As 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 freekeene.com
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.
Thanks to Seth McLaughlin of the Washington Times for his report on the people calling themselves the “City of Keene” suing the heroic Robin Hooders:
The city of Keene, N.H., is suing “Robin Hood and his Merry Men” – a group that has made a name for itself by paying people’s parking meters before they can get slapped with a ticket from local parking enforcement officers.
The Union Leader reported Tuesday that six “Robin Hooders” troll the streets of the city’s quaint downtown in search of cars parked at expired meters. (more…)
“Without a victim, I don’t have a crime…I’m going to have to let them go.”
Peter Bowers, Officer, Keene Police Department
Bowers said this over the radio (As heard by the Keene Police Scanner) prior to entering a private cell-phone conversation with James Cemorales, the shift commander. Judging by Cemorales’ final statement in the audio, he was taking orders from Chris McLaughlin, the Keene Police’s prosecutor. Shouldn’t McLaughlin know that toplessness is legal? After all, he’s trained in reading legalese. Perhaps he knew he could kidnap Cassidy and knew there would be no consequences for him if the charges were dropped. Hopefully these guys will one day stop following immoral orders and leave peaceful people alone. I would appreciate your thoughts on this and what Cassidy should do (if anything) about her kidnapping in the comments section.
Here’s the audio from the scanner, edited for time but not content.
If only police would examine more closely whether there is a victim, we’d have a lot fewer peaceful people being arrested. For instance people possessing chemicals, plants, or playing poker have no victims…
This article is great coverage from the Keene Sentinel’s Phil Bantz:
Free Stater convicted for pot
Trial brings laughter this time, not chaos
By PHILLIP BANTZ
Published: Friday, May 01, 2009
An 18-year-old Keene activist was convicted Friday of possessing a small amount of marijuana during a protest earlier this year.
James Andrew Carroll represented himself during his trial in Keene District Court on a Class B misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession tied to his January arrest in Railroad Square in downtown Keene.
Between 30 and 40 people with ties to the Free State Project showed up to support Carroll during the trial. Many of them protested the state’s marijuana laws, holding up homemade signs outside the courthouse, before the trial was under way. (more…)