ACLU of NH Joins Case Against Manchester Police for Illegal Wiretapping Arrests

Alfredo Valentin

Alfredo Valentin, Hero

Last year in a surprising decision from the district court level in New Hampshire, Manchester resident Alfredo Valentin was exonerated from the “wiretapping” charges against him for secretly recording Manchester police when they were searching his home for a tenant’s drugs. The court was clear in its ruling that secretly recording police is protected by the first amendment.

Valentin filed suit against the “City of Manchester” over the illegal arrests last year asking for over $1,000,000 in damages. Now, the ACLU of NH has joined the suit.

“Essentially, Mr. Valentin was arrested and charged twice because he chose to exercise his constitutionally-protected right to record the police,” said Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director for the ACLU-NH. “We need to encourage more citizens to do what Mr. Valentin did. Here, the officers’ decision to arrest and prosecute him is indicative of a broader, troubling trend in which police continue in a variety of ways to hinder people’s right to record their work in public.”

Here’s an excerpt from the ACLU of NH’s announcement of their joining the case: (more…)

Another Small Victory for NHexit

I organized an NHexit event in Portsmouth this Friday called “NH Independence Celebration“. People from Keene, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth attended. Dave Ridley of New Hampshire’s #2 YouTube channel shot video from a safe distance across the street. Shire Dude live-streamed video while making commentary and chatting with curious passers by. One person waved a blue flag with a peace sign. Another waved a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and a sign that read, “I LOVE AMERICA, NOT D.C.” Some conducted a 3-question poll about secession from a random sampling of Portsmouth’s downtown. Music by The Beatles played from a small portable speaker. In total the event was 1 hour.

Poll respondents were asked to read 3 short statements and rate their level of agreement or disagreement with each one. 17 people participated. The results are as follows (click image to enlarge):

NHexit poll
(more…)

Now an open investigation is reason to deny a “shall issue” concealed carry license in NH.

Knotted gun sculpture UN

Your rights mean nothing to the state.

In New Hampshire, it’s legal to open carry a gun on public property and plenty of private property (where the property owners welcome it). However, concealing the gun is illegal without a “license” from the state. The “live free or die” state is frequently touted as being more gun friendly than other states, and that’s definitely true. However, if the state people decide they don’t like you, the concealed carry statute is written with a loophole they can drive a Mack truck through:

shall issue a license to such applicant authorizing the applicant to carry a loaded pistol or revolver in this state for not less than 4 years from the date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property or has any proper purpose, and that the applicant is a suitable person to be licensed.

The “suitable person” loophole appears to allow police to deny someone a concealed license for anything they want and so far the NH supreme court is backing them up. In 2014 Derrick J was denied a concealed license by Keene Police for basically not being obedient to police, as they later explained in court. Keene’s district court judge Edward J Burke agreed that despite Derrick J being completely peaceful, the Keene Police’s decision to deny him was legal.

Hiring the supposedly best gun rights attorney didn’t help him, nor did their appeal to the NH supreme court, where Burke’s decision was affirmed.

The latest development in the ridiculous concealed carry denial saga is my recent rejection by Keene Police (PDF). This time their rationale for denying my supposed right is not because of what I’ve done in the past, but merely because there’s a “current drug investigation” involving me.

So, now all the police in New Hampshire have to do to deny you the right to defend yourself via concealed carry is open an investigation into you. When do they have to close said investigation? Apparently there’s no specific timeframe.

Liberty-minded state reps have been working to end the concealed license requirement entirely, but thus far it has been stopped by the governor, Maggie Hassan. Another bill attempted to remove the “suitable” loophole from the statute. Perhaps the next election will shake things up a bit more in favor of liberty. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for more on the 2016 election.

Meanwhile, I’m still considering re-applying for the concealed license, likely being denied again, and then taking the mandatory appeal to the district court just for fun.

Cross-posted to the NH Liberty Party website, as I’m currently running for Governor as a democrat with ending the war on drugs as a major campaign platform component.

NH1 Reports on Liberty Candidates

Libertarian candidate for governor of New Hampshire Max Abramson and I were both featured on a recent piece on NH1 about “controversial” candidates. Reporter Chantel McCabe’s narration contains a major error. The Free State Project didn’t distance themselves from me after they found out my libertarian position on age of consent. My views have been public knowledge for many years. While emancipation of young people is not a major issue for my campaign for governor, I’m happy to discuss it. Thanks to NH1 for the brief though inaccurate appearance.

NHexit Rally in Keene Covered on NH1

NHexit Rally in Keene, July 2016

Derrick J Wins Best Sign

Just about one week after a successful first rally for New Hampshire independence in Manchester, NHexit activists held another one for independence day in Keene. NH1’s Jennifer Currier came out and reported live from the scene for the 5:30 and 6:30 news. She also filed this excellent report. No video available online yet, but here’s the text:

KEENE – A handful of New Hampshire residents gathered outside the Post Office in Keene on Monday evening to show support for NHExit.

 

The movement started shortly after Britain broke ties with the European Union, in hopes that the Granite State would follow the example and secede from the United States.

 

“The goal is to pretty much send the message to the feds of we don’t like what you’re doing, knock it off, or we will try to leave,” said Darrel W. Perry, a member of the New Hampshire Liberty Party and one of the protestors. (more…)

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