Ryan Maddox on the “Live Free or Dance” Arrests in Central Square

On September 9, at approximately 10:15PM, members of the Keene community gathered for “Live Free Or Dance” at Central Square, for the 2nd week in a row. The dance party was short lived however, because not a minute into the fun, police showed up and instead of protecting and serving what they did was entirely different, as you’ll discover below.

Ryan & Roz being attacked by Keene Law Enforcers. Photo by dooms-day-device.com

They said that they received a noise complaint (that they seem to have fabricated) and made numerous assertions such as: we need to obtain a permit, that the music was excessively loud and disturbing, and that we couldn’t use the openly-available power.

Then they asked who owned the sound equipment. No one stepped forward. After some time multiple individuals independently claimed ownership of the equipment. The police took the word of an individual that they had in their custody for an unrelated incident which the cops claim was an assault. They chose to arrest him after he indicated he owned the sound equipment used that night. The police knew that the sound equipment didn’t belong to him. After kidnapping him they went back to the gazebo with the intention of stealing the sound equipment. Although they were notified and aware that they had no means to know with certainty who the equipment belonged to, they maintained that they were going to take it by force. As is typically the case when law enforcement is involved, violence ensued. One officer began aggressively tugging on the equipment, attempting to steal it. Derrick J Freeman and Roz tried to hold onto the property, and then that officer violently assaulted and kidnapped Derrick [video].

While that occurred, Roz too was assaulted and kidnapped by another officer. I saw the assault and ran over to Roz to grab her away from the violent man with a badge. He pushed us to ground (at which point I suffered a mild head injury) and kidnapped us. Roz suffered bruises on her arm as a result.

Minutes later, they took Derrick to a vehicle and pepper-sprayed him while he was standing cuffed in front of the car door. While preparing to spray him, another officer deliberately blinded video journalist Jason Repsher with a flashlight to obscure the recording of the cruel and sadistic application of force.

The three of us were transported to the House Of Corrections where Derrick, in the spirit of the event, spent the rest of the night dancing without stop. We were all eventually liberated on bail. Roz and I were both charged with obstruction of government administration and resisting arrest, while Roz received an additional charge of obstruction of apprehension. We have a scheduled court date of October 4 at 8:30AM.

It’s really unfortunate that those who purport to protect us are often indistinguishable from thugs and gangsters in their actions. Perhaps when innocent dance parties are a threat to the police it is an indication that we are living under a tyrannical state.

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