Posts Tagged ‘richmond police’

UPDATE: Since for whatever reason the story about the Wingnut/Richmond Copwatch using FOIA to get files from the Richmond Police Department is hot now on the internet, we are reposting this request for help.

The police refuse to send us these files.
We are asking for your help.
Please, if you already have these files send us copies. If you have the time/interest, submit a FOIA request of your own for all or part of the following.

We are also interested in any and all government documents you might have pertaining to Virginia, Virginia police (and protocols), FBI and Virginia activist organizations and anarchists etc.

Email us at wingnut_collective@yahoo.com for more info/ if you have the files!

Richmond Copwatch has had an ongoing FOIA request with the Richmond Police Department since January. We were requesting the 2nd half of the documents of police protocols that we did not get the first time we made a request. Since that time the Richmond Police Department has violated the Virginia Freedom of Information Act numerous times. They have a 200 dollar deposit from us, and they are also saying that so far the costs are over 900 dollars. Their lack of communication and compliance make it clear that they are giving us the run around.

You might remember our FOIA Fun back in January- which you can read about here: http://wingnutrva.org/2011/01/04/foiad-again/

We clearly have reason to believe that the police department is refusing to follow the law with this FOIA request because of who we are. We have filed a complaint in court, but VA FOIA law is very limited in its ability to hold government agencies accountable, even if they wanted to.

Since it is taking so long, we were wondering if anyone out there had already used FOIA to get these files. The list of titles we are interested in are below. If you have the time, it would also be awesome if people wanted to submit their own FOIA requests to the Richmond Police Department for these files. However, we would love to take a look at any files people have FOIA’d from the Richmond Police Department. If you have them online, please email them to wingnut_collective@yahoo.com or you can mail a hard copy to Richmond Copwatch 2005 Barton Avenue Richmond, VA 23222 If you have a copy of any of these files that we can borrow that would be great so we can copy and scan them.

These are all sections from the General Orders Index of the Richmond Police Department. We only need the sections listed here, as we have previously received all of the other sections.
1-08
1-09
1-10
1-11
1-12
2-01
2-02
2-03
2-04
2-05
2-06
2-07

More of the documents we need after the break…
(more…)

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Henrico Police shot and seriously wounded an upset and allegedly bipolar man Thursday afternoon (April 26) off of Three Chopt Road.

Multiple neighbors who witnessed this event have already come forward to speak out against this instance of police brutality. They describe the situation where Allen Skeens posed no threat to the officers, and where the cops shot him in the chest as a first attempt at detaining him.

This picture was taken by Heather Powell, thanks!

Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Allen Skeens. We hope he has a swift and full recovery

This instance is a great example of why Copwatching is so important. If it were not for the multiple neighbors who were brave enough to stay and observe and take photos of this situation, it might not be so clear that Allen Skeens was brutally attacked by the police today. Too often the only side of the story heard in these circumstances is that of the police.

Please observe and record the police whenever you can, and get other people to stay with you. If you would like a training on how to do this in a more safe way and how to protect your rights, please get in touch with us at sbhcopwatch [at] gmail.com or 804 303 5449.

Video footage of interviews with some witnesses as well as 3 pictures taken by one of them are available here: http://wtvr.com/2012/04/26/graphic-warning-pics-of-police-involved-shooting/

Please come out to support Richmond anarchist and activist Hunter Singleton at his Pre-trial court appearance on Wednesday January 18th at 11am at the Manchester Courthouse on Richmond’s Southside at 920 Hull Street.

Two activists, Eric and Hunter were arrested on November 9th during a march for Occupy Richmond. They were on the sidewalk, when Eric, then Hunter, were grabbed by Richmond police and dragged into Monroe Park. They have been charged with the Felony of wearing a mask in public.They were part of a large group of people who applied apple cider vinegar to bandannas and scarves as a preventative measure against tear gas the Richmond Police are well known for using. The legal, peaceful march they were participating in knew that there were dozens of Richmond Police awaiting them around Monroe Park.

Additionally both are facing charges of disorderly conduct. Eric is facing a concealed weapons charge for the food tool he had in his backpack for eating apples with, and Hunter is facing a controlled substances charge for his prescription medication. The charges they are facing could result in up to 5 years.

Eric has taken a plea deal on his charges, but Hunter is still dealing with the courts. Please come out to show your solidarity with Hunter!

You can find more about the background of this story online here:

http://richmondlegalsupport.wordpress.com/eric-and-hunter/

The Occupied Mind blog has written about the Richmond Occupation, and specifically has this post about the arrests of Hunter and Eric during an Occupy Richmond March. They have specifically addressed the relationship between occupiers and our anarchist collective. They also critique the actions of the Richmond Police Department, and question the singling out of 2 anarchists and long term activists during the march.

News and editorials about the Occupy Wall Street movement, with specific local coverage of Occupy Richmond. On Occupy by an Occupier, for everyone.

http://occupiedmind.blogspot.com/2011/11/merry-pranks-and-police-state-politics.html

We just heard from our 2 friends arrested tonight that they will be arraigned tomorrow morning at 9am in the courthouse at 920 Hull Street on Richmond’s Southside.

Please come out to support Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton, who will be spending the night tonight occupying Richmond City Lockup.

Richmond Copwatch is holding its first ever fundraiser next Saturday October 1st.Please come out so we can raise funds to buy new cameras and other necessary equipment.

It will be a Smash-a-que – which means we will be asking for donations for people to take swings at a “Richmond Cop Car Number 187”. We will provide safety goggles and gloves, and a sledgehammer with which to take swings at the cop car. We are asking for a 5 dollar donation per swing, with a larger donation for parts of the car like the windshield.

We will be holding the Smash-A-Que at the corner of West Graham and North Avenue, next door to  the Goal Post and across the street from the North Avenue Market.  We will start at 5pm, and keep going until that car is crushed.

Food will be sold next door at the Goal Post Restaurant during our event. We encourage people to support a local business and buy some food from Ms. Dot.

We will also be projecting the film These Streets Are Watching, which is about Copwatch organizations across the country. We will have a table with literature about Copwatch in Richmond and how to get involved.

Recently there has been renewed hubbub around CAPS in Richmond again. CAPS, for those (lucky enough to be unfamiliar with it), stands for Community Assisted Public Safety. It is a joining of efforts of Police, Code Enforcement, and citizens. Lately they have been keeping residents of Richmond  safe by hunting down house shows and punk venues and shutting them down, charging the owners/leasees/proprietors with a variety of misdemeanors and other charges according to news reports.

CAPS, just like Cops, serve a very specific function in our city and society. We can not reform CAPS just as we can not reform Cops.  We might be able to push back in terms of unconstitutional aspects of the overall CAPS program, including dipshit City Councilman Charles Samuels’ noise ordinances, but CAPS is not an abnormality or mistake.

A well written article by Carl Athey in RVA magazine (http://rvamag.com/articles/full/12329/who-invited-these-guys) called out the apparent hypocrisy in the City of Richmond proudly lauding its arts and music scenes, with the new Arts District and the simultaneous increased policing and harassment of the arts and music scenes, everything from a high admissions tax to police oppression of First Fridays. What I think is important is to realize that the city and powers that be are in fact NOT being hypocritical.

They want arts and music scenes, just not ones that are oppositional to the status quo. In fact, it might be a bad assumption on the part of Athey and others (or maybe they’ve been intentionally tricked) to believe that they are included in the art and music culture that the City wants to build here. 

So to answer Carl’s query to see if  the city will back up their rebranding image by backing down on CAPS- we think not. CAPS and the City are rebranding themselves as Carl mentions- it is highly unlikely that they will want to include broke, dirty, drunk punk kids in that image.

CAPS functions very deliberately.

CAPS uses existing regulations, from building codes to business laws, in order to shut down cultural events that either are not to the taste of the rich people and politicians, or which they are not able to properly profit off of. (more…)

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…)

Wednesday, September 7th, 8PM – at the Flying Brock Library (our friends) in Oregon Hill at 506 South Pine Street. We will be doing our usual Open Hours from 4-7:30 then biking on over to the Flying Brick for this event. Join us!

After a series of murders at the hands of the police last Winter, the city of Seattle was the ground for a surge of revolt beyond the control of both managed protests and state repression. After a long period of quiet, people broke years of inertia to interrupt the lie of social peace–and anarchists played a critical role in fueling the fires.

Two participants in these events will present their analysis of anti-police tension, the forces that maintain social order, and the strategies and tactics used by anarchists to deepen social rupture.

Afterward, we will have an open discussion about ongoing struggles in Seattle and Richmond, and potential points for future conflicts.

As always, Flying Brick events are sober unless otherwise noted. Please don’t bring any drugs, alcohol, or show up intoxicated. Thanks! Hope to see all of you there!

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…)