The cheshire county superior courthouse was the scene of two arrests early yesterday. A third arrest took place down the street from the courthouse after deputies followed Derrick J to his car to arrest him for trespassing, for having gotten too close to the building. This occurred some time after a comical and inspiring foot pursuit Derrick led deputies on as he inched farther away from their approach.
Miami journalist Carlos Miller was in the area following the NH Liberty Forum. He visited Keene on Monday to survey the status of right to record issues plaguing courts in the southwest portion of the state. For a while, a camera ban had been enforced in Keene courthouses but surprisingly today, bailiffs allowed Ademo Freeman through security with a video camera. Previously, cameras were only permitted through once the validated motion to record was in hand. As Carlos filmed the security theater, bailiffs noticeably kept their gaze away from the lens until they were prompted to give a response. Within forty seconds of the operating camera being made an issue of by bailiff Fredrickson, a call is made to sheriff’s deputies that, “We’ve got somebody who refuses to turn off a camera.” Within two minutes, deputy Caleb Dodson had backed Carlos and his camera out of the lobby with quickly repeated threats of arrest. It is at this point that deputies arrest Ian Freeman and Kelly Voluntaryist for violating no trespassing orders they had previously been given by sheriff Dick Foote. Footage of the arrests is difficult to discern as the camera is forced out just ahead of the seizure.
Carlos Miller had, prior to the arrests, done the activity which had caused the original no trespassing orders to be issued to the three arrested. He waited in the parking lot to question court officials — more specifically, judges who use unwritten laws to suppress photography and videography. No word yet on how fruitful the stakeout was.
Ian was released on PR bail around noon. Kelly was released a few hours later, and there was a delay in Derrick’s release when the bail commissioner left the jail before returning to liberate him. A court hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 17. To date, seven Free Keene activists have been given no trespassing orders to prevent them from appearing at the courthouse under penalty of arrest.
The video linked below features the action yesterday morning, as well as some footage from relevant past experiences at the courthouse.
This article originally published at freeconcord.org.