NOTE: This post is being updated as the situation develops:
UPDATE @ 8:30pm: James has been arrested for Klonopin allegedly found in the truck. According to an officer Lee at the Dinwiddie sheriff’s department, this is a class 1 misdemeanor. James is facing a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail if the state can prove he “knowingly” possessed the drugs. He has a $1,000 bond and will likely be transported to the Meherrin regional jail.
Original post from this afternoon:
Free Keene blogger and owner of 101 Deals Thrift Store, James Cleaveland, is currently stranded in Dinwiddie, VA after armed men calling themselves “sheriffs” stole his yellow box truck. Initially the armed men asked James to search, which he refused. They then informed him they will be getting a warrant to search, because of terrorism, human trafficking, and serial killers. He is currently at the Dinwiddie county sheriff’s office and is currently streaming live video on Bambuser:
James says the Dinwiddie gang brought out a dog which they claim alerted on the vehicle and further claims that the tag is expired, so they towed it to the sheriff’s department. That’s where he is right now, awaiting the search of the truck. He has not been arrested or charged. James has said on his livestream that the “bad cop” Sgt. David Williams prevented him from retrieving his wallet from the cab of the truck. Later however “good cop”, name unknown at this point, did retrieve his wallet for him. Early on in this situation, I called the sheriff’s department to inquire on the whereabouts of the truck. The lady who answered the phone told me that the truck was indeed there and that Williams had been involved in the stealing. I asked to speak to Williams and at that point recorded the call. He acted like he didn’t know what I was talking about: (more…)
Josh Paulette is a Cheshire county sheriff’s deputy. We first met when I was being transported to the jail for my first act of noncooperation close to a decade ago. He was as courteous as someone could be who is tasked with transporting people in shackles. Like many police in New Hampshire, Josh is easy-going, affable, and is generally pleasant to encounter, even when depriving you of your liberty. Like all of us humans, he’s not perfect. There was one time that James Cleaveland witnessed (and video recorded) Josh tackle a young college-age male after he drunkenly ran from an open container arrest, but aside from that adrenaline-fueled incident, I have nothing but praise for my experiences with Josh.
Earlier this month, Josh pulled me over for allegedly cutting through a parking lot to avoid a red light on West St, which is apparently illegal in NH, despite the common practice’s positive effect on traffic flow. One of the general principles of Cop Blocking is not talking to the police, but when you have a cordial relationship with them, as many activists in Keene do, a different approach is necessary.
When interacting with police you know, consider the following options along with the standard Cop Block suggesstions: (I don’t employ all of them in the video – this stuff takes practice, and I’m not perfect.)
Be polite, yet assertive of your rights. – Asserting your rights actually helps keep polite police as well-behaved as possible. Police would prefer to deal with people who don’t know their rights. Even though an officer’s demeanor may be cordial, he *is* conducting an investigation and has the ability to deprive you of your liberty with near-zero consequences to himself. Don’t let them fool you into a false sense of safety. Despite Josh’s friendly demeanor, this is an adversarial encounter and you can hear the adrenaline in my voice when I say “I don’t know.” I’ve had lots of experience with police, but it’s still common for me to be nervous when pulled over, especially at first. Practice helps, but you still never really know what will happen.
Mattheus Von Guttenberg, Bitcoin Magazine contributor, and Liberty Forum speaker, stops by the Rebel Love studios. Rob, Shire Dude, and MVG all announce that they have have talks at this year’s Liberty Forum in Manchester NH at the Radisson Hotel. The Rebel Love Show will also be recording live at Liberty Forum each day of the event. Topics discussed in this episode include MVG giving an update on the status of Bitcoin, should the Bitcoin Foundation be in existence?, when will Bitcoin be the mainstream currency?, MVG and Rob share TSA activism stories, issues with coming out as a Free Stater at work, using the topic of police as a tool of outreach, MVG filmed Amanda Billy Rock being arrested, right to travel activism, and cop blocking in Manchester.
I moved to the Shire just under one year ago. Since then I have been thrown into being a right to travel activist, but not by choice. The car I purchased with bitcoin has been pulled over by police in New Hampshire over 10 times now. Most likely due to the liberty stickers on the bumper. I do not leave home with out a camera on me any more because of the amount of interactions I find my self in with the local government agents. Due to this, I have recorded conversations with police more than I have ever wanted to. In this situation, I was in violation of the government edict regarding the proper sticker on my windshield. This sticker represents if my vehicle had been inspected with in the last year. Due to the fact that my car was in violation of said edict, I attempted to talk to this officer in a way that broke down the uniform. I treated him as a human being who is issuing a letter of extortion to me. Is this a good tactic? I know there are many strategies for talking to the police but I was already being issued a ticket and took advantage of the situation in an attempt to emotionally reach the officer. I am sure I made mistakes in how I handled this, please leave any criticisms you may have. The video was recorded by the latest Free State Project early mover Ann Leverette.
During the lengthy trial, the state called several police witnesses to testify that in order to keep James safe from a gunman who was threatening to take his own life, that they needed to arrest James and put him in a cage for two years. Of course, the police really wanted to keep themselves safe from James’ camera and were willing to crush the supposed freedom of the press to do so.
Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the verdict when it’s available.