Feeling safe yet?
Free State Project early mover and attorney Brandon Ross is once again involved in a “wiretapping” case where Manchester police arrested a man for recording them in his own home. The man is now suing for more than $1 million in damages, as Photography is Not a Crime’s Andrew Quemere reports:
The city of Manchester, New Hampshire and two of its police officers are facing a lawsuit for more than a million dollars after arresting a man for audio-recording the officers as they searched his home.
Alfredo Valentin, 43, was arrested on March 3 after police conducted a no-knock raid on his home in search of drugs that belonged to a tenant and was later fired from his job because of the arrest, according to the lawsuit.
Valentin was never charged with any drugs crimes and, according to the lawsuit, was not aware that there were any drugs in his home.
Police were investigating Christopher Chapman, whom they suspected of selling heroin, and were able to arrest him outside of Hillsborough County Superior Court.
Despite already having the man in custody, the department sent a SWAT team to break into Valentin’s home, “firing incendiary devices through the property’s windows, kicking in the doors, and entering the property SWAT-style with semi-automatic weapons—damaging property, terrifying the two women who were still in the house, and creating an unjustifiable risk of accidental death or injury,” according to the lawsuit (see full article for pictures of the damage). (more…)
Porcfest – Corporates taking over the event and why I didn’t go this year • Gov thugs try to shakedown Pfest vendors • Unlicensed free market vending • Brick: The Movie • City of Keene stuff: Good ol’ boy consultants, the great pension scam, increased tax rate, and mandatory raises forever! • Study claims conspiracy theorists will believe anything • Shaunna, Rapsher, and Joe join • Show notes at BlackSheepRising.org
Near high noon today, the first full day of the Free State Project‘s annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, two agents (Phillip Lawrence and Ray Persinger) from the “Department of Revenue” rolled up to Rogers Campground. The sharply-dressed thugs inquired with campground staff if there were food vendors in Agora Alley, a place renown for delicious food available from some vendors who may not have bothered asking government permission to serve their fellow hungry humans.
Upon exiting the office, I immediately began recording and confronted the men. Here’s the video of that encounter:
A crowd of activists quickly gathered, with multiple alerts going out via two-way radio, facebook, and word-of-mouth. They weren’t able to get any further than the first vendor before being told they were not welcome by multiple people in the crowd. A campground staff member ultimately told the criminals to go speak with the park owner, Crosby.
After thirty minutes of meeting with Crosby, the men immediately exited the property. Crosby refused to be interviewed about the conversation, but claimed he was not threatened by them. I suspect he’s not being forthcoming. Porcfest organizers would also not speak on camera, but the conversation I had and overheard leads me to believe that Crosby has been recruited to pass out government paperwork to food vendors. I plan to investigate further with the vendors and see what’s happening behind-the-scenes. Stay tuned here to FreeKeene.com for the latest on this developing situation. Also, Porcfest is just starting, so come out and join us through this weekend!
UPDATE: One vendor reports that Crosby did not hand him the paperwork from the state when the vendor indicated that he’s got his books in order. We’ll be discussing the incident on Free Talk Live tonight at 7pm Eastern. You can listen live at LRN.FM.
Stone Farm on Liberty Acres
Stone Farm on Liberty Acres has provided hospitality to liberty lovers for a bitcoin donation since 2013. Visitors have been raving about the property and it has received coverage in the Keene Sentinel and Bitcoin Magazine for its acceptance of bitcoin, the international cryptocurrency.
Proprietors Katie McCall and Matt Roach were threatened last week by Fitzwilliam town selectman CJ Holman with $275 a day in fines if they continue to operate what Holman alleged is a “bed and breakfast” (a legal term that doesn’t apply to Stone Farm). Why all-of-a-sudden is Stone Farm on this politician’s radar?
It appears that there has recently been a dispute with the property’s landlord regarding an over-full septic tank due to a broken leach field that has on more than one occasion backed sewage up into the shower. Katie and Matt say the landlord has refused to fix the leach field or even pump the septic tank and seemed to not even realize the property has a septic tank. As a result of this disgusting issue, Stone Farm has been closed to visitors for weeks and the duo are planning a move to a new location.
Katie McCall and Matt Roach
Rather than do the right thing and fix the septic issue, the landlord apparently decided to contact the town gang and snitch on their tenants for running a bed-and-breakfast without a government permission slip. That’s why after two years of service and zero complaints, that Katie and Matt received a threat via certified mail last week. Katie also received an additional threat over her midwifery training business, which ended on its own a while back.
Katie and Matt sent a response to Holman’s threat demanding to know the section of ordinance that was allegedly being violated, as it was never mentioned in the supposed “violation” notice.
Ultimately the duo attended this week’s town selectmen meeting, where they were the only two townsfolk in attendance. According to Katie:
The one selectmen [CJ Holman] who spearheaded the aggression against Stone Farm failed to show and the two remaining selectmen oozed apologies for his inappropriate actions. Both violations were dropped…sometimes people feel comfortable being bullies when the person they are bullying is unknown to them. Putting a face to a name sometimes holds people accountable on its own merit.
Success! Stay tuned here to Free Keene for any further developments.
P.S. Stone Farm is moving to another location – please help them by donating to their fundraiser and get perks like a weeklong stay at the new location!
Keene Parks and Rec director Andy Bohannon made headlines here at Free Keene in October 2012 when he attempted to intimidate peaceful chalkers in downtown’s Central Square during “Chalk the Police” day. Andy hid his nametag from view when he was questioned by activists including Garret Ean. Government in New Hampshire is supposed to be open and accountable, as per article 8 of the NH Constitution’s Bill of Rights, yet Andy hid his identity as he tried to stop the free speech event.
Now Dave Ridley confronts him about it, more than two years later, and it sounds like Andy denies his own behavior as he scurries out of the city building after a council meeting. Dave gives chase into the parking lot but doesn’t get another word out of Andy. Perhaps he’s embarrassed about his behavior? If so, then why not admit fault and apologize like most good people would do when they do something they regret? I guess that would take some integrity and guts. Here’s the video of the confrontation, which also includes Ridley being blown off and ignored by some city councilors when he asks about tax-cutting:
Nearly six years ago in downtown Keene I was shocked when Emergency Medical Services worker Ronald Leslie snatched my phone out of my hands (here’s another angle) as I was recording video of my friend Kurt Hoffman being loaded into an ambulance. Hoffman had allegedly been attacked by now-sheriff, then-KPD-officer Eli Rivera while in a secret court hearing at Keene District Court. Though I had forgiven Leslie shortly after the incident, others have not forgotten the assault and theft.
Indeed, now that Dave Ridley is back in town, he’s been cornering bureaucrats and politicians in various places. Recently he attended a Keene city council meeting where the very same Ronald Leslie was receiving an award prior to his retirement. Ridley confronted him about the theft and at first it almost looks like Leslie has changed for the better – he even tells a female companion to keep her hands off Ridley’s camera after she begins to assault him. Despite the golden opportunity Leslie has to apologize publicly for what he did or at least admit fault, he actually claims that he thought I was giving him my camera! My mouth just about hit the floor when I heard the ridiculous excuse for his unprofessional behavior. Here’s the video: