How many spankings in their own courts must the governments of New Hampshire endure before they finally learn their lesson? Three years ago, Weare police settled for over $57,000 to then-Free State Project president Carla Gericke for arresting her for recording them on the side of the road.
Now Manchester police are shelling out $275,000 to Alfredo Valentin who was arrested for recording the police on his smartphone inside his own home during a drug raid. Police were raiding Valentin’s home searching for evidence against another man, Christopher Chapman. Though police already had Chapman in custody from an earlier arrest, they went ahead with a full swat raid against Valentin’s house, including, “firing incendiary devices through the property’s windows, kicking in the doors, and entering the property SWAT-style with semi-automatic weapons—damaging property, terrifying the two women who were still in the house, and creating an unjustifiable risk of accidental death or injury”. This according to the one million dollar lawsuit against Manchester brought by the excellent NH Civil Liberties Union.
Darryl W Perry and Ian Freeman at the 2017 ACLU 1st Amendment Awards Dinner
NHCLU head attorney Gilles Bissonnette worked with attorney Richard Lehmann on the case. In a press release published at IndepthNH.org, the NHCLU’s Bissonnette said, “This settlement recognizes that the right of citizens to observe and record the police is a critical check on the use of power and force by law enforcement…The police need to understand that individuals who are recording their work without interference have a constitutional right to do so, and it is not cause for their arrest.”
Major thanks to the NHCLU for their excellent work holding Manchester police accountable. Too bad its taxpayers who have to foot the bill instead of the terrible, oppressive officers themselves.
Recently I wrote the eulogy for Cop Block, the national police accountability activist news website. Nothing lasts forever, especially in the world of activism, where doing the right thing rarely means one can make a living at it. Burnout is real and has happened to some of the brightest activists to ever hit the Cop Block scene.
Cop Block as a national organization may have died, but it’s not dead here in New Hampshire, where it was incubated – according to founder Pete Eyre – in Keene.
Toward the end of this summer, state and local police set up DUI checkpoints in Cheshire county for the first time in five years. Thomas Parisi from The Jail Paper came out with the group to document the checkpoint. It was set up just a few hundred feet from the bridge to Brattleboro, VT so we had multiple Cop Blockers on both points of entry to the checkpoint with multiple reflective signs alerting peaceful motorists to the upcoming harassment. Not surprisingly, state police statistics reported zero DUIs were found during the checkpoint, though they did write a bunch of motor vehicle violation tickets and make a few drug possession arrests. So, all victimless “crimes” – another huge waste of taxpayer dollars.
This post was originally made on CopBlock.org. I’m posting it here as well, as who knows what’s going to happen with that site:
Hi, I’m Ian Freeman. I’m one of the original Cop Blockers, which is why I possess badge number five. I’ve been a longtime Cop Blocker, financial supporter and occasional blogger here. Both of Cop Block’s founders, Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman have lived with me in my home and they are great friends with whom I’ve had some amazing times.
I was alarmed this Summer when Ademo announced that he was putting CopBlock.org up for sale. I wasn’t surprised that he wanted out. Ademo has seen his share of burnout and has suffered greatly in his quest to hold police accountable. Ademo was a trailblazer in police accountability activism and deserves as much of a break as he wants. He’s currently describing himself as a “happily retired activist” and he should be. Our world is better off because Cop Block is in it.
What surprised me about his request to sell the site was the fact that Ademo felt he had to resort to a sale at all. Where were all the Cop Blockers who should have stepped up to take the reins? Ademo had asked the primary contributors to the site about taking over lead roles. Apparently no one stepped up, so Ademo decided to auction the site. When I found this out, I asked around and sure enough, while some people were willing to help, no one wanted to lead. (more…)
After the screening, we gave away one of the few existing DJVCS movie posters to a lucky attendee and then director and star of the movie, Derrick J Freeman and I took a bunch of questions from the audience. We reflected on the last five years, where we are now, and looked to the future of the exciting, growing New Hampshire Freedom Migration.
What a pleasure and an honor it has been to executive produce this movie, working with the amazing talents of Derrick J Freeman and editing pro Beau Davis. I’m especially grateful to all the people who love and share Victimless Crime Spree with their friends and family. The pro-freedom message and spirit of the movie is infectious and fun, despite its ultimately sad ending. It’s an important documentary, and the first to come out of the community of libertarian migrants to the Shire. (In case you haven’t seen it, the second such documentary, also edited by Beau Davis, is “101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire“.)
Only five DJVCS posters exist – one will be raffled at the screening!
Recently Derrick J Freeman announced a special five-year anniversary screening of his documentary film, “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree” to take place in Portsmouth this Sunday 9/17 at 7pm at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre. Admission is free, first come, first seated. Refreshments will be available for cash, bitcoin, or DASH. If you’re new to Victimless Crime Spree, it’s a feature length, 90min documentary that was originally recorded and edited in Keene, NH (with a little footage from Derrick’s previous home of Philadelphia). Here’s how Derrick has described the movie from his perspective today which he included this on the facebook event for Sunday’s screening:
Victimless Crime Spree is the story of Derrick J, a lovable rebel on a mission to achieve freedom and independence from government. He moves from Philadelphia to New Hampshire for the Free State Project and almost immediately finds himself behind bars. Despite his friendliness to the cops and government bureaucrats, they keep putting him in cages. Inspirational, intelligent and fearless; this documentary demonstrates the will and perseverance of civil disobedience activists that risk their liberty for hope of a better world. If you don’t already, this movie will leave you questioning your relationship with “authority.”
After the screening, we’ll have a Q&A with Derrick J and also do a raffle for one of only five existing original theatrical release posters from the movie’s theatrical premiere in Keene back in September of 2012.
Since its release, the movie has racked up more than 175,000 views on YouTube, sold hundreds of DVDs, and received plenty of positive reviews and ratings, with an 8.6/10 on IMDB and 4.3 stars on Amazon! Those aren’t the only measures of the movie’s success, however. It’s also accomplished helping turn libertarians on to the NH Freedom Migration and multiple people have cited it as their reason for moving to New Hampshire. It’s also introduced new people to the ideas of liberty. I really couldn’t be more proud of what Derrick and editor Beau Davis created and am honored to be the film’s executive producer.
Manchester PD was one of 7 gangs to receive a share of $1,304,118 (pages 63 and 124) in grants to conduct “sobriety” checkpoints. One of the checkpoints was conducted this past Thursday, July 20th 10pm through July 21st 2:30am. The checkpoint was located on the westbound lane of Bridge St. Manchester PD records indicate that there were 3 stops on Bridge Street during those hours. There were no arrests, and no citations are listed. No DWI arrests occurred during those hours anywhere in Manchester, according to the gang’s website.
As always, a group of libertarians showed up to warn drivers of the presence of the gang members. Though it seems that the MPD gang did not remove any unsafe activity from the roadways, the libertarians warned several drivers, both those who drove through the checkpoint and those who did not, that their headlights were off. One car was pulled over in the right turning lane turning onto Elm St. This was promptly filmed by several libertarians and the driver seemed to me to be let go without any further violations of their rights beyond the initial kidnapping/death threat.
A “Utility Work Ahead” sign was on the sidewalk next to the right turn lane turning onto Bridge St (towards the checkpoint). There was no visible utility work in the area. The sign was facing away from any traffic that would have seen it. Due to the design of the sign, it was easy to walk behind to walk down the sidewalk with a sign to warn drivers. (These drivers would have seen the blank metal back of the utility work sign.) The only drivers who this sign would realistically been visible to would be a driver driving east on the westbound side of Bridge St.
If you want to be warned of checkpoints in the geographical area occupied by New Hampshire before they happen, you can follow Checkpoint Free New Hampshire on Twitter,Facebook, or send an SMS saying “follow @NoCheckpointsNH” to 40404 to get SMS alerts.