Recent court activism in Manchester

Earlier today on July 16th 2015, I went to my court date at the 9th Circuit District Division Courthouse in Manchester NH for my trial over a traffic ticket. Accompanying me to record my trial was Renee Kate of the Seditious Sirens with camera and press badge in hand. When we entered the courthouse, we had to pass security. Security attempted to give Renee a hard time about recording in court. Both of us replied that we are recognized by the court and the State of New Hampshire as press and continued to proceed to the court room. The two of us sat down in the court room and witnessed two people take a plea deal from the court. After watching the court threatening violence against people, one of the court clerks walked up to us, called me by name, and informed me my case was Nolle Prossed by the prosecutor. The prosecutor of the case decided to throw out their case against me in regards to the ticket I was fighting. My objective was to petition the court to allow me to donate my time to a private charity instead of the state receiving funds received_464226037085751from me. I attempted this in the pretrial as well but was given a non guilty plea instead. A point I had planned to bring up during the trial as well. We did find it interesting that they knew who I was and didn’t need to call my name out to find me.

The other reason I have been fighting traffic and parking tickets as of late was for practice. Unfortunately, living as freely as I do here in the Shire, being kidnapped by the state is a possibility. I viewed this trial as a court room workshop. Worst case scenario they would take the $110 from me but I would not be in a cage. I walked away with a couple of important lessons. Don’t take a plea is a great strategy in an attempt to win a case. How else would get a case thrown out if you do not fight it?  When possible, take a case to trial.  Also, do yourself a favor by grabbing a friend, printing a press badge, and bring a camera to your court date. The camera and press badge did not see use today but I am certain had I not had those two things, the outcome of today would not have been in my favor.

Keene State Student, Wrongfully Arrested During Pumpkin Fest, Takes Plea Deal

Alpha Dogs Attack Student

Pumpkin Fest 2014: Dozens of Staties Attack Three Innocent, Teen Students

Ryan McLellan and his friends never hurt anyone or destroyed any property on the night of Pumpkin Fest 2014. However, that didn’t stop dozens of state police from swarming and attacking the three young men as they attempted to go to the Campus Convenience store on the corner of the block where their dorm was located.  Earlier in the day and night there were riots in the neighborhood, but by the early morning hours when Ryan and his friends were attacked, there was nothing happening.

Well, I shouldn’t say nothing.  Their neighborhood was being occupied by a very large group of armed men who were in a mood to order around and kidnap anyone they darn well wanted.  Here’s the original video I released at the time, which shows the arrests and surrounding scene in full.  Just minutes prior to their attack, but before the huge throng of state police had been brought in, I had been in the exact same place as the young men.  Though the cops who were there at the time prohibited me from crossing into Winchester St., (for no apparent reason other than arbitrary control), they did not tackle and arrest me, like was done to Ryan and his friends.

Sadly, despite his being a clear case of police abuse and having an attorney willing to take the case to trial and beyond, Ryan took the plea deal, having a nonsense “resisting arrest” charge conditionally nolle-prossed in return for his guilty plea to “disorderly conduct”.  These are two of the police’s favorite charges to throw at someone who they don’t like, but has otherwise done nothing wrong.

They were going to the convenience store.  It was past midnight and they were hungry.  When told to “GO HOME!”, they seemed confused – after all, they had committed no crimes, and further, there were other normal people walking down Winchester St, so why were they allowed to walk somewhere but not Ryan and friends?

When they didn’t turn immediately and high-tail it out of there, the thronging mass of state police officers pounced and violently took the young men to the pavement.  A parent of one of Ryan’s friends said:

“My son has had 2 MRIs bad concussion lives with headaches everyday, dislocated his shoulder, sprained ankle and bruised the inside of his mouth from kneeling on his face.”

During sentencing, judge Edward J Burke fined him $1,000 suspended for two years on condition of good behavior, gave him 50 hours of community service, and lectured him as though he were somehow as bad as the people who had committed violence or property destruction, despite him never being accused of doing any such thing!

Here’s the full video of the sentencing hearing, with a brief recap at the beginning:

It was sad to watch.  If you’re ever facing criminal charges, especially in the case of police abuse – please consider not taking the plea deal.  Taking the plea only encourages more bad behavior from the police and “justice” system like this and ensures you’ll never be able to challenge what they did to you.

Finally, before you accuse me of being anti-police, remember it was my video I gave to Keene police that led to the capture and conviction of people who actually committed violent and property crime during the Pumpkin Fest riots. I am fine with the police going after real criminals, but not peaceful people like Ryan and his friends.

“Boston Strong” Found in Contempt of Court

In December of 2014, Keene Copblock‘s JP Freeman took Matt “Boston Strong” Schmidt to court after Boston drove by JP’s house on multiple occasions blaring his horn at all hours. After a short hearing, superior court judge John C. Kissinger issued an order with an agreement from both men that they would not have contact with one another and further, Boston agreed to not honk or blare his horn in the neighborhood after 4pm.

Within days, Boston was back an honking his horn again after 4pm and then in April, after blaring his horn he approached JP and threatened to “rap his head in with a ratchet”. JP then filed a motion for contempt and a hearing was held on May 29th. Here’s the video from that hearing, to which Boston Strong did not attend:

Afterwards, Kissinger issued a stronger no contact order (click to see that order and Boston’s court filings in that timeframe), telling Boston to say 100 feet away from JP unless Boston was on his own property. Then, in the final week of June, JP alleges that Boston purposefully showed up along with other members of a local hate group at JP’s custody hearing at Keene’s family court. JP claims Boston was removed from the court as it was a clear violation of the court order. He subsequently filed another motion for contempt, and a hearing was granted for July 10th at 9am. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

Supreme Court Vindicates Robin Hooders!

Robin Hood of KeeneIn a nearly complete victory for Robin Hood of Keene, the NH supreme court has affirmed nearly all of the superior court’s decisions against the people calling themselves the “City of Keene” in the city’s libelous assault on the heroic activists who have rescued thousands of motorists from parking tickets in downtown Keene in the last couple of years.

The victory is nearly complete, with one exception.  The supremes ruled that the lower court needed to consider the city’s request for injunction separately from the claims of “tortious interference” and “conspiracy”.  Therefore, the supremes remanded only that detail back to the superior court to decide.  If you’ve been reading Free Keene for a while, you may recall that the city’s original suit in 2013 asked for a in injunction of a 50ft radius “buffer zone” around each parking enforcer that would preclude the named Robin Hooders from being in that zone.  Eventually, they reduced their request to 30ft, then 10-15ft.  The buffer zone concept has previously been ruled unconstitutional in other courts and likely will be again when it goes back to Cheshire superior court.

The rest of the court’s twelve-page opinion backs up the lower court’s dismissal of the city’s outrageous case.  The claims of “tortious interference” with the city’s “business” of screwing over people shopping downtown and the claim of “conspiracy” were shut down on a free-speech basis:

However, we need not decide whether a viable tortious interference claim can exist under the circumstances present in this case because we agree with the trial court that holding the respondents liable for tortious interference based upon their alleged activities would infringe upon the respondents’ right to free speech under the First Amendment…we also conclude that the First Amendment bars the City from pursuing its claim that the respondents are liable for conspiring to commit the very same tort.

The city’s lies about the behavior of Robin Hooders (they claimed, without evidence, we were “harassing, threatening, and intimidating” the parking enforcers) had no effect on the court’s decision to dismiss.  The court’s judges know that telling government bureaucrats how you feel their job is wrong is fully within free speech protections, even if the bureaucrats don’t want to hear it.  Further, the court opinion backed up the Robin Hooders’ non-verbal actions as protected free speech: (more…)

NH Supreme Court partially affirms Superior Court dismissal in Robin Hood case

Wanted Robin HoodOn June 9, the NH Supreme Court released the long awaited ruling in the case of City of Keene v. James Cleaveland, et al (aka Robin Hood of Keene). It looks like Robin Hood of Keene is heading back to court for the request for injunctive relief, the rest of the case was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Here are three relevant portions of the decision:

“[W]e conclude that the trial court correctly determined that enforcing the City’s tortious interference with contractual relations claim would violate the respondents’ First Amendment rights. Given this conclusion, we need not reach the respondents’ argument that the tortious interference claim is also barred by the State Constitution. (more…)