department. He has already been charged, but the local reports don’t make clear exactly what the charge is.

In San Luis Obispo, California, a San Luis Obispo narcotics officer was arrested Tuesday for providing fake pain pills to a snitch in exchange for cash. Corey Pierce, 39, is now charged with bribery. The snitch was going to sell the bogus pills to a third party, who would then peddle them to unwitting customers. The fake pills are often used in drug enforcement operations, the police said. He had been assigned to the California Bureau of Narcotics Task Force until it was dissolved and was a member of the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit. He has been suspended with pay.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, a former Cherryville narcotics detective pleaded guilty last Thursday to receiving stolen goods, taking bribes, and stealing money. Frankie Dellinger, 41, was one of several men, including three other police officers, caught up in a federal undercover sting. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy, money laundering, and two counts of extortion. No word on how many years he’s facing.

In Atlanta, two former TSA agents were sentenced last Wednesday for a scheme to smuggle drugs through Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Richard Cook, 28, and Timothy Gregory, 26, got 11 years and six years, respectively. They went down in a sting after authorities received information that Cook was willing to be corrupted. Undercover officers posing as Mexican drug cartel representatives met with Cook and provided him with three kilograms of what he thought was heroin and $3,500 in cash in partial payment for his services. After repeated deliveries of fake drugs, Cook enlisted Green, and he similarly ensnared himself.

In Camden, New Jersey, a former Camden narcotics officer was sentenced last Thursday for his role in a corrupt dope squad that has already seen three other officers either convicted or pleading guilty of various charges. Jaston Stetser, 34, admitted to planting drugs on suspects, carrying out illegal searches, and stealing drug money along with the rest of his crooked crew. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deprive others of their civil rights. The dirty narcs forced prosecutors to dismiss some 200 drug arrests and convictions.

This Week’s Corrupt Cops Stories is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Court Personnel Especially Hostile at Ian Freeman’s Pre-Trial Hearing

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Around 7:15 AM, eight individuals including myself left the Keene Activist Center in Keene, NH in order to make it to Palmer, MA District Court for a 9:00 AM pre-trial hearing for Ian Freeman of Free Talk Live. Four people in the Palmer area also made it to the hearing. Ian was arrested for filming inside of Palmer City Hall during an allegedly public tax sale on October 25, 2012. It was claimed that he was being “disorderly” by filming in the public space.

Upon entering the courthouse, the man operating the security theater (badge #245) asked what Cecelia (of Ladies in Keene) and I were there for, to which I responded, “A hearing.” After further questioning, I noted that it was a pre-trial hearing. Cecelia was told cell phones were not allowed in the courthouse, so she went to return it to the vehicle. Having emptied my pockets before entering the building, I walked through the metal detector and stepped off to the side to wait for my friends. Cecelia and Jay (who runs www.mail-to-jail.com) came through security, but Ian was questioned about why he had a tripod – as that was an indication that he had a camera. Ian shared the notice to record he had filed and convinced the man (badge #245) to hold his equipment at the desk until after the notice was reviewed by the judge; he was let through, without his recording equipment.

Around this time, court personnel noticed a couple of people in the entryway to the building were holding cameras. At the sight of video cameras, the demeanor of the public employees present immediately became aggressive, and additional court officers and police officers were called to the lobby. Unwilling to have a conversation about the fact that they are public officials in a public space or the Glik decision, a couple of court officers demanded that those with cameras leave the entryway and approached them aggressively in an attempt to force them backwards, out the door. It was pointed out that there was a camera across the room, on the ceiling, that was documenting what was taking place – the double-standard did not seem strange to the court personnel. A man by the name of Saccomani assaulted Shire TV‘s James Cleaveland by grabbing at his camera. James was told that if he stepped through the threshold with his camera again, his camera would be stolen. When two court officers hurriedly exited the building in his direction, I followed to observe. The officers, making threats the entire way, made James move towards the parking lot. Though moments before they had claimed he could not exercise his right to film inside the building, the officers now claimed that he must move off of the property entirely.

After that interaction, I passed through the security line again. A woman, (badge #202) blocked the metal detector and asked me if I was part of the group. I noted that while I was friends with some of the individuals present, I was an individual rather than part of a group. The woman told me “not to start” and her and court officer Saccomani commented to each other that yes, I was in fact part of a group. I asked the woman to try not to collectivize people so much.

Saccomani positioned himself so that he blocked the path of those in the security line – CopBlock.org‘s Pete Eyre and all those behind him. While Pete tried to have a conversation with him, he stood unwilling to converse but willing to hold up everyone trying to pass through the security theater. At one point he stepped on the foot of another friend, Robbie, then instead of apologizing made a comment about how he should not have been in the way. Robbie was ordered to leave the courthouse with his beverage.

During the approximately ten minutes that Saccomani rudely stood in Pete’s path – Prevost closing the door on him at one point – Cecelia tried to have a conversation with the woman (badge #202) who was spouting orders to move from one location that does not obstruct traffic to another. These unnecessary orders were a common occurrence throughout the length of this ordeal, though the unnecessary orders came from a handful of different court officers. Cecelia noted that she was not in fact standing in a place that would inconvenience anybody, but when Cecelia asked her to consider her actions she responded in an extremely childish manner – by sticking her hands in her ears, the way a small child would while exclaiming, “I can’t hear you!”

Cecelia continued to share her thoughts and the woman called a court officer named Prevost to make threats. I was a little startled when Prevost, a tall man, began walking towards me in an extremely aggressive manner and threatening me with arrest for “disorderly conduct.” The woman pointed towards Cecelia and said, “Her!” The threats directed at me momentarily became directed at Cecelia, who asked why she would be charged with disorderly conduct for speaking. Just following orders is not a good thing – this man was willing to use force against an individual without having any idea what it was they had supposedly done wrong – or which individual had committed the action inaccurately portrayed to be in violation of man-made legislation. The scene resembled that of an attack dog being released and set on a victim, the owner realizing the dog was not attacking their intended target and calling the dog back to direct them to the intended victim. Among the first appearance-related observations I made about court officer Prevost was that he had very noticeable bags under his eyes, as if he has a lot of trouble sleeping at night. If I acted in such an aggressive and unaccountable manner, I would have trouble sleeping at night as well.

Eventually, everybody passed through the metal detector and proceeded to enter the courtroom. On my way through the door, Prevost told me to remove my hat. Although uncomfortable complying with the orders of any stranger claiming to have authority to force me to remove articles of my clothing, I did so as to not have his threats again directed at me. At some point after taking my seat, though, I returned the hat to my head – I was more comfortable that way. I was not threatened again. Another activist, Jason Repsher, was told to remove his hat as he sat down. When he stated that he would prefer to leave it on, Prevost told him to leave the courtroom. Not wanting to miss the hearing or deal with being assaulted by public officials, he removed his hat. When Pete was told to remove his hat, my observation was that he wanted to react to his initial instinct not to simply obey the arbitrary orders of the stranger claiming to have the authority to initiate force against others for not following his orders, but to discuss it. Then he seemed to decide that was not the best way to utilize his time in that particular instance.

While waiting for Ian’s hearing to begin, other cases were heard. A few different times, defendants were told by the judge that the charges against them would be dropped if they paid money. Most of the other cases also consisted of individuals being told to give “the state” money. It was made very clear what the incentive of this business (albeit one where the customers come involuntarily) is. The prosecutor spoke with Ian a couple times before the hearing. If I understand correctly, the first time he said that the misdemeanor charge would be dropped if he would plead guilty to the ‘city ordinance violation’; Ian declined. Next, the prosecutor said that he would dismiss both charges if Ian donated money to charity. At arraignment, according to Darryl Perry,

 Ian was offered a plea deal, which would require him to claim “responsibility” (apparently Massachusetts lingo for “plead guilty”). He stated that he wanted this to go away and that he didn’t want to return to Massachusetts for court. The Judge offered to let Ian pay $50, he asked if he could donate that money to charity, she denied that request and set a court date of December 10.

Since he already had to make the trip back to Massachusetts for court, Ian declined the offer. Ian was told that the misdemeanor charge would be dismissed anyway, and that they would proceed with the ‘city ordinance violation’ which was referred to as a civil matter.

The judge claimed to have not received any of the pre-trial motions submitted by Ian and for that reason, supposedly, would not allow the hearing to be filmed despite Ian’s objections to proceeding without his camera present. Hopefully these public employees will be more reasonable the next time Ian is told to appear, in late January. It was also noted that the ACLU filed an appearance.

I am very glad to be surrounded by wonderful friends and activists with the shared goal of spreading the idea that nobody has authority over anyone but themselves, regardless of their attire or place of employment.

After leaving the District Court, we all went to Palmer City Hall where Ian was arrested for filming. Most of the dozen individuals who spent a few minutes touring the building filmed the entire time. The signs stating that filming was not allowed were no longer posted throughout the building. None of the individuals who filmed in the City Hall today were arrested for the same action that supposedly justifies Ian being arrested in October.

Palmer District Court
235 Sykes Street, Suite 3
Palmer, MA 01069-1190
(413) 283-8916

Court Personnel Especially Hostile at Ian Freeman’s Pre-Trial Hearing is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights