Posts Tagged ‘mike snawder’

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…)

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…)