Posts Tagged ‘richmond copwatch’

Jeremy Hawthorne, arrested September 5th, 2011 while on a Copwatch patrol, is going on trial before a jury for allegedly slashing 7 tires on Virginia Commonwealth University vehicles, including two police cars. The charge is Destruction of State Property > $1,000, a Class 6 Felony.The case is clearly politically motivated; as a part of Richmond Copwatch, Jeremy is one of several who have been targeted by Richmond police in past months for their work against police brutality and poor jail conditions in the city. The notoriously heavy-handed RPD and its officers, ever the subject of much controversy, have bristled and taken a particularly antagonistic attitude with activists, protestors, and copwatchers, reacting in a consistently aggressive, violent, and reckless manner. Accountability, on the other hand, has been elusive.

The “evidence” used to indict Jeremy is insubstantial, and many details surrounding testimonies evidence gathering, and the circumstances leading to Jeremy’s arrest, are questionable at best.
Commonwealth Attorney Christopher Toepp is handling the case per his personal request, intent on a full conviction. Toepp has had a long year of high-profile cases, having been on the prosecution for the Monroe Park Occupation, and the African burial ground demonstration. If Chris Toepp has his way, Jeremy would face 5 years in prison.
The description of the person depicted in the so-far unreleased surveillance footage is incredibly mundane: a beard, a hat (maybe camo, brown, or black?), tattoos, a black sleeveless or rolled-up shirt, a bag, and a step-thru frame bike. In Richmond, this could easily be thousands of people. The alleged acts occurred on August 23rd, the Monday proceeding Best Friends Day, meaning hundreds more out-of-town hipster look-alikes were wild in the streets.

We encourage all those who think they may roughly fit this description to come to the hearing, inside the courtroom and out, as part of a “beard bloc.”

Folks who wish to come out in support- the hearing will be in courtroom 305 of the John Marshall Court Building, 400 N. Ninth St., Richmond, Virginia; 9:30AM Wednesday, February 1st.

For more information, you can contact rvaabc@gmail.com and check richmondlegalsupport.wordpress.com for updates.
We ask all to donate to his legal fund, via the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross (2005 Barton Avenue, Richmond, VA 23222).

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Richmond Copwatch will be out on Saturday, December 3rd to observe and record the police during the late night Shockoe Bottom bar/club scene. We will be meeting at 10:00pm in front of  Main Street Station (1500 East Main Street). All are welcome to come out, regardless of experience!

Shockoe Bottom is an area known for its bars, clubs, venues, and general night life. There have been numerous reports of police violence and brutality in the crowd control tactics used by the Richmond Police Department.The new “zero tolerance” approach of the City government and Police Department seems to result in more aggressive behavior on the part of the police. The police engage in similar behavior at Shockoe Bottom on the weekends as they have during the First Fridays Art Walk- blockading streets, diverting traffic and harassing the general public. 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. Since the Richmond Police Department has  a significant presence in Shockoe Bottom, Richmond Copwatch will be there.

We will go over some brief Know Your Rights information, and discuss the situation we will be observing. We would like to encourage folks who can to come out the day before to a Copwatch Training we will be hosting on Friday December 2nd at 6pm at Festival Park (next to the Richmond Coliseum between 5th and 7th streets). Ideally, everyone going out to Copwatch will have a theoretical training before engaging in these sometimes tense situations.

Some things to bring include:

  • Video cameras
  • Still cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Some snacks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Notebook/paper for taking notes and recording information

We will be doing patrols of the Shockoe Bottom area 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 in this area, 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 10:00pm.

Come out for as much or as little of this Copwatch Patrol as you are able. If you cannot find us, the point of contact for December’s Shockoe Bottom Copwatch patrol will be (804) 300-0023.

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 December 27th at 7:00pm, at 2005 Barton Avenue.

Richmond Copwatch will be out on December 2nd to observe and record the police during December’s First Friday. We will be meeting at 6:00pm at the statue in in Festival Park. All are welcome to come out, regardless of experience!

Festival Park is located between Fifth and Seventh Streets, adjacent to the Richmond Coliseum (which is at 601 East Leigh Street, downtown).
The park between the former 6th Street Marketplace and the Richmond Coliseum is called Nina F. Abady Festival Park.

Festival Park is open until 3am so this will be a safe, public place to meet even after dark.

We will present a How to Copwatch training, in order to try to get everyone the information they need to be safe and effective.

Some things to bring include:

  • Video cameras
  • Still cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Some snacks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Notebook/paper for taking notes and recording information

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 7:00pm. If there is not much of a police presence, we might keep patrols short and encourage folks to attend the Shockoe Bottom Copwatch Patrol the following day (Saturday Dec. 3rd meet at 10pm in front of Main Street Station).

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 December’s First Friday Copwatch patrol will be (804) 300-0023.

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 December 27th at 7:00pm, at 2005 Barton Avenue.

 

The next court date for Jeremy Hawthorne will be on February 1st 2012 (provided the world has not yet ended).

If you can come support Jeremy, who was arrested during a Richmond Copwatch First Fridays Patrol in September, show up for a 9:30 am court at room  305 (Judge Stout) at the John Marshall Courthouse located at 400 North 9th Street in downtown Richmond.

You can find more about Jeremy’s case on the Wingnut site and soon at http://www.richmondlegalsupport.org

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.

From tonight’s Occupy Richmond March- the Richmond Police arresting Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton, as well as throwing a bike at protesters. Come support Eric and Hunter at 9am tomorrow at 920 Hull Street in court!

ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB! ACAB!

Join Richmond Copwatch for a Know Your Rights Workshop at 7pm on Monday November 21st at the Flying Brick Library!
This workshop will help participants learn the basics of asserting their rights when dealing with the police. We highly recommend this workshop for EVERYONE. But especially anyone who engages in any level of political protest or demonstrations.This workshop consists of skits that are performed by Copwatch members and then edited by participants from the audience. We encourage participation, questions, and dialogue around the topics covered in the skit. We are not lawyers, but we are able to provide useful information about a lot of legal questions.

For more information about this workshop or Richmond Copwatch you can call 804 303 5449 or email sbhcopwatch@gmail.com
Richmond Copwatch is a non-hierarchical organization dedicated to ending police abuse. We believe that monitoring and recording police interactions with community members is a vital first step towards ensuring accountability and protecting ourselves and our communities. We are committed to anti-authoritarian principles and seek to transform the nature of the police and explore alternative methods of community conflict resolution.

The Flying Brick Library is located at 506 S. Pine Street in Oregon Hill. They host sober events.

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.

Folks interested in starting an occupation in the city of Richmond will be gathering at 5:30 pm this Thursday in Monroe Park to meet and begin talking about ideas.
An initial call has been made for the actual occupation to begin on Saturday October 15th.

Folks interested in an occupation but with little experience in protests are encouraged to stop by the Richmond Zine Fest this Saturday October 8th from 11-6pm to talk to members of Richmond Copwatch, the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross, and the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. The Richmond Zine Fest will be at the Gay Community Center of Richmond (attached to Diversity Thrift at 1407 Sherwood Avenue).

Richmond Copwatch will be hosting a Know Your Rights Training at 4pm at the Zine Fest. This training is intended to teach people what their legal rights are when dealing with the police, and how to assert them. This is very useful information for folks entering a protest or occupation type situation. It can help keep yourself as well as others safe.

Richmond Anarchist Black Cross will be hosting a Green Scare workshop at 2pm. This workshop is about recent activism in the US and the government oppression people have faced.

More information about both of these workshops is available at the Zine Fest’s website- www.richmondzinefest.com

Additionally, folks interested in the occupation are encouraged to come out to Richmond Food Not Bombs this Sunday to get some experience cooking for large groups of people. Cooking starts at 12:30 at 2005 Barton Avenue and continues until 3:45. Then we head to Monroe Park at 4pm to share a free vegan community meal. Afterwards, we go back to 2005 Barton Avenue to do cleanup.

Richmond had an occupation earlier in 2011, of a local park. More information about that occupation is online at www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com Please check it out!

The link below is to an article written about the Occupation meme in the context of decolonization and indigenous struggles. It also addresses issues of democracy, race, and more. We encourage folks planning on participating in an Occupation to think critically about terms like 99% and to keep privilege, race, sex, gender, class, sexuality and more in mind throughout these occupations.

http://earthspiritandanarchy.blogspot.com/2011/10/america-is-already-occupied-its-time-to.html

More about the Richmond Occupation: Occupy Richmond is part of the larger national movement originating from Occupy Wall St. to COLLECTIVELY VOICE OUR DISAPPROVAL OF THE INTERMESHING OF GOVERNMENT AND CORRUPTED CAPITALISM. WE UNITE AS 99% of THE AMERICAN POPULATION.
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