Posts Tagged ‘richmond cops’

Here are copies of the legal injunction served to Mo Karnage on Friday Nov. 16, 2012. The copies that were served to the Wingnut were delivered by a Federal Marshall with at least 2 cops, who arrived in a black SUV with tinted windows.

This is of similar content to the injunction others such as Nathan Cox with Virginia Copblock received.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=1lcXCdm_1zRJSEw-XR0Gqbw9QwPkNvA2whMA2dXxkbUEBzrkj-lHPPDaPQlo0

 

 

The city said we needed to fix our fence (oh CAPS…), and our friend Steve came to town to help us.

We found materials in our own yard to fix the crappy parts of the fence. YAY!

Here are some pictures for your amazement and amusement:

Classy....

Old camper roof = strongest part of the fence yet! Plus a window...

The cute pictures come next: (more…)

Richmond Copwatch is looking for pictures and video of the Richmond Police Department last night during the Occupy Richmond marches. If you have any please email sbhcopwatch@gmail.com

Here is a short video of a Richmond Police Officer refusing to identify himself, and generally giving the person trying to find out that information a hard time. You hear the Copwatcher ask for the cop’s Name and Code Number. Then you also hear that cop refusing to give those pieces of information. You can hear him making comments about how the Copwatcher does not know protocol anymore, and must not know the RPD’s protocol. This is a reference to the fact that after Richmond Copwatch used the Freedom of Information Act to get almost 600 pages of the Richmond Police Department’s protocols, we found out that officers were required to identify themselves by Name and Code Number whenever they were asked. However, since then, the RPD has gone out of its way to alter their protocol. We have heard comments from some officers that say the change in protocol is in direct correlation to Copwatch and Copwatch’s attempts to identify members of RPD. To our best knowledge, Richmond Cops are currently only required to identify themselves by Name, but you should still always ask and get Code Number if you can.

Richmond Copwatch will be out tomorrow night (Friday 11/4) to observe and record the police during November’s First Friday. We will be meeting at 6:00pm at the fountain in Monroe Park. All are welcome to come out, regardless of experience!

Some things to bring include:

  • Video cameras (We have some extra video cameras)
  • Still cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Some snacks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothing (There is a 37 degree low tomorrow night!)

We will be doing patrols of the First Friday Art Walk with a focus on recording police interactions with people. This is meant to curb the level of violence in the RPD’s crowd control tactics during this event, and to ensure there is a record of evidence when police brutality and violence occurs.

Depending on the number of Copwatchers who show up, we will likely split into two or more working groups and begin patrols shortly after 6:00pm. For those who are new to Copwatch, we will briefly go over the basics of Knowing Your Rights and how to safely observe and record the police.

Come out for as much or as little of First Friday as you are able. If you cannot find us, the point of contact for November’s First Friday Copwatch patrol will be (540) 850-3848.

Fair warning: Copwatchers expose themselves to a certain level of legal risk and police harrassment. If, like us, you refuse to be intimidated by these thuggish oppression tactics, come and join us!

You can get in touch with Richmond Copwatch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or (804) 303-5449, or come to the Copwatch meeting on November 22nd at 7:00pm, at 2005 Barton Avenue.

Richmond Copwatch is planning to continue its patrols of First Fridays in downtown Richmond in the month of October. Join us, meeting at the fountain in Monroe Park at 6pm on Friday October 7th. Bring cameras- video or still, cell phones, flashlights or headlamps, water and snacks if you have them. Please dress for the weather and with shoes you are comfortable walking around in for a couple of hours.

If you are able to, we recommend that you get in touch with Copwatch ahead of time for a Know Your Rights training and a brief How to Copwatch training. We will coordinate groups for that evening in the park, and also arrange for a group debriefing at the end of the night.

August was the first month we did an official patrol of the First Fridays event (after over a year of doing Copwatch in Richmond), and one Copwatcher had a tazer put in their face by a Richmond Cop. In September, a smaller patrol went out and was assaulted and harassed by the Richmond police, culminating in one member of Copwatch being arrested at the end of the night on bogus charges. We refuse to be intimidated by the illegal actions of the Richmond Police Department. The aggressive, illegal, and unprofessional behavior of the Richmond Police Department as a whole, simply goes to show the necessity of Copwatch, and the regular observing and recording of a police force as long as one exists. Beyond that the continued violent and oppressive behavior of many members of the Richmond Police Department goes to show the systemic nature of problems with police- problems that will be solved not through reform, but through abolition. As long as the police congregate on Broad Street to oppress and antagonize largely youth of color in order to maintain the gentrifying aspects of the First Fridays Artwalk, Copwatch will be there.

In October we will be doing patrols of this event, cameras in hand. If you are interested in joining us for the patrol, please get in touch, (more…)

I was at home on Friday night, not participating in Copwatch due to other conflicting activities. The phone rang, and on the other end was Copwatch Member D, who quickly related that another member of Copwatch, M, was being detained by the police. D said that the police were not allowing them to get anywhere near M, and that because all of the Copwatch cameras had been placed in M’s bag, the police had them all. I got the location, called to Copwatcher X, and jumped in the car to get to the scene as quickly as possible.

Upon arrival we met up with D, and walked to the street where M was being detained. I walked down the sidewalk on Monroe Street, off of Broad (headed South). Quickly, 2 members of Richmond Police Department informed me that if I was going to walk down the sidewalk I would be arrested. I asked what for, and they said Obstruction of Justice.

I got into an argument with them, explaining to them the definition of Obstruction of Justice in Virginia, and how my walking down a sidewalk to observe and record the police did not count. Then the cop informed me that he had specific orders not to let the three of us down that street. This whole time other people were walking down the street. I informed the cop that what he was engaging in was illegal, selective enforcement, and a violation of our right to observe and record as well as move freely. He kept repeating that he would arrest me if Iwalked down the public sidewalk. (more…)

After a long and relatively uneventful night of doing Copwatch for first fridays on Broad Street, S and I were ready to make the trek back to the Wingnut to review the footage acquired over the course of the night. It had been an evening of very large groups of very bored pigs, standing in groups of up to ten up and down Broad St., most likely very upset that there were no younger folks of color to push around to pass the time on a Friday night. After a humorous impromptu interview with the 4th precinct commander, Mike Strawder, S and I had made it back to our bikes, parked in front of the New York Pizza restaurant. S had unlocked his bike, and as I bent to unlock my bike, I felt handcuffs close over my left wrist as another pair of hands closed around my right arm. I looked up, and there were at least 15 VCU and Richmond police officers surrounding S and I, and I was promptly told that I was under arrest and that I had a felony warrant out on my head, though they were not, at that moment, very forthcoming about what I the warrant was for. S jumped to his feet and immediately had his camera trained on the officers and myself, and watched as they moved me to an alley “where  no one could see me”. My pockets were searched, my knife confiscated, and my bag taken from me as two undercover agents kept their video cameras trained on me throughout the ordeal.

(more…)

I was present tonight around Jackson Ward with the intent to observe police activity in the area. Given the marked police aggression at prior months’ First Fridays events, and our observation of August’s in particular, we anticipated  more unwarranted aggressive conduct from the Richmond Police Department, despite this month’s event being officially canceled. I arrived with Y at roughly 6pm, and met up with Z. We organized our Know-Your-Rights literature to hand out to passers-by, got our cameras ready, and set out down the street.

The first thing we ran into was the RPD’s Mobile Command Center, which was parked on Broad Street and then moved behind the Hess Station at Broad and Belvidere, along with a few police vans. We then came to observe roughly 50+ officers posted in the area, mostly in groups of 3-10, standing at intersections and bus stops waiting around. They were all suited up with bulletproof vests, some with tactical/crowd control gear. There were also several squad cars on the street, their respective officers engaged with the task of towing cars not compliant with the temporary parking restrictions imposed for the night. These restrictions had also been imposed at August’s First Fridays event, and everyone present witnessed the entirety of Broad Street cleared between Belvidere and Adams St. Again, tonight we saw at least four tow trucks diligently moving vehicles.  (more…)

Richmond Copwatch met Friday night at 6pm to do Copwatch patrols during the monthly First Fridays Art Walk on Broad and Marshall streets downtown.One Copwatcher went into Rite Aid to purchase some drinks. The rest (about 12 at that point) were waiting on the edge of the parking lot.

Before Copwatch even split off into separate patrols, a Richmond Cop- Toney Waldorf of the 4th precinct – pulled into the Rite- Aid parking lot where we were meeting. He parked quickly and at an angle, and then exited his vehicle. He called out “Hey What Are You Doing”, to 2 Copwatchers – Z and M- who were walking past his car towards Broad street.  One Copwatcher, M, replied, “Am I Being Detained?”. The Cop did not identify himself or express what it was he wanted from anyone in that area. He finally exclaimed “I’m not talking to you” and then jumped in front of the Copwatcher, Z, on the outside of the pair (farther away from him). Waldorf the cop, unsheathed his Tazer and held it in a firing stance in Z’s face.

The Tazer was about 2 feet from his face, and the cop held it out while yelling about how Z should have stopped walking faster (even though it was by no means clear who that cop was talking to or what he wanted from whoever he was directing his attention towards).

The cop - Waldorf- already tall, stood on the median of the parking lot, putting his tazer (which he is holding with 2 hands in a firing stance) at Z's face level. Z did nothing to resist, reached for no potential weapon, and essentially did nothing threatening in any way which could have justified Waldorf's use of potentially lethal force.

When other police arrived they started telling the Copwatchers to leave the Rite Aid parking lot. Copwatchers, still filming, all cooperated and moved to exit the parking lot. While M was walking backwards out of the parking lot, filming, one Cop who’s embroidered tag said “Stone” refused to identify himself by name and code number. While he aggressively invaded M’s space, M continued to walk backwards towards the exit. Stone committed  Battery on M by grabbing her arm to push her at one point, while she continued to exit the parking lot. He also completely violated RPD’s protocol by refusing to identify himself.

Here is part of Z’s personal account:

“After waiting outside of the Rite Aid for a friend to retrieve some drinks, me and another friend were walking away to observe Richmond’s first Friday event.  While we were walking away a police car pulled up and an officer got out asking to speak with us.

I said “what?  No, why?”  and continued to walk slowly away

M said “are we being detained?”

Police said “I’m talking to him”

M repeated “are we being detained?”

The police officer darted in front of us and pulled out his Tazer pointing it at me telling me to stop where I was.  He told me to walk over to the back of his car which I did and he continued to question me and take my ID.  He asked me for my social security number and when I refused he threatened to spend hours dealing with me and to take me downtown.  I begrudgingly gave this stranger my SS number after being so threatened.  While he looked me up in his car two other officers berated me with questions.  One of the officers was very rude and spoke of his beliefs that human nature was full of evil.  He also believed that someone from Copwatch was probably the person that called them in the first place so that we could have another chance to “martyr” ourselves.  He got very heated trying to tell me all about how our few minutes of waiting outside of the Rite Aid for our friend was loitering since it was posted that we were not allowed.  Another officer came up later demanding that he be able to take my picture (to which I did not give consent) because they couldn’t find me in the system.

This being a rather abrupt and excessive use of force concerns me greatly.  This officer almost tazed me for not answering his questions quickly enough.  All of this harassment happened because he suspected I may be the person Rite Aid called the police on for smoking Cannabis.  I believe our presence as members of Copwatch greatly affected his choice to escalate force so quickly.” (more…)

The police violated their own protocol last night when they repeatedly advanced on the crowd on Broad Street without any warning or explanation. Some news articles have reported a supposed official gathering in Monroe Park- that is entirely ficticious. Neither the police nor anyone else informed the crowd of where or why they were being moved. Since the police had already blockaded Broad Street from traffic, there didn’t seem to be any pressing need for them to force the crowd East on Broad.

We are also fairly certain that shooting people with mace pellets at point blank range is illegal. All that was accomplished by the police last night was to turn a LOT more people against the police. They exposed their true selves to the crowds and  taught a bunch of college kids an important lesson about pigs.

The riot was not about basketball, it was pretty clearly about the police. It shows that there is a potential of resistance in Richmond. This was the first riot in Richmond since 1973.

If anyone knows how many people got arrested, has good pictures or video, or wants to write about their observations or experience at the riot please email us at wingnut_collective@yahoo.com