His character seems kind so I’d have liked to have known if guest Patrick Michelson was drinking alcohol the night of the incident where after 35 years of a violence-free relationship, he threw a laundry basket and grabbed his wife by the shoulders. For this act, he ended up pleading guilty to a felony assault charge. Interestingly, Michelson says that in hindsight he wishes he’d refused the first plea and chosen not guilty. According to his story, a roommate/tenant called police and by the time the cops arrived he and his wife were sitting down and talking. He was surprised to see them show up.
Guest Kelly Darling-Snow admits to having been both the victim and victimizer in domestic violence situations and goes on to say that she knows people whose lives have been torn apart by the system. Michelson says the state involvement in his situation was quickly “out-of-control”. His then-wife told the prosecutor she only wanted Michelson to go to therapy, not face criminal charges.
Sadly, “the state” is not compassion. It is aggressive force, and the state agents do what they want. (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.
A bill before the NH state house would, if passed, restrict police in NH from acquiring any equipment that average people cannot acquire, thereby preventing further issuance of any BEARCATS and other military-grade equipment, and stopping the further militarization of the police. This week, Keene liberty activists went to the state house to speak on the bill and the issue of ending police militarization. Here’s video:
Also, we dropped in on a hearing to increase the minimum wage and explained to the legislators why the minimum wage only hurts those it intends to help and how it’s economically destructive: (more…)
Heroic activist, blogger, entrepreneur, and Free State Project participant James Cleaveland was sentenced in Judge Burke’s courtroom in Keene, New Hampshire for the charges of “disorderly conduct” and “resisting arrest”. His charges stem from a June 30th incident in which James was video recording police. According to officer accounts, James was ordered to move back from an “active scene,” and he complied. After complying with the first officer’s request, a different officer demanded he move back further. He refused and was arrested. (more…)
At a recent, well-attended and lengthy hearing held by the criminal justice committee at the state house regarding studying cannabis legalization, a state representative from Rockingham, Kyle Tasker, put his freedom on the line.
The cop behind him didn’t seem to know what to do. After all, he likely wouldn’t hesitate to arrest Tasker for possessing cannabis in the streets. However, arresting him in front of the committee would only prove the point of the cannabis freedom activists – that people are arrested all the time for cannabis – something about which the police frequently mislead the legislators. (more…)
Clearly a change needs to be made, and the people know it. About a hundred people came out to the State House to speak in support of the bill that would make New Hampshire more like Vermont by loosening restrictions on free people to protect themselves. Only 4 people spoke against the bill. 2 of them were law enforcers who were, by the way, wearing guns openly (I don’t think anyone else can do that). Are there 2 classes of men? (more…)