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Denver judge dismisses case against masked marcher who knew his rights

DENVER, COLORADO - US veteran cryptologist Jordan McDuffie was detained after last year's Million Mask March and charged with two counts, Obstruction and Pedestrian-in-the-roadway, for stepping unto Lincoln Avenue west of the capitol steps when DPD says the Anon- masked protester they believe to have been Jordan ought not have. Before his May 24 jury trial could begin and after offering increasingly favorable plea deals, the city motioned to dismiss the charges. Jordan, age 26, is a recently discharged vet. He was arrested at the march held every year in Denver on Guy Fawkes Day, Nov5. On November 5, 2016, after meandering about Denver's pedestrian mall, keeping to the sidewalk as small demonstrations are wont to do, about ten masked protesters stood on northbound Lincoln for less than a minute until cops arrived and the protesters left the street. One masked standee, not Jordan, was chased by officers up and down Capitol Hill but no contact or arrest was made. That marked the end of the otherwise uneventful, nonviolent 2016 march. An hour later, after a calm rally of speeches and singing, when everyone had left, Jordan and two vet friends were walking to their car and were jumped by Metro SWAT. Jordan and friends were pushed to the ground by approx twelve officers. One friend had his phone knocked out of his hands as he tried to video Jordan's arrest. Jordan cried out that the officers were injuring his war wound for which he was discharged but the brutalization continued. Two blocks away another participant, African American Kris Randolph, 32, was similarly arrested, in front of his mom. Both he and Jordan were jailed overnight. Without being told he didn't have to, Kris gave a videotaped interview while in detention. The two were released the next day on $100 PR bonds. Kris and Jordan were given Colorado state case numbers (16M10457 & 16M10458) which were transferred sixty days later to municipal cases (17GS000146 & 17GS000195), no reason given, except their 90-day speedy trial clocks started only thereafter. Both were assigned to Division 3H with Judge Kerri Lombardi. Kris, a roofer, father of four, with a minor criminal record, qualified for a public defender. Kris kept a number of court dates but eventually FTA'd at an April disposition hearing. Hopefully Kris can get back on track in view of how Jordan was able to resolve his case. Jordan represented himself Pro Se through several hearings. Right from the start Jordan submitted multiple motions, one asserting his First Amendment right to assemble in the street etc, another demanding expanded discovery to include the DPD “After Action Report” (AAR) for Nov 5, 2016. An AAR erroneously disclosed in a previous case revealed that 27 undercover officers had been deployed at the 73-attendee 2015 Million Mask March. Judge Lombardi did not agree with Jordan’s assertion that he didn’t need a permit to be in the street, but granted his discovery request. She commanded the city lawyers to inquire about an AAR. At a March hearing, prosecutors produced an

BREAKING: Denver judge rules DPD “Shadow Officers” will be compelled to testify in Guy Fawkes protest case

DENVER, COLORADO- Judge Theresa Spahn ruled this morning that Commander Fountain of DPD Intelligence, and "Shadow Team" Lieutenants Mitchell and Jimenez, will be compelled to testify in the case of Selayna Bechtold, a 19-yr-old arrested at last November's Guy Fawkes Day march. Selayna was accused of obstructing the roadway and was among nine jailed that night, out of one hundred who marched. Curiously, a document accidentally released into one of the defendant's discovery evidence revealed that 27 of those 100 were "shadow officers". That march was 27% cop. From a leaked DPD crowd management manual we know that undercover shadow teams assist the arrest teams by pointing out "persons of interest". What Cmdr Fountain and his men can testify to is how the undercovers pretend to be protesters. Do they take the streets? Do they pretend to assault policemen? Do they ingratiate themselves with real protesters by encouraging or leading in acts of unlawfulness? The city lawyers lost their bid to quash the subpoena motion of the intelligence and shadow personnel, but they will probably keep resisting defense efforts to shine the light on Denver's heavy handed suppression of public protest. Even funnier: have them watch surveillance footage of the march and ask them to identify those seen misbehaving. Which are protesters and which are cops? If neither side know, there's a 27% chance they are cops!   UPDATE: This afternoon, after the jury was seated and after opening arguments were made, the city lawyers told the judge they finally had the chance to review the defense evidence, which included a video of Selayna being jumped from behind, dragged across the street, tugged this way and that until eventually piled upon by riot officers. Based on that video, the city no longer wished to proceed. That video had been posted to Facebook within minutes of Selayna's arrest November 5th of last year. It's remained online for nine months. Count me among activists who thought the authorities scrutinized social media more closely. Was this the reason or did higherups spend lunchtime discussing what shadow officers were going to reveal? The testimony of shadow officers will have to wait until the next pending tials, five remain and all the defense lawyers have now motioned to subpoena these gentlemen. Selayna's courtroom by the way was filled with Denver city attorneys preparing for those upcoming cases...

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. The report was presented to Denver municipal judge Beth Faragher on Monday before the trial of one of the Anonymous arrestees. The judge was asked why discovery evidence didn't include reports from the "Shadow Teams" detailing, for example, what their shadow operations were. Judge Faragher agreed to continue the trial until September to allow city attorneys to come up with some answers. One defendant's lawyer was also provided the Denver Police Department's Crowd Management Manual, an earlier edition of which was leaked last year by Denver's Unicorn Riot. The current manual does not differ on this subject and defines Shadow Team as: "A team of officers assigned to identify Persons of Interest as being involved in possible criminal activity based on Reasonable Suspicion.” There is no disagreement that shadow operations involve undercover officers following targeted activists. The question is what were they doing to maintain their cover? You can't surveil moving marches from under storefront awnings or hotel windows. To mingle with protesters who have to march with them. To ingratiate yourself with hosts you have to participate. To impress leaders you have to delegate. So what actions were the shadow offices mimicking? The title "Million Mask March" means to aggregate all the actions across the world demonstrating on Guy Fawkes' Day, every 5th of November. Individual marches are ridiculed for being mere fractions of a million, in Denver for example, marshalling only a hundred or so. Now, even more humiliating for Denver may be the revelation that up to a quarter of the marchers were undercover cops. Denver activists are accustomed to infiltrators, such have been photographed and outed regularly, but 27 officers operating in "shadow teams" is news. It may rewrite the last several years of arrest incidents. Arrests of Denver protesters have appeared sporatic and haphazard. Now it seems the targeting may have been restricted to actual protesters, because their shadow companions were not arrestible, by virtue of being cops. Although Shadow Teams are mentioned in the DPD manual, this After Action Report is the first to itemize their deployment. Here's the command structure which list the names of three officers whom lawyers may be able to depose: a Commander Fountain, Lieutenant Mitchell, and Lieutenant Jimenez. Defense lawyers are now considering deposing these officers to learn more about what their operations entail. Unfortunately the narrative provided in the 4-page after action report does not detail the "shadow" activity. It does however mention the number

Third Guy Fawkes Day case dismissed as Denver continues to arrest marchers

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. This marks the third of nine arrests made November 5, 2015 which have been dismissed. Peter Lewis, 31, was snagged as an obstructee, then detained on a possessions charge until all charges were dropped November 20. Brandon Deaton, 24, was charged with obstruction. He was represented by attorney Frank Ingham and his case was dismissed March 23. Joaquin's dismissal bodes well for the remaining six cases, which are equally unfounded. Four are charged with interference and obstruction, plus the odd sundry misdemeanor: David Croisant, 29, is represented by attorney Birk Baumgardner; Selayna Bechtold, 19, is represented by Venkatesh Iyer; Mark Iannicelli, 58, is represented by Katayoun Donnelly; and Justin Berding, 25, is represented by Cheri Deatsch. Two are charged with felonies: Damian Stasek, 25, represented by attorney Lon Heymann; and Jake Pauly, 25. Both are charged with assault of a peace officer, which happens whenever physical contact is not initiated by the police, although in both cases this was a technicality. Bumping into police officers is going to happen if they get in your way, especially when they have no right to get in your way, given that your first amendment right was the reason they were supposed to stay out of your way. If there's no obstruction, there's no interference, and your collision with their obstruction of your civil liberties is not assault. The November 5th march was uneventful except for the arrests. There was neither property damaged, traffic impeded, nor lives endangered. The police acted purely to intimidate and squelch protest. They succeeded but now the courts are not supporting their actions. As charges fall, the accusations lose veracity. Certainly the crowd's anger at their demonstration being curtailed with such heavy-handedness is being shown to having been legitimate. You can't arrest people for objecting to your unlawful conduct. But DPD hasn't been taught that lesson yet. Last night's march for DPD victim Dion Avila Damon was equally harmless. Arrests were made for the usual show of force. Two activists remain in custody. The bureaucratic delay is now excused as a 24-hour processing requirement for fingerprints to clear the system. Only then will bonds be calculated and allowed to be posted. Detainees will then wait a minimum of five further hours to be released. When last night's charges are dismissed, Denver will have to account for two more wrongful imprisonment cases.

Bradley Manning, Guy Fawkes, and the star chamber awaiting Julian Assange

You wonder what Elizabethan era failed coup plotter Guy Fawkes means to Anonymous. Their now iconic mask is actually an image under license from the film V FOR VENDETTA. The mask's smirk connotes an elusive rabble-rouser and perhaps mocks Guy's namesake bonfire holiday in Britain, meant to commemorate the burning of the would-be king-killer but ambiguously may also celebrate his near success. Anonymous wants to project an indomitable rebellious spirit, omniscient and untouchable, but Guy Fawkes most certainly met the death of revolutionaries immemorial. If Fawkes had any reason to smirk it was because he was able to leap to his death to avoid the fate of his fellow conspirators, each hung until half dead, then castrated, disemboweled and dismembered while still conscious. Their torture was as much a punishment as a deterrent to anyone who would emulate their populist heroics. Today of course I think of the punitive treatment being meted to accused Wikileaker Bradley Manning, whose abuse would seem to be wholly unwarranted, considering he stands accused, not convicted, and for most of his detention, not even charged. Guy Fawkes and his colleagues were found guilty by the Star Chamber, now the sinister pejorative for all subsequent secretive quasi-courts. It's something akin to the Grand Jury mechanism being contrived to finagle the extradition of Julian Assange. Not to stop Wikileaks, but to bodily hurt Assange, have him drawn and quartered figuratively whatever, that the four corners of the kingdom bear the message, dare to defy authority and we'll wipe that smirk off your face. The Guy mask reminds me of the masks worn in the interrogation scenes of Terry Gilliam's dystopian classic BRAZIL where the cherubic smiles masked unspeakably vile tortures. Semantics aside, Bradley Manning must be freed, and Julian Assange protected. Why should our heroes be martyrs?

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