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.
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.
While we await a judge’s response to the complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction against DIA’s free speech permit, I was drawn to reminisce about an earlier federal injunction GRANTED against Denver’s 2nd Judicial District. It was/is (!) also a preliminary injunction curbing police intimidation. This one prevents arrests of Jury Nullification pamphleteers at the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse in Denver. More broadly, it halts the enforcement of the despotic “Chief Justice Order 1” which attempted to curb free speech in Tully Plaza, between the courthouse and the jail, site of innumerable protest rallies since the facility was erected in 2010. After a protracted legal battle, the case will finally come to trial in April 2017. This case also started with police overreach, then a complaint, a motion, and a hearing. In August 2015, US District Judge William Martinez issued the below court order granting the preliminary injunction. Read more »
What I filed today in Denver Municipal Court, as my jury trial is about to begin…
DEFENDANT’S ASSERTIONS, NOTICES, OBJECTIONS AND SUPPLEMENTAL RECORD
The Defendant, Eric Patrick Brandt – sui juris and pro se, having been ordered silenced by the judge from making any record of objections, arguments, or any other statement in retaliation for challenging the validity of the judges authority and needing to ensure sufficient record of defendant’s concerns and objections, do hereby enter into the record numerous documents anticipated will be essential should he need to appeal a conviction following trial.
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.
UPDATED: This is a timeline of the legal battle which began in July 2015 over activists’s right to protest in the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse Plaza. It explains why activists with Occupy Denver did not believe they were being given lawful orders when commanded to stop and why activists still believe the DPD were wrong to make their arrests. The city’s charges of “encumbrance” and “obstruction” appeared calculated to circumvent a federal injunction protecting the public’s First Amendment rights.
DENVER, COLORADO- Denver County Court Judge Beth Faragher says she’s never seen such a thing happen. Her courtroom audio recording device STOPPED RECORDING, at mid day, but it didn’t let on, and it was hours before somebody noticed. It was the defendant who noticed the machine’s erratic digital readout. An emergency IT specialist was sent to the courtroom. He confirmed that none of the trial had been recorded. The options were to repeat the testimony or declare a mistrial.
Eric Brandt is accused of interfering with the arrest of two fellow protesters who were being apprehended for felony menacy and assault on September 24, during the occupy encampment of the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse Plaza last year. Judge Faragher has never seen such an electronic malfunction, but she probably can’t say the same for prosecutorial frame-ups. Denver’s machinations are so obvious and they’re not backing down from an arrest they engineered. Will the Denver goons be smart enough to pull it off? They can’t even fool their own RECORDING DEVICE. Unfortunately the human components of Denver’s injustice team are yet showing no embarassment for being party to this sham. Here’s how the city schemers are failing so far:
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- Weld County had twice declined to remit jailed Occupy Denver activist Caryn Sodaro to the Denver County courts for outstanding cases, but this week authorities conspired to bus Caryn to court without giving public notice. Instead of being greeted by a room full of supporters who had twice turned up to cheer for her as she faced contrived and punitive charges, Caryn was whisked before Judges Rodarte in 3F and Farrenger in 3H. Alone and no doubt demoralized, Caryn plead guilty to both obstruction and making threats, accepting concurrent sentences of 150 days. We haven’t yet uncovered the paper trail for her off-leash citation. but the Lindsey Flanigan Star Chamber probably threw that at her too.
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- The occupiers of the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse Plaza were thrown a curve on Friday afternoon when city workers were observed installing signs closing the grounds to the public from 8:30pm until 7:30am. Was this an affront to US District Court Judge William Martinez who had affirmed in federal court that the courthouse plaza was a free speech zone “24/7”? There wasn’t time to consult a legal opinion, so when a DPD cruiser interrupted the Occupy Denver GA at 8:25pm to announce the curfew and threaten arrests, the occupiers retreated to the public sidewalk north of the courthouse, where the higher profile of Colfax Avenue would make up for having to time-share their 24hr encampment. DPD swept through the park at 8:30pm to assure it was vacated and activist spent the next hours making a ruckus on the street, egged on by Friday night traffic. At bedtime a civilian dupe came over from the jail to warn that deputes told her everyone would be arrested. Laughs. At 2am a DPD platoon paid the habitual visit. Warnings that the activists were in violation of the trespass order were laughed off, and the officers told off for abusing their authority telling lies, so police could only force sleepers off the public sidewalk and mandate that signs be untied from the trees. From their beachhead on Colfax Activists promised to retake the plaza at 7:30am where they intended to catch up on their lost sleep in broad daylight.
Denver restricts public access to Lindsey-Flanigan Plaza, to circumvent federal injunction protecting protest.
DENVER, COLORADO- The 24hr protest in front of the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse was on its 31st day when city workers installed signs declaring a curfew on the courthouse grounds. Will the ongoing demonstration be grandfathered or will Denver police evict the Occupy Denver activists without notice? Occupiers meet tonight at 7:00 to decide a course of action.
The signage cites trespassing ordinance “D.R.M.C. 38-115” which would halt overnight occupations of the plaza. It cannot but seem to be calculated to restart arrests of the “Jury Nullification” activists, who won a court injunction to prevent the city from making further arrests.
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- Halo camera operators spotted Lizzie AT LARGE in the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse Plaza on Sunday night. Ten police cruisers arrived to deliver the citation. They stuck around to make other inquiries, someone wouldn’t offer ID on command so they put him in handcuffs, he did not consent to a search but they searched him anyway and released him.
DENVER, COLORADO- Occupier Adrian “Monk” Morningglory draws unwanted attention at the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse protest camp as nearby detention center personnel continue to deny activists access to the public bathrooms. Meanwhile the Colorado Attorney General has filed a motion to vacate the injunction barring the enforcement of a court order banning protest in the courthouse plaza. The AG argues that protest denigrates the decorum necessary for a functional justice center, exhibit one, evidence encountered that a protester defecated in Lindsey Flanigan’s expensive landscaping. It’s unlikely to fly but a Denver chief judge thought he could ban free speech from the entire complex and city administrators behave like it’s written in stone: give ’em an inch and they’ll shit in your park.
EVICTED! Denver police conduct sixth raid on courthouse protest camp, this time seizing signs, flags & tombstones.
DENVER, COLORADO- Occupy Denver’s Jury Nullification Education Protest Camp had gathered steam Labor Day weekend, overnight participation growing to thirty sleepers Monday night, but at 4:30pm Tuesday DPD riot cops swept through the camp in force. Activists were allowed to save only what they could carry. All other items were considered “abandoned” and then removed by the officers as “encumbrances” as outlawed by notices recently posted by DPD. Nearly a hundred police officers in riot gear, including two vehicles carrying SWAT soldiers, swooped upon the Lindsey-Flanigan Plaza encampment when the afternoon camp security team had dwindled to four. Only one camera was on hand to record the police raid. Over the course of 45 minutes, homeless contingents were able to scramble to preempt the DPD confiscating their personal items. Once again the police appear to time their raid when most of the protesters have stepped away. Will Occupy Denver have the stamina and resilience to stand against the constant stealing of its resources?
Someone got a citation for public urination this weekend at the protest occupation of the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse. This may be due in part to overnight guest demonstrators now being denied access to the public restrooms at the adjacent detention center. Ironically many of those shut out are frequent patrons and fee-payers of the jail.
Occupy activists will very likely not be allowed to erect an outhouse, based on the structural restrictions which police are enforcing against “encumbrances”. So far the jail pretends to have full discretion to discriminate among who can use its 24-hour toilets. Thus camp bathroom facilities will remain al fresco, but that should not preclude urban toilet amenities with which camp organizers can designate latrines and shit holes to keep participants from littering the landscaping with poop.
Denver authorities have chosen a weak strategy to clear the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse Plaza of public protests. They are relying on a vague city ordinance to declare that the plaza must be kept clear of “encumbrances/obstructions” without specifying what those might be. Last week they put up signs. By definition, a public demonstration aims to be an obstruction of the offending mechanisms of injustice, ergo, “No Justice, No Peace.” Encumbrance is direct action is a people’s last recourse. By definition, a protest is trying to encumber oppression. When the people are seeking redress, the police are our encumbrance. Fortunately the US Bill of Rights forbids the encumbrance of dissent.
Judge rules Denver Police harassment was not in contempt of injunction, but he doesn’t know the four fifths of it.
DENVER, COLORADO- US District Court Judge William Martinez found action taken by the Denver Police Department against an Occupy Denver protest to be NOT IN CONTEMPT of his federal injunction to halt arrests of Jury Nullification pamphleteers, although the judge based his ruling on only the first DPD raid, not the four next raids that happened in the interim. Obviously justice system reform needs JUDGE NULLIFICATION literature for jurists whose purview is hindered by purposefully limited scope. Judge Martinez heard only about the DPD confiscating a canopy, he wasn’t allowed to consider the eviction of our tents which included four arrests, the second seizure of our canopy, the loss of another tent with two more arrests, and the raid on three more tents, pictured above. The police based their actions on the activists lacking a permit from the Denver Manager of Public Works although no such permit exists beside which that manager’s authority doesn’t extend to the Lindsey Flanigan Plaza. Judge Martinez wasn’t informed of any of that.