Weare Corruption Continues – Officer’s Firing Rescinded, To Receive Back Pay

Sgt. Joseph Kelley

Sgt. Joseph Kelley

Thug cop Joseph Kelley of Weare, NH is now no longer fired, according to a recent Concord Monitor article.  Not only that, the officer, who previously had been terminated for falsifying documents (the tip of a corruption iceberg), will be receiving back pay for all the months he’s been gone and all mention of his termination will be struck from his record.  While he’s no longer fired, he’s also not yet back on active duty, so he’ll continue to collect paychecks for doing nothing until at least May 2015 and at any point until then he could be reinstated.

Here’s what Carla Gericke, the president of the Free State Project, who also received over $57,000 from Weare for their illegal arrest of her for recording the Weare police, had to say to summarize the corruption in Weare:

Weare is where I got arrested and charged with wiretapping. They dropped the charges, I sued them for violations of my 1st amendment rights, fought them all the way to the Appeal’s Court, and won. The town settled for $57,500. This took 4 years, in the meanwhile, the police chief retired early, 3 officers involved left the department, including Joe Kelley, who is one crooked cop (he took me out back, with 2 other cops, the night of my arrest, encircled me nice and tight, and threatened me, telling me to: “Get out of here before someone gets hurt.”) (more…)

Ian Found Guilty on ID “Crimes”, Facing Up To Two Years in Prison

Earlier this year, I was surprised by the state police with an arrest for “unsworn falsification” and “prohibitions”.  Essentially, they were charging me with two class A misdemeanors for filling out their driver’s license application incorrectly.  As it turns out, had I filled it out the same way two days prior, it would have been completely legal.  Despite referring to me as a “customer”, they treated me like a criminal rather than simply helping me correct the mistake, as any actual business would who cares about their customers.

They alleged I used a “false” name, my given name of Ian Bernard, to apply for their license when I apparently should have used my now “legal” name of Ian Freeman.  At no point until my arrest was I given any indication that this was illegal.  The ladies at the DMV were aware of my use of both names, and happily processed the application.  I attempted to make it clear during the trial that I did not knowingly use a false name, as I don’t consider my given name to be false, nor was I attempting to defraud anyone.  No one has claimed I’ve defrauded them, ever.  I honor my word, regardless of the name I use.

None of that mattered in the decision that came by mail after the trial, which found me guilty on both counts.  Sentencing is still to come, but I’m facing as much as two years in prison.  The last time I was in jail was 2011 for the civil disobedience of blocking a police car when they were attempting to arrest a peaceful woman for drinking alcohol in Central Square.  In that case I was sentenced to 90 days in jail and nine more months suspended for two years.  Will judge Burke decide that these ID “crimes”, which have no victim, deserve a more serious punishment than civil disobedience?  Stay tuned here to Free Keene to find out.

Meanwhile, here’s the trial video along with my just-filed motion to reconsider the decision.

Front-Page Feature Article on Keene Copblock in KSC Equinox

KSC Cop Block

Original Illustration from the Equinox

Last week’s Keene Equinox featured a major above-the-fold front page article on Keene Cop Block, complete with an original graphic which dominated the header of the paper.  Equinox journalist Alexa Ondreicka wrote the well-researched piece.  She was genuinely interested in the subject of holding the police accountable, as her friends had already been harassed by Keene police for victimless crimes.  Plus, Keene Cop Block has been regularly down in the college neighborhood handing out thousands of know-your-rights fliers.   I had the honor of being interviewed for the piece  while Keene Police declined to comment.

While we discussed students’ rights when dealing with the police in detail, the head of college security did comment correctly that when students sign up to go to school there, that they surrender their right to privacy while on campus, which is unfortunate.

It’s a very informative piece, and I’m grateful I was given the opportunity to comment.  Here’s the full piece: (more…)

Leverett & River Street Residents Compete for Worst Neighbor Award

When hearing stories about how high tensions have risen in Keene regarding activist adventures, one ponders the many indicators of derision. There’s the fear and hate mongering at STOP FREE KEENE!!!, which when boiling over to violent rhetoric or threats thereof, occasionally gets censored. Then there’s the realistic incidents of actual violence in Keene’s streets regarding activist related activities. Two violent clashes on consecutive evenings tangentially related to Central Square chalkings led to one person’s hospitalization and earned another a felony charge. It would be nice to believe that the xenophobic posturing that has been aimed at individuals were to have reached its climax long ago, but judging by a shouting match in the streets of an otherwise quiet suburban neighborhood, it seems there are those who are making it their life’s effort to embody the forces of antagonism.

This synthesis of negative energy came together after recent re-mover to Keene Christopher Cantwell decided to have a word with neighbor Matthew (more…)

Man Hangs Self to Escape Endless Persecution by Winchester Gang

Gary Chase

Gary Chase

I am sad to report that Gary Chase allegedly hung himself in his home last week.  Longtime readers of this blog will remember that Gary was constantly under attack by bureaucrats in the notoriously corrupt town of Winchester, NH. Gary and his former wife owned a valuable piece of property in the heart of downtown and Gary believed the town gang wanted to take his land for their downtown redevelopment “master plan”. Years ago, the town thugs made their first move against Gary and his wife by targeting the property for zoning violations, claiming it was a junkyard and ultimately coming in and stealing over $300,000 of various construction equipment, and allegedly appropriating some of it to themselves and their buddies.

The endless court struggles and follow-up threat against his home led his wife to leave him. Despondent, he reached out for help, but no one wanted to stand against the corrupt goons calling themselves the “Town of Winchester”. On top of this stress, he also was suffering the physical pain of a spine injury. No compassion came from the “town” – they continued to press him. He pleaded to the Cheshire superior court to listen to him. Ultimately, more of his property was stolen by the town gang and liens placed on his home.

"Town of Winchester" Gang Members Smirk as Gary's Property Is Stolen

“Town of Winchester” Gang Members Smirk as Gary’s Property Is Stolen

The constant harassment pushed Gary over the edge into paranoia. At one point he told me that he believed that the town criminals were hacking into and reading his emails. Of course, when they really are out to get you, you can’t blame someone for being paranoid. Gary met with me in person and spoke to me by phone – his case was persuasive, but there was so much to it, it was hard to really grasp it all. I wanted to do more for him, but I’m not an attorney so I brought the story out here on the blog in three posts (linked here in this article) over the last couple of years since I first met him in early 2013.

Now Gary is gone from this world, dead by allegedly hanging himself in his own home. (more…)

Have We Not Yet Resolved the Chalking Terror?

It always catches me by surprise when a public official continues to express belief in an incorrect analysis of law. Yesterday afternoon in Keene, a chalk artist was approached by a bailiff who exited the front doors of the court to issue a pseudo-order to stop chalking. Classifying the chalking as ‘disorderly conduct’, a vague legal term to which chalking does not apply, the authority figure retreated when questioned about his statements and suggested that he would contact Keene police. A KPD SUV rolled by, and another officer walked past the chalking and into the courthouse, but no further action was taken. And, the chalking remained over 24 hours later!

I suppose this was simply an incident in which one bailiff had an incorrect interpretation of the rights of people to express themselves. It was respectable to see the issue dropped once the false information was corrected. One longs for a day when chalking itself does not cause such an elevation of the emotions for bystanders and authority figures.