Another Free Keene Supporter Arrested – For What This Time?

For What?

That’s the question Andrew Quemere was asking himself as he was walked from his workplace to the Keene Police Department this morning. Apparently arrested for loitering in the back of a truck. However, Andrew was assigned by his workplace to be in the back of that truck. While exercising his right to not show ID, Andrew does not appear to have been confrontational or aggressive; he simply wanted to get back to work.

But when officer Chris Simonds threatened to throw him into the parking lot pavement, Andrew followed the officers’ commands and was handcuffed. Charged with “Obstructing Government Administration”, he was released on $2000 PR bond and has an arraignment date of August 10, 2009.

More details are in the embedded video:

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26 Comments

  1. Ah, America's Finest™.

  2. Forcing him to take a day off work to show up for court after they knew he was not loitering shows you that they don't understand people that have to work for a living and have bills to pay. — They are charging him with frivolous lawsuits to cover their own ass.

    I wonder if those pigs can be sued for false arrest and kidnapping.

    They don't enforce laws they just come up with random things to take people way and run them through their system.

    What happens if he does not take the day off work? What happens if he does not show up for their kangaroo court? He has obviously done nothing wrong.

  3. I wonder how often Police charge someone with a crime they know s/he is not guilty of, and will attest to it themselves. Wouldn't you think simply including it in their report would have been sufficient, since he thought that's what he was investigating initially?

    If this is routine, and the people of Keene are paying for court costs re: charges that every party agrees never took place.. I'd think that would be one policy that everyone could unite against.

  4. Okay, here's the story straight from the horse's mouth.

    I work for a telephone book delivery company. For the current delivery, we're renting out the Knights of Columbus building which is right next door the the Police Department. I do two things at work: I do work in the office (paperwork, phone calls, etc.) and I work outside on the trailers helping our delivery people load their vehicles with phone books.

    Today, around 8:30 am, I was outside on one of the trailers taking an inventory of the remaining phone books to ensure that we had enough to complete the delivery. At some point, I noticed light from a flashlight, so I turned around and saw a cop (Officer Bower, Badge #187) standing outside the trailer at the end. I walked to the end of the trailer and did my best to be civil. I asked the cop why he was there, if there was a problem, etc. He explained that he thought a burglary might be going on because the front door to the Knights of Columbus building was open.

    His story seemly highly impluasible right off the bat because we've been working in the office for around 2 weeks now, have had the front door open every single day, and, as I previously explained, we're right next to the Police Department. There's a very good chance that the cops who arrested me had driven past the building and seen the door open dozens of times during the past 2 weeks.

    I explained to the cop that I worked at the Knights of Columbus building, but he told me that this seemed strange because I was the only one there. I tried to explain to him that, in fact, I had three co-workers in the office and if he would accompany me inside, we could talk to them and sort the situation out. He would have none of it. He ordered me to step off the trailer. I tried to tell him that this would unnecessary, that we could wasily put an end to the confrontation if he would listen to me, but to no avail. At some point, another cop (Didn't get his name, but his Badge number was 180) arrived and joined the first cop and shouting at me.

    At some point, #180 threatened that if I did not comply, he and Officer Bower would pull me off of the trailer and throw me onto the pavement. The trailers are several feet off the ground, so if he followed through there was very little doubt that I would have been seriously injured. I told them that I would comply because they were threatening me.

    After I got out of the trailer, the cops began asking for ID and I continued trying to explain that there was a misunderstanding, that one of them should go into the office and talk to my co-workers, but, once again, they refused to be civil. I told them that I would not comply and they placed me under arrest. After I was handcuffed, my wallet was confiscated.

    I warned the two officers that they would feel incredibly silly after they found out that I really did work at the building.

    As I was being taken to the police car, my manager stepped outside to see if I had finished with the inventory. I was locked inside a police car while the two officers spoke with my manager. To the best of my knowledge (and I will need to doublecheck this), he was not asked to produce an ID. I guess my word was not good enough, but his was.

    After the two cop had finished speaking with my manager, Bower came back to the cop car and I asked "Am I free to go?" He responded that no, I was still under arrest. On the short drive back to the station, I asked him a few questions and found out that I was being charged with "Obstructing Government Administration." Bower could not cite the law he was arresting me under or explain what the charges meant.

    When I got back to the Police Department, Bower proceeded to "process" me. He extracted all kinds of private information from me under the threat of violence including the names of the people I live with. I did my best to avoid giving information and I dragged out the "processing" for quote some time by asking about the point of different questions, who recived copies of the information, etc. Ultimately, I complied with just about everything, but I made it clear to Bower that I was only doing so because I was being threatened.

    Bower told me that I was being charged with both "Obstructing Government Administration" (as if I was the one obstructing something) and "Loitering." I asked him why the "Loitering" charge was not dropped after he found out that I worked at the office. If I understand his answer, it was not dropped because the actual arrest happened prior to him finding out that I was telling the truth. Talk about absurd!

    One of the things I was asked was whether or not I wanted to see a bail commissioner at the cost of $40. The paper given to me said that the bail was $30, but the officer had crosses out $30 and written $40 in. I asked him about it and he told me the cost had recently risen. He offered me no proof and I told him how unconfortable this made me. I eventually signed the paper, but I made it extremely clear that I only signed it because I was being threatened and the only alternative was jail time.

    The alternative was to stay in jail until Monday, so I agreed to it. When the bail commissioner finally arrived, she was extremely rude and unhelpful. At one point, she asked me if I understood what I had just read. I tried to explain that I thought so, but I'd like her to give me the gist of it just to make sure. She responded with a sigh and told me that if I did not sign the paper, I would go to jail. I told her that I was paying for her service, but that she was being unhelpful. I asked if I could see another bail commissioner and she told me no.

    "No wonder the service is so shitty," I said.

    She replied with an indignant "Excuse me?"

    "You heard me." I replied. "You know what they say about monopolies."

    Ultimately, I signed. Once again, I made it as clear as possible that I was only signing because I was being threatened.

    After I dealt with the bail commissioner, I was given back my wallet and released. I met up with some friends who had come to the Police Department to support me.

    A few quick facts:

    1)I did not say "Stop arresting me, assholes," however, I did say a few things that cops are likely to consider belligerent (e.g. I called Bower a thug). I did my best to be civil throughout the process, but it was very difficult because the police did everything they could to avoid being civil and to escalate the situation.

    2)Bower is a liar. He told both my manager and the bail commissioner that I refused to tell him what I was doing on the trailer and that I worked at the office. I told him at least a dozen times that I worked there. He also claimed that he went into the Knights of Columbus building, looked for other people, and called out, but saw no one and heard no response. All three of my co-workers told me that they were in the office the entire time and heard nothing. If the cops had actually made an honest effort to find people in the building, they most certainly would have.

    3)If the cops were actually investigating a potential burglary, they did a half-assed job. After I was arrested, the cops made no effort to complete the investigation. I don't think they subjected my manager to the same kind of treatment as I did and they did not go into the office to confirm the story that both myself and my manager had given. They also claimed not to have seen any cars in the office's driveway, but there were clearly two cars (and I have photographic evidence and testimonial to prove it).

  5. Personally, I find the details sketchy and I need more information.

    What does Andrew's job consist of? Has he had any run-ins with the police in the past?

    Why did the police arrive in the first place? Having a door open, standing on a truck and being near the police department would not generally spark an officer's interest.

    Andrew also mentioned a police investigation. Why is there a police investigation? When did it begin and for what purported reason?

    I have questions and not many answers. Being a supporter of Free Keene will not automatically give you my support.

  6. Questions,

    First, if you didn't see it, Andrew's story is above your post.

    1. Looks like he was counting phone books.

    2. He's never been arrested before. Run-ins, I don't know

    3. Do you not believe that cops could just be "going fishing" on a young adult, as they often do?

    4. Andrew may have mis-spoke if he mentioned an investigation in the video. He may have just meant they were "investigating" what they thought to be a suspicious sighting.

    I hope that getting some documentation of the arrest report later this week will offer more answers as to what the police were thinking.

  7. Question,

    You must not have watched the video, or read Andrew's post, because he makes it pretty clear that he works for a telephone book delivery company (Directory Distributing Associates), which is right next to the police station. Are you basically saying that they alllowed that "suspicion" to marinate for a while before they actually investigated some kid moving phone books around?

    Sounds like incompetence to me.

    And again, it seems like you didn't read or listen to anything here. Andrew was told that "were investigating a burglary"– one that they were clearly imagining in the first place; they had no idea who he was, and clearly didn't know that he was in any way associated with even us. For someone so concerned, you don't seem to be concerned enough to actually investigate the material itself.

  8. Thanks for the information, Dr. Q. Sounds to me like an injustice was done to you.

  9. Who the fuck would steal phone books anyway? Doesn't seem like to cops were thinking about much more than victimizing another young person who doesn't know their rights. Unfortunately for them, it was Andrew, and he does know his rights. Were the cops thinking, they'd have backed down, but no, they escalated it and will now proceed to cover with excuses and pretend they were right in stealing his freedom.

  10. Another fact that I forgot to include in my last comment:

    4)The Police Department did *not* have copies of the local or State law codes for me to consult. I repeatedly told Bower that I did not feel comfortable with what was going on if I could not see the text of laws relevant to my case, but instead of making an attempt to obtain copies for me, he put pressure on me to make decisions. Because I was unfamiliar with the process and because I was caught off guard by the arrest, I can assure you that I felt incredibly threatened by what was happening.

  11. I may have taken this out of context, but I am curious about how some of these questions are relevant. I'm really not trying to be confrontational, and would be interested to read what you had in mind…

    "What does Andrew’s job consist of?"
    Would it matter what his job specifically consists of, as long as he wasn't doing anything illegal, and was actually performing his job duties at the time?

    "Has he had any run-ins with the police in the past?"
    If he had, and everything else was as it seems, would this change the fact that these thugs just forced their way into his morning/job, and wasted a bunch of time and money? Would it change the fact that they threatened him, when passive resistance doesn't call for any attack? Would it somehow be acceptable that the officers lied to his boss about his lack of explanation?

    "Why did the police arrive in the first place?"
    If Andrew said, "I have no idea. They never said anything other then what I already described", how would that color your interpretation of these events?

    "Andrew also mentioned a police investigation. Why is there a police investigation? When did it begin and for what purported reason?"
    This question may have been a result of miscommunication but, what if there was an investigation, wether the cops just sniffing around an open door, or some other, pre-existing, one, and Andrew didn't know the facts about it? If they were looking for the "Open Truck Killer", would it be acceptable if he refused to cooperate with them after they showed that they were not behaving professionally, and they tossed him out of the back of the truck?

    I bring this up both because I am curious as to your perspective, and also because I suspect there are plenty of people who think cops' crap is ever our problem if we aren't doing anything wrong. An officer has an opportunity to address someone civilly, and professionally, and most will respond to the extent that they feel like it's information they wish to share. If a cop is acting like a jackass, and the person then warns him, with all due respect, that they will refuse to cooperate with that specific officer if s/he doesn't behave professionally, that person would deserve nothing but praise. Any statist that says otherwise is not only showing that they're the thugs that they are, but they know it.

  12. It's amazing how much bullshit like this goes on and how oblivious most Americans are to it. That there appears to be no way to actually hold them accountable, that they are often immune to a civil suit or any other method of being held accountable and to justify their actions is just ludicrous and unjust.

    But what are the alternatives? Is there anything that can be done or do we just have to take it? It's frustrating as hell to see them get away with this crap time and time again. They're no different than common thugs, thieves and kidnappers but because they have the air of legitimacy, you can't defend yourself against them with force. It will just give them all the more reason to kill you. After all, a serf who doesn't obey doesn't enrich the state and is therefore useless.

    So what's left? How much longer must this be allowed to go on? In a so-called free country, I find it sadly ironic there's no method of recourse for being abused by the state.

  13. Zeus,

    This is one way to hold them somewhat accountable. We know the police Lts read this blog. I've submitted officer complaints before, and they've always treated my complaint with respect and concern.

    Of course they could be faking, but every possible angle to let police know we won't accept this behavior anymore helps.

  14. Good report Nick!

  15. You people do a good job of wailing and gnashing your teeth.

    When are you going to start doing something actually constructive? Fill out a bad conduct complaint on the officers and sue the city, for chrissake.

    But you run the risk of people thinking that you have a brain and some sack.

    One would almost have to conclude that you're making this shit up. Fake moral outrage… mmmmmm delicious!

  16. Jackson, I surmise that many people are not optimistic that a "bad conduct complaint" will result in any real change.

    Trust me, there's no fake outrage.

  17. Jackson, you should not be so presumptuous. It's only been two days. Believe it or not, that's not enough time to work out a thorough legal strategy for someone who works full time and has limited knowledge of the legal system.

  18. <blockquote cite="ZEUS">I find it sadly ironic there’s no method of recourse for being abused by the state.

    sure there is. if you're abused by the state, you can ask the state to punish the state by filing complaints with the PD or lawsuits with the court, as Jackson suggests:

    <blockquote cite="Jackson">Fill out a bad conduct complaint on the officers and sue the city, for chrissake.

  19. sure there is. if you’re abused by the state, you can ask the state to punish the state by filing complaints with the PD or lawsuits with the court, as Jackson suggests:

    Isn't that a bit silly? That's like asking a thief or a murderer to arrest himself or his buddies. The Thin Blue Line protects its own, right or wrong.

    Hell, in the case of Sam Dodson, the very same judge involved in wrongdoing is the one who will be deciding the case because he refuses to recuse himself. I'm fairly certain he's going to decide he's done nothing wrong and that Sam is completely guilty and no one will be able to do anything to stop him from getting away with it.

    "Hmm, I've heard the facts of the case, Mr. Dodson, and as irrefutable as they are that everything I've done to you is either illegal or unconstitutional, I still find myself not guilty of any wrongdoing and I sentence you to fifty years hard labor because I'm the judge and I can do whatever the hell I want and no one is going to stop me. Thanks for playing."

    I hope I'm wrong and Sam sticks it to that guy but I recognize the odds are stacked against him.

  20. That’s like asking a thief or a murderer to arrest himself or his buddies.

    Indeed.

    John Locke argued that even though all people are born into, and have a right to remain in, a state of nature (not subject to any other person's power or authority), he thought that as a matter of practicality civil governments should be set up. His primary reason for this is that people tend to have a hard time being impartial judges of their own cases. Hence, they set up civil government to act a neutral third-party to arbitrate disputes between individuals.

    The problem, of course (among many others), is that most cases the state "arbitrates" are not disputes between individuals, but rather disputes between an individual and the state (usually with the state as initiator/aggressor). For some reason people think that you and I can't impartially judge our own cases, but the state somehow can and does.

  21. just another prick Keene cop. It's too bad I'd really like to have someone around that will help me defend myself against people looking to steal, threaten, or hurt me.

    Doesn't seem like that is what Keene cops like to do. It's too bad I wish they could come around and help people instead of doing this evil unjust bs.

    that would require a little courage. Keene's finest talk a good game, but not an ounce of courage. Any sack of meat can jump in front of a bullet to save someone. It takes real balls to stand up for your rights. It's too bad Keene can't get some courageous cops that will stand up against tyranny.

  22. Any sack of meat can jump in front of a bullet to save someone.

    Which is a rarity anyway. How often do cops take a bullet saving someone else? Compare that to how often peaceful people take bullets, beatings and taserings from cops and see which is greater.

    Those cops who are honorable and doing their jobs with the utmost integrity (insofar as one can as an agent of the state) should at least be respected for doing so. Not because they're cops but because they're honorable human beings helping other human beings. Those cops who commit violence on others and perform other criminal acts, however, should be reviled and prosecuted.

    According to The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project, 1 out of every 1,549 police officers will be accused of murder, manslaughter, homicide, or causing a fatality unnecessarily in an act of assault or brutality.

    Comparatively, 1 out of every 17,857 citizens will be accused of homicide, manslaughter, murder, or other act that unnecessarily takes a life.

    1 out of every 944 police officers will be accused of sexual assault or sexually-related criminal acts.

    Comparatively, 1 out of every 1,177 citizens will be accused of sexual assault or sexually-related criminal acts.

  23. Took me less than 5 minutes to find the law on the NH.GOV site. All NH laws are searchable on that site. Here it is:

    642:1 Obstructing Government Administration. –

    I. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if that person uses intimidation, actual or threatened force or violence, simulated legal process, or engages in any other unlawful conduct with a purpose to hinder or interfere with a public servant, as defined in RSA 640:2, II, performing or purporting to perform an official function or to retaliate for the performance or purported performance of such a function.

    II. Flight by a person charged with an offense, refusal by anyone to submit to arrest, or any such interference in connection with a labor dispute with the government shall be prosecuted under the statutes governing such matters and not under this section.

    III. In this section, ""simulated legal process'' means a document or order which purports to have been issued by a court or filed or recorded for the purpose of exercising jurisdiction or representing a claim against a person or property, or for the purpose of directing a person to appear before a court or tribunal, or to perform or refrain from performing a specified act, but which the actor knows was not lawfully issued or rendered in accordance with the applicable statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances of the federal, state, or local government, or a political subdivision thereof. ""Simulated legal process'' includes any document that purports to be a summons, lien, indictment, complaint, warrant, injunction, writ, notice, pleading, subpoena, or order.

    IV. For any offense committed under paragraph I that involved the use of simulated legal process, the court may impose the following remedies, in addition to any criminal penalties authorized under RSA 651:

    (a) Such appropriate injunctive relief as the court may deem necessary to prevent continued violations of this section.

    (b) Restitution to the public official for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the simulated legal process, including legal fees.

    Now, unless it's illegal to refuse to provide ID, then it's possible no crime was commited. However, if there is a state or city ordinance requiring you to provide ID when requested by a police officer, then the officer is correct and justified in your arrest.

  24. '…if there is a state or city ordinance requiring you to provide ID when requested by a police officer…'

    If it is required, then how can it be called a request?

    This is a big one that cops grab people with. Listen for the word 'ask', folks, and then politely decline.

    These people serve at OUR convenience, for our protection (allegedly). Start treating them like it

  25. For cops to lie so quickly (and poorly – re: he went into the building, called out, didn't see anyone) shows that they are quite confident about how their justice system will treat them in the case of any "wrongdoing."

    This "go getter/bully you" attitude of the Keene cops is truly disturbing.

    Where are they getting their recruits? From the Bosses' military division or are they all from Texas?

    These people must be held accountable. I'd recommend sueing all the liars and the gang they work with.

    PS: Thank you Andrew for standing up and exercising your right to refuse giving your ID.

  26. Have you considered a civil 42USC1983 suit for illegal seizure to recover damages?

Care to comment?