As reported over at Photography is Not a Crime today, a veteran of the US Marines, Billy Spaulding, recently attempted to pay a parking fine in pennies at Manchester city hall. Initially, police responded and lied to Billy’s cameraman, claiming he wasn’t allowed to record them without informing them. The cop claims, “You have to advise us that you’re recording us. You can’t record audio.” The reality is that recent New Hampshire court precedent says otherwise – not only can you record police in New Hampshire, but you can secretly record them. Unfortunately the videographer appears to have shut off the camera as a result of the cop’s lies. Based on the comments on the youtube video, he now knows better.
Social media is abuzz as video has been shared of Kristopher Kristolaitis being attacked by police Sunday night at Mr. Mike’s convenience store in Winchester, NH. According to an interview for Free Keene with Kristolaitis, his assailants included officer Michael Paul Laska of Winchester Police, as well as corporal Joshua Murray of Hinsdale police and a third as-yet-unidentified officer. Both Laska and Murray are former Marines. The victim says that WPD’s Laska was the hothead in the video, shouting at the frustrated, angry crowd at one point to “GET BACK!”.
Witnesses say Kristolaitis was arguing with another man, Billy Hillock, when someone called over police. Police eventually responded once Winchester firemen came over to see what was going on. Apparently the firemen were there already on an unrelated situation. As Hillock attempted to leave, police questioned him and let him go, prompting Kristolaitis to ask why. (Hillock is an auto mechanic who happens to work on Winchester PD’s cruisers. Things that make you go hmm…) A Hinsdale officer then asked him his name, to which he responded by saying he’d provide once the officer explained why he let the other man leave. During this interaction, officer Laska approached Kristolaitis from behind and handcuffed him on one wrist without ever telling him he was under arrest. The witness says this is when the video begins. (more…)
Originally launched in August of 2015, Cell 411 has since been installed 85,000 times, worldwide. Its primary purpose is to connect people with their friends, family, and neighbors in any emergency situation, from being pulled over, to a fire, to medical emergency. At that it’s been an incredible success, and it’s free to use. Now, by adding ride sharing, Cell 411 has gone to the next level. They’ve decentralized ride sharing even moreso than UBER and Lyft and Cell 411 did it without a single dollar from investors or publicity in advance. For those who have been watching Arcade City – Cell 411 has accomplished AC’s original vision while Arcade City’s app doesn’t even have ride sharing yet.
I’ve been a longtime supporter of Arcade City. Arcade City’s founder, Christopher David gave a great keynote speech at the 2015 Keenevention and is a blogger here at Free Keene. In its early days and through the summer I promoted AC on my radio show and became one of the top recruiters. However with the early September release of the current software, I was pretty bummed that ride-sharing was not included, and instead it was just a “game” involving earning and giving “karma points” to other people in the network. It didn’t make sense, especially since Arcade City already had ride-scheduling in their early 2016 app. Obviously the code from the first app could have been included in the September 2016 release and allowed drivers to get started giving people rides immediately.Arcade City had succeeded and building incredible buzz by moving operations to Austin, TX after the city council there drove UBER and Lyft out of town with their control-freak regulations. They made a facebook group, (since their old app had been pulled from the Android and Apple stores at this point in anticipation of the September-released app) and attracted 30,000+ participants into the group! The Austin facebook group garnered a bunch of media and even a police raid of the Arcade City offices.
Drivers of UBER and Lyft were understandably interested in Arcade City, which promised an app that would truly decentralize ride sharing. The original vision Chris David had was to cut the corporations out of the picture. No longer would UBER and Lyft (and their imitators) be able to control the drivers. Drivers would be able to set their own rates as well as accepted payment methods – cash, bitcoin, credit card, silver, or whatever. This vision would bring a new level of competition to the transportation business, while making it even harder for governments to target those involved with regulation. (more…)
As part of a growing trend around the country, Keene city councilor Philip Jones made a recommendation to the Municipal Services, Facilities and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday to paint a blue line down the center of Marlboro St in downtown Keene. This effort “would serve as a reminder that they (Keene Police Department) always have the support of the local community.”
Most attending the hearing spoke favorably of the service provided by KPD but there were some concerns over the precedent this request would create; what over city departments and organizations would want their own personalized line painted in the street next?
As the only dissenting voice at the hearing, I explained my concerns over this “every cop gets a trophy mentality.” Recognition should only be given to those who have gone above and beyond and never handed out simply because you wear a special uniform. This blue line creates a statement that “all” police should be recognized as heroes regardless of their performance.
The request was ultimately postponed until next hearing in order to gather more information regarding the final cost and equipment needed.
A City Council committee postponed making a decision on a proposal to paint a blue traffic line down Marlboro Street to show appreciation for Keene’s police officers.
At a meeting of the municipal services, facilities and infrastructure committee Wednesday night, Vice Chairman Randy L. Filiault said city staff need more time to answer questions about the proposal’s cost and research how similar projects have gone over in other communities.
The proposal came before the council last week after Ward 5 Councilor Philip M. Jones filed a memo asking that city staff paint a blue line down the middle of Marlboro Street to show support and respect for the services provided by members of the city’s police department. (more…)
On June 7th, 2016 residents of the west side of Manchester NH in the neighborhood of Rimmon Heights joined in a protest at the Manchester City Hall. They were protesting the police militarization tactics and shelter in place order that was issued on May 13th after a suspect was caught in a shooting and lasted for nearly five hours. For one day martial law was in place where police were seen throughout Rimmon Heights patrolling with automatic weapons, road blocks at almost every intersection, and helicopters overhead. Carla Gericke current candidate for NH State Senate and president of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence did a speech outside of City Hall during the protest about de-escalation and community policing instead of daily lockdowns and heavily armed law enforcement officers lurking everywhere. Multiple west side residents also spoke during the city council meeting to voice their concerns at the actions of the Manchester Police department.
Kudos to Brian for taking the time to reach out with the news this afternoon. I support harm reduction, and getting the word out about bad drugs can accomplish that, while arresting users can increase the harm to their lives. Hopefully we’ll see Keene police doing more informing rather than arresting and prosecuting in the future.
Inconsistency in heroin quality batch-to-batch is a consequence of the black market created by the war on drugs, which leads to accidental overdose. If heroin were legal, as it was a few generations ago, then the purity would be lab-controlled. No one has to worry about overdosing on aspirin, unless that’s their intention.
I look forward to the day when heroin, a useful medical drug in many ways, can be sold legally through people who care about quality and their customers. A day when people who are addicted to drugs aren’t afraid to seek help for fear of being prosecuted and imprisoned by the state.
Until that day, I’m happy to assist Keene police when they are doing something helpful. Further, thanks to Brian for treating me like a human being, unlike his predecessor.