Posts Tagged ‘richmond police department’

Check out Mo’s essay on why to protest on Easter Sunday!

http://mokarnage.com/2014/04/20/sunday-sermon-the-appropriateness-of-an-easter-protest/

And some signs we are bringing –

easter1 easter2 easter3

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The Richmond Police Department, like most police departments, routinely breaks the law, behaves in racist ways, and engages in acts of brutality against the public.

In the past week we have seen or heard of 3 incidents of police brutality. Anyone with video footage of police brutality is highly encouraged to email us a copy or a link at wingnut_collective@yahoo.com

Anyone who wants tips on how to copwatch or on your rights when dealing with the police is also encouraged to get in touch. The Wingnut Anarchist Collective started Richmond Copwatch about 3 years ago. We no longer have a formal Copwatch organization (though if you are interested let us know), but we still have the capacity to host workshops, come to you and your organization with a workshop, and of course to observe and record the police in Richmond and every where we go.

Here is a link to a story about an incident that occurred in Gilpin Court, a nearby neighborhood: http://www.nbc12.com/story/21997791/richmond-community-claims-excessive-police-force-during-arrest

We have also heard that a man in Southern Barton Heights was beaten up by the police this week, and some of us were a witness to a man getting tazed at Harrison and Grace St. on Saturday night.

If you have video or pictures of the police tazing, beating, harassing, stop and frisking, etc. please send it to us! The more people who watch and record the police on a regular basis the less bullshit they can get away with. These are our neighborhoods, let’s take them back from the biggest most violent gang in Richmond- the Police Department.

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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).

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.

 

Gay RVA posted a letter submitted in solidarity with Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton on their website today. They also included a picture of one of the banners made by Richmond Anarchists at the beginning of the Occupy Richmond occupation of Kanawha Plaza.

http://www.gayrva.com/news-views/letter-richmond-police-harassment-of-local-activists/

 

We expressed solidarity with Roman anarchists specifically because they were attacked by “non-violent” protesters for engaging in acts of property destruction during Occupy Rome.

Last night, 2 good friends and members of the Richmond Radical community were arrested during an Occupy Richmond march. Other people around them, posing no threat and in no way intervening were choked, slammed against cars, and even had a bicycle thrown at them by the Richmond Police. The events of last night were no anomaly, and instead are symptomatic of the unwarranted use of violence by police as a mainstay and default. Commanding officers were smug and relishing in the actions taken by their subordinates.

We are looking for more pictures, witness accounts, and video from the police violence last night. Please email them to sbhcopwatch@gmail.com

Over 25 people came out to court this morning to support Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton at their arraignment. Unfortunately, the system had changed plans, and done their arraignments by video earlier in the day. Hunter and Eric never left lockup for the court. This underhanded move by the court is just another example of the injustice present in the system.

Despite Eric and Hunter not being present, Hunter’s court appointed lawyer, Christopher Bradshaw was. The issue at hand was a preliminary bond hearing. For Eric Scott, whose lawyer William Efird was not present, bail/bond was set at $5,000 – Eric Scott is being charged with a Felony for allegedly wearing a mask in public, some sort of weapons charge (pocketknife) and disorderly conduct. Hunter Singleton is being charged with Felony for allegedly wearing a mask in public as well as a Felony for a controlled substance (his prescription medication) and disorderly conduct. Hunter’s bail/bond was set at $7,500.

Because Hunter’s attorney was not given an opportunity to meet Hunter, there should be another bail hearing early next week, and we sincerely hope that Hunter’s bail will be lowered.

The court and Commonwealth’s Attorney are clearly trying to harass and intimidate by the outrageously high bail’s set and the ridiculous felony charges.

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross is working on support for Eric and Hunter. We will be trying to get in touch with them today and will be in contact with their lawyers. We will see if Hunter and Eric want to be bonded out. The issue with bond is that you pay 10% of the set bail, but you never see that money again. We would need $500 for Eric and $750 for Hunter, which we could not repay. If Hunter, a fulltime VCU student, and Eric want to be bonded out we would love help in raising these funds.

We just called Richmond City Lockup and got word that Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton are still there, and we are not allowed to talk to or visit them. They would not tell us if and when they will be transferred to the City Jail. They have also not updated their system to even show that Eric and Hunter have a bond as an option, so at this point, bonding them out is not yet on the table.

Tonight the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross will be holding a solidarity demonstration at 8pm outside of the Richmond City Jail at 1701 Fairfield Way (Location subject to change if Eric and Hunter are still at Richmond City Lockup [501 North 9th Street] at this time, we will keep you updated). Please come out to show support for Hunter and Eric. Bring candles, signs, banners, flags, whistles, songs, drums, and other things so we can let Eric (a long term Anarchist Black Cross member) and Hunter know that we are working for them on the outside. Anyone who would like to go to the jail as a group is welcome to meet at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective (2005 Barton Avenue) at 7:30pm.

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!

Tonight the Occupy Richmond movement held an event at Gallery 5; screening movies about the Monroe Park Occupation back in March, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Occupy Richmond Movement. Afterwards, the folks who were at the event decided to divide into  3 groups and headed out on marches around the city.

One of the 3 groups of Occupy protesters headed towards Monroe Park, where there was a considerable police force waiting. While the protesters stayed on the sidewalk, having already changed their plans regarding which space to occupy, the Richmond Police Department decided to attack anyways.

People who were at Monroe Park are saying that Eric Scott was singled out from the crowd, and dragged off of  the sidewalk by police. Then, Hunter Singleton was also dragged off. They were both handcuffed and put into a wagon. We have heard that they were allegedly charged with something regarding Virginia’s mask laws. Keep in mind that the police can and will change one’s charges at any time, that they can detain you for up to 72 hours with no charges, etc.

Many people involved with the Occupy Richmond movement had prepared for tonight’s marches by putting apple cider vinegar on bandannas in case of the police using tear gas on protesters.Participants received word of school buses waiting by the park, and an aggressive police presence. They had reasons to be concerned for their health and a bandanna soaked in vinegar can help to prevent bodily harm caused by tear gas.

Folks at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective will be waiting by the phone in case either Eric or Hunter call from jail, and we will do what we can to bail or bond them out as quickly as possible, and provide whatever other solidarity might be needed. If you need to get in touch with someone at the Wingnut for the next 24 hours or so, please call 804 300 0023 INSTEAD of the landline, just so we don’t risk keeping that line busy when someone might be calling from jail. Stay tuned for more updates about how you can help.

When we last heard the Occupy Richmond group had settled on Festival Park, next to the Richmond Coliseum on 6th street as the new Occupation location. We would encourage folks interested to head down that way and support the occupation.