Denver cops kill hispanic teen Jessica Hernandez, seize the death video, gag public protest, and now pay her family a pittance because they’re immigrants.
DENVER, COLORADO- Not one Denver cop is going to jail for emptying their sidearm into a carload of teenagers, mostly girls, January 2015, killing just-turned-17 Jessie Hernandez, ON VIDEO, which officers confiscated from a witness. DPD was found to be lying about the joyride suspect aiming her car at officers, wounding one. She did not and the cop was not. The car only veered AFTER officers pumped 18 bullet into the driver as the four other teens screamed. DPD pulled Jessie’s expiring body from the vehicle like a sack of potatos and handcuffed it. Now the City of Denver is settling the matter with Jessie’s family for under a million dollars according to the local press, who’ve played no small role in covering up the missing video and blaming the victim by painting Jessie Hernandez as a petty-criminal, even though the “stolen car” belonged to a relative. As if auto theft calls for the death penalty. Because there’s some question about immigration status in Jessie’s Spanish-speaking family, lawyers and community leaders have quashed public outcry in the interest of working with Denver authorities, to exhonorate the police and minimize a wrongful death settlement.
DENVER, COLORADO- Trial began yesterday for three homeless activists charged with violating Denver’s Unauthorized Camping Law. An ordinance enacted in 2012 partly as a coordinated response to Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country, partly to smooth the city’s gentrification plans. Though six years old, the ordinance has escaped judicial scrutiny by DPD’s careful avoidance of citing only homeless victims in no position to fight the charges in court. Deliberate civil disobedience attempts have been thwarted by the city bringing other charges in lieu of the “Urban Camping Ban” for which police threatened arrests. Thus Denver Homeless Out Loud’s coup of at last dragging this sham into the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse has generated plenty of interest. I counted four print reporters and three municipal court judges in the audience! From a jury pool of forty, city prosecutors were able to reject the many who stated outright they could not condemn the homeless defendants for the mere act of trying to survive. At one point the jury selection process was stymied for an hour trying to fill one remaining alternate seat because each successive candidate would not “check their social values at the door.” One potential juror, a hairdresser, became alarmed that all the sympathetic candidates would be purged and so she refused to say how she felt about the homeless. She was removed and they were. As usual jurors were told it was not their place to decide against enforcing bad law. Only those who agreed were allowed to stay. And of course that’s a lie. The only way bad laws are struck down, besides an act of congress, a please reflect how that near impossibility has spawned its own idiom, is when good jurors search their conscience and stand up for defendants.
DIA issues protest permit under court order, but limits crowd size to, wait for it, FOUR! Then court stays injunction.
DENVER, COLORADO- Abiding by the injunction in McDonnell v Denver, DIA administrators granted us a free speech permit within 24-hours on Thursday, but they insisted that the terminal location desired could only accommodate FOUR PEOPLE. You heard right. Four. There’s irony here too because there were FIVE people named on the permit application! Thus the permit was actually 20% denied, and in reality 92% denied given that we sought a permit for 50 people, a number easily lower than the DIA International Arrivals area can handle.
MEANWHILE, in the 10th Circuit Court, the city of Denver appealed the DIA injunction and asked for a stay. This is not usually granted in First Amendment cases, but on Thursday it was. The 10th Circuit stayed the injunction and wants to hear arguments on March 17. So at DIA for now we’re back to the impermissive permit process that precludes accomodating public expression at the Denver airport. And the signing of President Trump’s new improved Muslim Ban looms…
Colo. US District Court judge enjoins DIA to limit restriction of free speech (grants our preliminary injunction!)
DENVER, COLORADO- If your civil liberties have ever been violated by a cop, over your objections, only to have the officer say “See you in court”, this victory is for YOU! On January 29 we were threatened with arrest for protesting the “Muslim Ban” at Denver International Airport. We argued that our conduct was protected speech and that they were violating our rights. They dismissed our complaints with, in essense: “That’s for a court to decide.” And today IT HAS! On Feb 15 we summoned the cops to federal court and this morning, Feb 22, US District Court Judge William Martinez granted our preliminary injunction, severely triming DIA’s protest permit process. In a nutshell: no restrictions on signs, size of assemblies or their location within the main terminal (so long as the airport’s function is not impeded). Permits are still required but with 24 hours advance notice, not seven days. Below is Judge Martinez’ 46-page court order in full:
DENVER, COLORADO- We heard on Friday that US judge William Martinez needed more time to craft an opinion on a temporary injunction of DIA’s enforcement of their free speech permit. He commited to a decision early this week, and frankly we don’t know what to expect. From challenges he posed to attorneys at Wednesday’s hearing, the judge appears to think DIA needs some degree of “notice” about potential disruptions. He is unlikely to rule against the permit altogether because he opened the hearing already proclaiming that DIA is a “not a public forum” and thus has discretion about what expression to allow. DIA can limit subject matter, but not viewpoint, and can constrict assemblies. Judge Martinez’s starting point was based on US Supreme Court precedent set at JFK and Dulles airports, ignoring that both of those facilities are decentralized and lack DIA’s literal public square. Ironically, neither JFK or Dulles attempted to quash their Muslim Ban protests as did DIA. I’d like to mention some other details revealed at the preliminary injunction hearing.
The Colorado Springs Gazette was not amused. Nor was the Denverite about my testimony yesterday in US district court, seeking an injunction against the Denver International Airport’s free speech permit. The city attorney tried to discredit me by forcing me to recite for the federal judge the full unabridge text of the sign I held at DIA. It was a riff on anti-Nazi cleric Martin Niemöller’s oft-paraphrased parable: “First they came for the Socialists, but I said nothing, etc”, this time foreshortened as a visceral response to Trump’s Muslim Ban: “-and we said NOT TODAY [strong expletive]!” We argued about whether my message was “welcoming”. I assured her that it was very warmly received and could not be interpreted as anything but uniquivocal solidarity. So I read it forcefully, resisting the inclination to lean into the microphone on the last word. Afterward my attorneys assured me it’s a good day in their line of work when you get to say MOTHERFUCKER in court! Judge William Martinez restricted hearing testimony to the single day (Wednesday) and promised to rule on the preliminary injunction by Friday, February 17.
DENVER, COLORADO- Adrian “Munk” Brown faces trial on Monday, charged his dog being at large on the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse Plaza. This happened on June 21 of last year, when he was testifying at the trial of a fellow activist. Because Munk wouldn’t let the dog catcher seize his dog, he is charged with interference. Because more than a dozen officers responded to the scene, things escalated from there and Munk was taken to jail. But that’s the pretext. In truth– ADRIAN BROWN WAS TARGETTED, STALKED, TAUNTED & ARRESTED.
Occupy v. Martinez (Plaza Protest Ban) 2016 US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision AFFIRMING Prelim Injunction
Yesterday I published the federal judge’s order to grant the 2015 preliminary injunction against the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse. Since that time the city motioned to dismiss, there were show cause hearings, and depositions, and an appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. On April 8, 2016 the appeals court AFFIRMED the preliminary injunction. As a result this legal action is on the road to becoming a permanent injunction, to be decided at trial this April. The prospects look promising, based on how the appelate judges schooled our First Amendment adversaries. I’m reprinting their full decision below.
Pro-immigrant activists with Occupy Denver file suit against DIA and DPD, challenge airport free speech “permit”
DENVER, COLORADO- Civil liberties champion David Lane has filed a complaint in US district court challenging Denver’s office of the city attorney for instituting a permit process at DIA to prevent public protest. Holding signs has become impermissible at the airport, without the issuance of a permit seven days in advnace, although police are not bothering themselves about signs welcoming homecomers or seeking to connect business visitors with their limo service. That selective enforcement is unconstitutional of course, and the lawfirm powerhouse of Kilmer Lane & Newman is filing suit on behalf of two Occupy Denver plaintiffs. last Sunday, January 29, both were threatened with arrest by DIA police. While two earlier attempts to assemble had capitulated to DPD intimidation, the Occupy Denver activists stood their ground. Why did you file your lawsuit? “We know our rights. We want the POLICE to know our rights.”
DIA, COLORADO- Last weekend I joined thousands across the country protesting Trump’s executive order restricting entry visas from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Spontaneous demonstrations had erupted at international airports nationwide on Saturday January 27. Denver’s airport was no exception but the lively gathering of sign holders was ultimately persuaded by police to leave the premises. Supposedly a permit was required to hold signs. Demonstrators the next day were quickly ushered outside, to rally instead between the terminal and adjacent lightrail station, where only a tiny fraction of travelers would see them. This much we knew as we monitored events online while we reconnoitered DIA from the short-term parking garage. We made our way swiftly to the International Arrivals doors at the north end of the main terminal WITH OUR SIGNS.
Unresolved 2015 protest case reveals Denver police have been concealing evidence from all activist trials
DENVER, COLORADO- A seemingly ordinary protester-in-the-roadway case has exploded in the face of Denver city lawyers from the prosecutor’s office to the department of civil liabilities. The case against activist Eric Brandt, for chasing a police motorcade which had falsely arrested a fellow demonstrator, today revealed that in arrests made at political protests, Denver police have been withholding key reports from the evidence disclosed to those defendants.
UPDATE: Deaf blind judge gives Shadoe Garner 75 DAYS JAIL for possession of Wicca ritual athame and for littering.
DENVER, COLORADO- Shadoe Garner was found guilty today by a judge who didn’t blink at the public defender having no time to prepare, at discovery evidence not being provided to defense, at prosecutors withholding half their witnesses and videos (depriving the defense of knowing what might have be exculpable evidence), at being forwarned that a 35C Appeal was virtually guaranteed, and despite two police videos making very clear that Shadoe’s rights were violated, if only the judge had ears and eyes to see it.
Mistakenly released DPD After Action Report reveals 27 officers on “shadow operations” at Denver 100 Mask March
DENVER, COLORADO- Hidden deep in the evidence against one of nine protesters arrested at last year’s Guy Fawkes’ Day march in Denver, was an “AFTER ACTION REPORT” never encountered before in discovery evidence available to previous Denver activism defendants. This report has provided the first public mention of “Shadow Teams” deployed on “Shadow Operations” against peaceful demonstrators. Most remarkable was that 27 officers were mobilized for shadow operations, among a total of 169, clocking a total of 1379 man hours, against a rally and march that numbered “around 100” at its peak, to quote the report.
DENVER, COLO.- Last night Denver police mobbed a demonstration protesting the officer-involved execution of unarmed suspect Dion Avila Damon in front of his wife and child. At the end of Tuesday’s march, Robin Hamm and Nathan Stickel were arrested for obstruction, failure to obey, and destruction of private property. They were still in custody when fellow activist, Joaquin dela Torre-McNeil, arrested at an identically uneventful march last November, showed up for his court date today only to hear the city motion to dismiss his case. Joaquin was charged with interference and resisting arrest, both accusations without merit. This morning the city admitted as much.
Here’s a better picture of Denver Homeless Out Loud activist Ray Lyall and colleague, with the usual Denver protest entourage. Ray Lyall was found guilty of trespass last week, like his cohort DJ Razee before him. The two were among nine DHOL members arrested defending Tiny Houses on October 25, ten if you include a follow-up action, but Ray and DJ are the only cases to come to trial. Four more are scheduled soon: April 20, May 9 & 10, and June 1.
Denver art student informs Tale of Two Hoodies with Goya’s Third of May 1808. This KKK cop executes the black child.
DENVER, COLORADO- Here’s what the Denver Post article didn’t explain about the Denver high school art student who was pressured to remove her controversial piece from public display. Where was it being shown? At the Wellington Webb Building. That’s not irrelevant because it’s where viewers became offended. You could go inquire about the incident, if you knew where to ask, or where to protest the work’s removal. The WELLINGTON WEBB BUILDING downtown on Colfax. What’s so controversial, the scene is real isn’t it? There’s more.
DENVER, COLORADO- The good news is that Denver has dropped the recent charges against Mark Iannicelli for disturbing the peace and violating a court order. The even better news is that the city had to release the probable cause statement which warranted Mark’s arrest. It turns out Mark was arrested for “distributing literature which is a prohibited activity on any walkway to the Courthouse.” Further, “The court order was posted at all public entrances to the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse which was where the incident took place.” While order CJO-15-1 is indeed posted at the door, it doesn’t ban the distribution of literature. Beside which, there’s a federal injunction stopping Denver from continuing to make these arrests. True, the city’s appeal is on appeal, but the injunction stands. Hold on to your hat because there’s a fair amount of attention being paid to this matter, helicopter fly-bys and all. Failure to know the law, or as they say, not getting the memo, is no excuse, as we all know, especially for cops.
Monk Brown set up a tent on the plaza. It took a SWAT team to take it down. Now a Denver jury took them down.
DENVER, COLORADO- Homeless Adrian “Monk” Brown was accused of “obstruction” for sitting in a protest tent last August 26th on the plaza of the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse. Monk was also charged with “interference” with the riot police sent to evict him. A subsequent charge of “failure to obey” was added by prosecutors pressuring Monk to take a plea. After a two day trial which ended Wednesday, a Denver County jury found Monk Brown NOT GUILTY of either obstruction or failure to obey. Owing maybe to a crime scene video that highlighted the brutal irreverance shown by protesters toward DPD officers, the jury did convict Monk of interference. Except now it wasn’t a crime scene. Monk’s attorney Melissa Trollinger Annis is challenging the inconsistent verdict because it’s unlikely interference will stick without the police having a cause for arrest. Monk wasn’t obstructing.
DENVER, COLORADO- City attorneys asked county court Judge Espinoza for a continuance today because their key witness was preoccupied with a “city wide operation” which they conceded was the well publicized homeless sweep which local media teams and Denver homeless have been anticipating all morning. It turns out Commander Lopez might have trouble reaching the witness stand because he’s set to begin the confiscation of homeless possessions around the Samaritan House at 1PM. So that’s news for everyone. Please spread the word. Trial attendees are planning to spend their lunch break augmenting activist numbers at Park Avenue and Lawrence.
HILARIOUS! Thanks to “What Happened in Bailey”, as FBI agents have put it, Occupy Denver has a new gesture with which to salute police when their cruisers make frequent passes during OD actions. Instead of raising the middle finger, high and defiant, to flip off the cops –NOW what’s done is to POINT your index finger, thumb upward, and PUMP, tracking the officers as they pass! DPD had become nonchalant about being disrespected, responding to the bird with “have a nice day”. They don’t know what to do when protesters mock their deaths under the gunsight of home defender Martin Wirth. As they say: Live by the disproportionate use of force, die by disproportionate use of force.
DENVER, COLORADO- A local activist flipped off a municipal court judge. Yes, it’s not done, but the consequence was more severe than even the judge intended. She was attending a motions hearing of a fellow protester accused of disobeying a cop. During DPD testimony an officer was narrating a surveillance video which the audience was unabe to see. She tried to shift seats but was told to sit down. After two admonishments, she complied in silence but made a disrespectful gesture where she sat behind the flat screen monitor, where she thought the judge wouldn’t see. But a clerk did see the gesture and told the judge. Judge Nicole Rodarte, no friend of political activists and facing a roomful of them, immediately had her held in contempt of court for the remainder of the hearing. Contrary to instructions, the unnamed activist was taken across to the jail to serve a sentence of ten days. We’re not sure yet who was complicit with the mixup. Here’s what happened:
DENVER, COLORADO- Andrian “Monk” Brown was observed on HALO camera “erecting a tent” on the spot he’d been arrested two days before inside a similar tent. He was arrested escaping the scene of the crime and or walking his dog around the block. This week Monk was tried for obstruction, the deputy city attorney prosecuted the case herself but was unable to overcome the jury’s inclinations that the charges were “silly”. Monk’s defense attorney rested her case without presenting a thing. Essentially the closing argument was this: did a three-man tent obstruct anyone in a large public plaza? NOT GUILTY.
DENVER, COLORADO- During their nightly raids of the protest encampment at the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse, technically Tully Plaza, Denver police are citing the city’s “Urban Camping Ban” to rouse the activist and force them to collect their belongings in semblance of “moving along”. Plaza arrests have reached fourteen but have been for obstructing passageways with “encumbrances” because Denver has been avoiding bringing the camping ban charge down on anyone with the legal means to contest it. Denver is circumventing a federal injunction which protects the Occupy Denver activists from arrest for distributing “Jury Nullification” fliers in front of the courthouse, by finding the protest activities to violate other ordinances. Activists have relied on the injunction to protect all speech, thinking that the original injunction would be unconstitutional if it presumed to dictate the content allowed. The city’s latest ploy was not unexpected and shines a light on the selective enforcement of laws designed to oppress those inhabitants stuck on the streets, who don’t have an activist’s prerogative to move along.
We are writing to you as a last resort to recover our lost property or to receive compensation. On Sept. 18th of this year we contacted Toni Lopez ( Head Mover) with the DPD Moving & Storage Co. As you can see clearly in the attached video, when the DPD Moving & Storage showed up at our home, there were many more movers than were needed for the task at hand. It’s true they were all dressed in company uniform, but it seemed they were a little over-armed for the occasion.
DENVER, COLORADO- At 1am last night, the Lindsey Flanigan Plaza Occupiers defended against their twelfth police raid in 30 days, this one a sweep of violations of the city’s “Urban Camping Ban”. After forcing individual sleepers to stand and feign gathering their things, the police officers left without confiscations, citations, or arrests. The supervising officer admitted that DPD orders are to disrupt the protest camp every night.