Posts Tagged ‘richmond police’

http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/richmond-recovers-police-data-flash-drive/article_638f9228-b1c1-11e2-820c-001a4bcf6878.html

The Richmond Police have reportedly received the missing Police Department flash drive from a 3rd party (neither Mo Karnage of the Wingnut nor Nathan Cox of Copblock).  See link above for full news report.

The flash drive was reportedly found on the ground near a trashcan. The cop Martin Harrison who’s flash drive it was had testified in court that he never took the flash drive from police headquarters- yet said there were no reported intruders during the few days when the flash drive went missing. And yet the flash drive was found outside.

Thanks to Tom Roberts and Andrew Bodoh- the attorney’s representing in this case. www.robertslaw.org to find out more about them and make a donation to their legal fund.

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.

Today Mo Karnage and Nathan Cox were served with injunctions from the Richmond Police Department. The injunction documents were very vague, and seemed to be about the files recently linked to by Mo and Nathan on 2 websites-  Copblock and Wingnut.

The defendents are listed as Moriah Kahn (they can’t spell), The Richmond Wingnut Collective, Nathan Cox, Filebin.net, and Does 1-10

Here is a video of Nathan being served today:

http://qik.com/video/55700505

More information about his organization online at:

http://www.virginiacopblock.org

Important to note, is that typically injunctions are served by a process server. To have multiple cops hunting you down (they went to Nathan’s work, home, and mother’s home as well as Mo’s home, mother’s home, and friend’s home), some wearing tactical gear, is a pretty obvious intimidation tactic.

We are working on getting scans of the injunctions to post online for your viewing pleasure.

The City of Richmond Police Department is labeled as the plaintiff.

The injunction doesn’t say which files are the ones in question, just all of them. It appears that the police have now taken all the files down.

You might remember from a couple of years ago that the Wingnut Anarchist Collective and the Richmond Police Department had a tiff regarding some files from the RPD’s General Orders that the Wingnut got a hold of using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). More about that here ( http://wingnutrva.org/2011/01/04/foiad-again/ )

And after the police were forced to drop their case before it even hit the courts, they refused to comply to any FOIA requests coming from members of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. We didn’t have the legal resources to take them to court over their violation of the FOIA laws. Instead we made multiple online asks for the info if anyone else already had a copy or was able to get one. (http://wingnutrva.org/2012/04/28/rpd-refuses-to-cooperate-with-foia-we-need-these-files-please-help/ ).

Well, someone finally came through, and an anonymous source gave people access to the rest of the General Orders from the RPD, as well as some other files. Since these files regard the rules the police must follow, and since tax money goes to pay for the police, we figure this is public information, and we are re-posting links to it here. We hope it finds you well and helps you protect yourself and your legal rights.

We haven’t actually had a chance to go through these files ourselves, so if you find something particularly interesting or useful, drop us a line to let us know! wingnut_collective @ yahoo.com We;d also love to hear from copwatchers, lawyers, and anyone who finds this information useful, share your stories!

Here are links to some of the new info out there on the web, not sure how long it will stay on those websites, so download your own copy if you are interested!

http://filebin.net/0cupaguxql

http://filebin.net/8supe72vg8

Join Southern Barton Heights Copwatch on Friday July 6th at 8pm to participate in a Copwatch Patrol of the First Fridays Artwalk on Broad Street.

Meet at 422 West Broad, in front of the Made RVA General Store.

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, and also arrange for a group debriefing at the end of the night.

August of 2011 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 July 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, so we know how many cameras and other equipment to bring out with us. We will start patrols around 8:30pm, and keep going until everyone is tired. We will try to make ourselves visible for folks who might just want to have conversations through out the night.

This will be a chance for folks who have never experienced Copwatch to talk with experienced copwatchers and get some training as to how to safely observe and record the police.

You can get in touch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or 804 303 5449 or come to the Copwatch meeting on the 4th Tuesday of each month  at 7pm at 2005 Barton Avenue

We will be hosting a pre-fast breakfast (confusing right) at the Wingnut on Monday June 18th from 10am-12noon. Please come and share a dish (vegan dishes are awesome, but not required). There will be coffee and delishes!!! Conversation about the 23 hour fast against 23 hours of solitary confinement, the prison industrial complex in general, and the rally and march in Richmond happening on Tuesday June 19th at 5:30pm!

All are welcome to come, whether you plan on actually fasting for 23 hours or not.

More details about Tuesday’s rally and march here: http://www.facebook.com/events/315681221848912/

Hope to see you Monday morning!!! 2005 Barton Avenue or call 804 303 5449 or email wingnut_collective@yahoo.com for more info!

Richmond Copwatcher and member of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective, Mo Karn, was detained, arrested, and ticketed in May while Copwatching for standing on the sidewalk of Barton Avenue.

You can read more about the original incident here: http://wingnutrva.org/2012/05/17/first-richmond-copwatch-ticket-for-standing-on-the-sidewalk/

The arraignment was on May 31st, and a court date was set for July 31st.

Please come out to support Mo and Richmond Copwatch, and to stand up to bully cops, on July 31st at 11am in Judge Cheeks’ court room at 920 Hull St in the Manchester Court Building.

You can’t bring cell phones, weapons, food, etc., but you CAN bring a sketchpad and pencil to draw and record the court proceedings. We ask that you do so.

On Thursday May 17th, folks from the Wingnut Anarchist Collective encountered, yet again, members of the Richmond Police Department racially profiling and harassing members of the Southern Barton Heights community.

Here is a video of the first interaction we recorded:

A group of us were on the porch of the Wingnut when we saw a RPD cruiser stop to pull over a young man of color who was walking down Barton Avenue. They stopped him with the excuse that he was walking in the street, but this was a very clear use of racial profiling and “stop and frisk” type policing. We grabbed our Copwatch video camera, and walked down the block to film the incident. We did not have the camera recording our full approach, and were unable to get video of the police frisking the man, though some of us did witness it.

One officer, M. Godwin, was fairly aggressive about not allowing Copwatcher Mo to stand on the public sidewalk. A car pulled up Home St. while the RPD cops had their cruiser parked in the middle of Barton Avenue, completely obstructing the road. The folks in the car asked very politely if the police could move the cruiser so they could get by, since Barton is a one way street and they couldn’t turn the other way. The police ignored them.

Luckily the police let our neighbor go. Unfortunately, they continued down the street detaining another young man of color and eventually giving Copwatcher Mo a ticket for standing on the public sidewalk. More on that encounter is available on another post.

A group of us were on the porch of the Wingnut when we saw a RPD cruiser stop to pull over a young man of color who was walking down Barton Avenue. They stopped him with the excuse that he was walking in the street, but this was a very clear use of racial profiling and “stop and frisk” type policing. We grabbed our Copwatch video camera, and walked down the block to film the incident. We did not have the camera recording our full approach, and were unable to get video of the police frisking the man, though some of us did witness it.

One officer, M Godwin, was fairly aggressive about not allowing Copwatcher Mo to stand on the public sidewalk. A car pulled up Home St. while the RPD cops had their cruiser parked in the middle of Barton Avenue, completely obstructing the road. The folks in the car asked very politely if the police could move the cruiser so they could get by, since Barton is a one way street and they couldn’t turn the other way. The police ignored them.

When the police were done harassing our neighbor, they drove off. We started to head back to the house, when someone noticed they had gone down a few blocks and stopped another young man of color. We did not witness the initial stop, so can’t say for sure what excuse they used for detaining him while they ran his ID.

The person they detained said this was the 3rd time he has been randomly stopped by the cops this week. If you listen carefully you can hear him say this in the video. The amount of police and police harassment in Southern Barton Heights is why we started Copwatch 2 years ago. Unfortunately the cops still engage in racial profiling, harassment, brutality, and many other behaviors which hurt the community.

Again, we approached the scene to film and observe. Both times we were not asked to leave the scene, or even to step back from the scene. During the second incident, Officer Godwin again approached Mo and told her that she couldn’t stand on the sidewalk. He did not say anything about people standing on the grass just as close, or anything about his scene, officer safety etc. He was very clearly just trying to harass Mo.

At one point Mo tried to walk past the RPD Cops who were very clearly blocking the sidewalk. The cops stopped Mo and refused to let her go by. Later, a woman and a child walked up the sidewalk, easily past Mo who was allegedly obstructing the sidewalk, and through the scene without a problem.

Officer Godwin told Mo to move off of the sidewalk repeatedly. Mo told him repeatedly that she was legally allowed to be on the public sidewalk. He eventually demanded Mo’s ID and stomped off to write a citation. Officer Godwin was not stopping anyone from standing in the grass next to the sidewalk, or just as close to the scene as Mo was. After he wrote Mo the citation she walked back to where they had been standing before on the sidewalk. (The young man the RPD had detained was STILL at this point being held by the police, so there was more copwatching to do).

Officer Godwin then threatened to give Mo 5 seconds to get off the sidewalk or else he would take Mo to lockup. However, when Mo answered a phone call he walked off.

Mo’s summons says it is for violation of Law Section 18.2-404 102.2 and the charge is described as “Obstructing Free Passage”. This is a criminal charge- a first degree misdemeanor.

Mo’s court date is Thursday May 31st at 9am at the Manchester general district court at 920 Hull St. on Richmond’s southside. Supporters are encouraged to come out on the 31st to support Mo, and Richmond Copwatch, as well as the right of people to stand on the sidewalk.

If you are interested in learning how to do Copwatch, we can teach you! We also do Know Your Rights trainings, which we recomend to eveyone. Fortunately the majority of the time Copwatchers do not get threatened with arrest, and risk levels to be taken are up to every individual copwatcher and copwatching group.  Feel free to get in touch if you are interested in learning how to copwatch, know your rights trainings, our copwatch First Fridays Patrols, or anything else copwatch related. sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or 804  303 5449 or come by 2005 Barton Avenue on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7pm for the Copwatch Meeting!

Join Southern Barton Heights Copwatch on Friday May 4th at 7pm to participate in a Copwatch Patrol of the First Fridays Artwalk on Broad Street.

Meet at 422 West Broad, in front of the Made RVA General Store.

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, and also arrange for a group debriefing at the end of the night.

August of 2011 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 May 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, so we know how many cameras and other equipment to bring out with us. We will start patrols around 7:30pm, and keep going until everyone is tired. We will try to make ourselves visible for folks who might just want to have conversations through out the night.

This will be a chance for folks who have never experienced Copwatch to talk with experienced copwatchers and get some training as to how to safely observe and record the police.

You can get in touch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or 804 303 5449 or come to the Copwatch meeting on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7pm at 2005 Barton Avenue