Cheshire Sheriff Destroys Self-Immolation Footage

ImmolationAs you probably know, about two weeks ago a man self-immolated in front of Cheshire superior court over his frustration with the “justice” system. The following day, I went to Cheshire sheriff and requested a copy of the footage from the security camera. I was told that it had been given to Keene Police. Apparently while this statement was true, they could have made another copy for me, but instead misdirected me to KPD. I then filed a “91-A” freedom of information request with KPD and was told after a few days that they had returned their copy to the sheriff. I then filed the same request with the sheriff and after a few days was told they had destroyed the copy. This morning I called the sheriff’s office and spoke with Arlene Crowell, the communications director, and she informed me that their security system only retains archives for seven days before writing over it. KPD’s James McLaughlin claims they did not copy the footage.

So, if they are all to be believed, no footage exists of Thomas James Ball immolating himself. If I am wrong and you do have footage, please email me at ian at

I suppose I should have filed the request at the sheriff’s office the following day instead of just asking them for it. I’ve never filed these requests before, so I’m sorry for failing. Of course, I probably would have just gotten the runaround anyway.

So much for Article 8 of the NH Constitution:

[Art.] 8. [Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.] All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.

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