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…)

Manchester Checkpoint

On July 15th members of the Manchester PD and New Hampshire State gangs set up a roadblock on S Willow St near the TD bank and detained drivers and passangers at random. As is usual, several people showed up with signs to warn drivers of the aggressions ahead while there was still an opportunity to turn onto another street. That night however, we were not at site when the checkpoint started. For a while the gang members had always detained people on Bridge street, and that is where we anticipated that they would be, though it was not the only location that we checked. We were beginning to think that the checkpoint had been called off when we heard a call on the scanner (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.

Standing up to Police Militarization in Manchester NH


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.

RLS 092 – Thanks but no Tanks


podcast:

Recorded June 6th, 2016
In this week’s episode, the Rebel Love Crew covers the protest that took place earlier in the very same night at the Manchester City Hall. The protest was led by Carla Gericke, the president of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence. The protest focused on the militarization of the Manchester PD and the lock down of the west side of Manchester earlier this year. The Rebel Love Crew plays multiple videos on on air that were recorded at the protest including from within the city council meeting.
The Rebel Love Show airs every Tuesday night 10pm-12am EST on LRN.FM and RebelLoveShow.com/live. Call into the show, skype username: rebelloveshow

Manchester Cop Blockers to Converge on City Hall Tonight

Manchester Police State

Manch Cops Unnecessarily Intimidate Innocent People in Search for Suspect

Manchester has recently been the site of some major police state tactics including lockdowns and checkpoints. Tonight beginning at 6:00pm, Manchester-area activists and Cop Blockers will be holding a press conference at 6:30pm, then various members of the West Manchester community will be testifying to the city council about their experience in the recent police state activity. Here’s the full event announcement from Foundation for NH Independence president Carla Gericke:

Is the Manchester Police Department on the Warpath?

Concerned Manchester residents will gather at City Hall Plaza on Elm Street at 6PM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016, to discuss the increasing use of military-style occupation tactics and deployment of military-grade equipment on the streets of Manchester, NH.

MPD Police Chief Nick Willard says, “crime is down 20 percent in Manchester,” yet in the past 3 weeks:

  • 8 Manchester schools have been placed under lockdown;
  • MPD has deployed its SWAT team and armored BEARCAT at least twice;
  • One home was tear-gassed;
  • At least 3 helicopters clamored over the city for hours after an entire neighborhood of 30,000 people was placed on lockdown with a shelter-in-place order for more than 5 hours after the suspect had been apprehended.

In Manchester, a city with a population of 110,000 that often ranks highly in affordability and livability, the past few weeks have seemed like a war zone. (more…)

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