Tag Archives: Brian Sumner

First Amendment Audit: Fresno, CA Police Apologize To Cop Blockers

This video and the accompanying post were shared with NVCopBlock by “Nasty” Nathanial Thomas, via the Nevada Cop Block Submissions Page. Nathanial has been featured several times previously on NVCopBlock.org. Those posts can be viewed here, here, and here.

Date of Interaction: January 24, 2016
Department involved: Fresno Police Department
Department Address: 2323 Mariposa St, Fresno, CA 93721
Department Phone Number: (559) 621-7000

Howdy folks,

How are all of my fellow Cop Blockers doing out there? Nasty Nathanial here with you all. I still have not set up a WordPress account yet so I can start writing for Cop Block full time. I am actually preparing to head off to Manila and begin the “Life On The Beat With Nasty Nathanial: Cop Block World Tour“. Let’s see how cops in other countries treat their citizens.

But before I share the story behind this latest Cop Block submission of mine, I would first like to thank legendary activist/filmmaker Brian Sumner for encouraging me to film the police and for encouraging me to write about it and for always posting my material. A big THANK YOU for that.

Anyways, last month I found myself in beautiful Fresno, California, one of America’s finest cities. The purpose of this visit was to spend a few days with my good friend, activist and filmmaker Brian Sumner, and the rest of the Fresno Cop Block crew to do some police filming. I enjoy spending time with these guys. They are great people who are passionate about what they do.

While cruising around the city in my little Fiat, which is becoming the Cop Block Mobile, we came upon a squad car parked in front of a residence on Olive Street. As we were preparing to go check this out, we noticed more squad cars heading into a residential neighborhood. At the speed they were traveling we figured they had to be in a hurry to get to wherever they were going. So we decided to head in their direction and see what was going on.

Nasty-Nate-CSISoon we found ourselves approaching what we would later learn was a crime scene. It became apparent that a shooting had taken place as the police were searching for shell casings. I parked my Fiat down the street and we all got out and began heading over towards where all these police vehicles were parked. As soon as the officers saw us approaching they began doing the ol’ shine their flashlights in our lenses. This is typical of officers when they see Cop Blockers. As Brian began explaining that we had a right to be there and to film, one of the officers began yelling out to us that we were walking in a crime scene. Well, if that was the case, than why didn’t this dumb shit, or any of the other officers on the scene, bother to put up crime scene tape and seal off the area? That is a reasonable question don’t you think?

But here is where I give credit where credit is due. The sergeant on the scene immediately stepped up to plate and apologized to us. You can hear him in the video say that their failure to seal off the area was entirely their fault. Wow. It is not too often that you hear the police admit when they have done something wrong.

Now as professional as this police sergeant may have been acting at this particular moment, it makes me wonder how he would have responded if we were not filming. Say we were not Cop Blockers and just some curious bystanders that wanted to check out what the police were doing. Or somebody who actually lives on that street and was just trying to get home after a long, hard day at work. Professionalism would most likely have gone out the door and we would have been treated like second class citizens.

So the point of writing this is to make light of the fact the camera can be used as a weapon. I don’t mean a weapon as a means of hurting or killing anybody. But instead as a means of putting the police in check. I believe that the camera is the objective record and the police are either going to shape up and act professional, like they should always be or they are going to continue to act like jerks. Either way, the camera is there to capture it all and the camera doesn’t lie.

So while I leave you all with that final thought, I look forward to receiving responses from everybody, including the Cop Block haters. To be honest, it’s the haters’ responses that I most look forward to. Although I love to be complimented, the haters seem to give the most entertaining responses. Until next time, may the force be with you. Happy trails.

– Nasty Nathanial

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

First Person Account and Video of the Arrests of Ademo Freeman and Brian Sumner

Below are first person accounts of the arrests and the initial court appearance for Ademo Freeman and Brian Sumner. Included below that are the videos of that arrest. See here for the Call Flood Request.

Monday: Chalking Again

After the arrest in Kansas,  Ademo and Brian decided to avoid any further disruptions to the Mobile Accountability for Cops (M.A.C.) tour by dealing with the warrant issue in Indiana and turning themselves in now. They met up with a local Cop Blocker in Indianapolis and proceeded to gather up supplies and head to Noblesville. At approx. 8:30pm on October 26th, a group of five cop blockers ( including the M.A.C. team) headed over to the Noblesville police station to draw the attention of the local police force by chalking the same place that resulted in the original warrant.

After roughly 20 minutes of chalking and filming, the first signs of police presence were seen. One cop came running out of the entrance to the government offices with a second officer also running around the corner (obviously prepped to bring the ultra violence). Mere moments later, two police cruisers rolled up and more cops where beginning to surround Ademo and Brian.

ChalkingThey began questioning the two about who they were and what they were doing, promptly arresting Ademo and seemed almost hesitant to arrest Brian, but ended up doing it anyway. During the arrests, the cops tried desperately to justify themselves and their actions, but could barely hold up against the backlash from Ademo and Brian.

One of the elder cops called out a question of who wanted to take Ademo to jail and one officer literally jumped and skipped at the chance. It was a shameful display. Ademo was the first to be taken across the street and placed in a local pd SUV, Brian wasn’t too far behind. He was taken to a different SUV, but this was a K-9 unit and Brian vocally protested having to ride in that vehicle with the dog. So the officers were just kind enough to put him in a different cruiser.

Free SpeechAfter the M.A.C. crew was taken away, the remaining three cop blockers stayed and talked to the police and filmed them attempting to look professional while putting sidewalk chalk into evidence bags and photographing the sidewalk art. Eventually the police got firemen from the attached fire house to grab a garden hose and start washing off the chalk (which came right off) until they got tired of us filming and told them to just stop. This resulted in some of the officers and firefighters (chalk washers?) questioning why they were just going to leave it.

Tuesday: Initial Hearing

One of the cop blockers from the night before attempted to file a request to record the court hearing and was denied based on some supreme court ruling saying you cant record shit in Indiana for reasons. Regardless, at 1:15pm, the hearing was getting underway and the M.A.C. team were last to go up on the monitor connected to the local metal rape cage facility. The hearing was really nothing more than to declare bond amounts and ask the defendants if they wanted a lawyer and if they understood their charges.

While the judge was 100% set on not deviating from that purpose, Ademo put on a beautiful display of protest against the charges, the court, and the judge. Brian also questioned the entire farce with some of the best lines of the year (will be heard in upcoming audio recording purchased from the court ). The hearing for them ended without much fanfare and away they went to continue being kept separated and in different “pods.”

There’s been no word as of yet on whether Ademo has talked to anyone, but Brian did get a phone call out to his girlfriend and said he was OK and everything was alright. Their next pre-trial hearing is set for Dec. 8th at 9am. There will be an ALL HANDS ON DECK open carry chalking protest event held that very morning starting at 7am at the police station, court house, and well, the entire town. Then there is another hearing set for January 14th at 1:30pm. Other protests throughout the country are being planned.

 Raw video via the CopBlock Network on Facebook:

Raw (unedited) video of Ademo and Brian David Sumner going to the Noblesville Police Department headquarters to “turn…

Posted by CopBlock Network on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Second Raw (unedited) video of Ademo and Brian David Sumner going to the Noblesville Police Department headquarters to “…

Posted by CopBlock Network on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Call Flood Request for Ademo Freeman and Brian Sumner in Noblesville, IN

Update: Brian Sumner has been switched to a different prosecutor.

The new prosecutor is:

  • Brian Patrick Johnson
  • Hamilton County Prosecutor
  • (317) 776-8595
  • Case Number: 29D05-1510-CM-008800

Ademo (Adam Mueller) still has the original prosecutor:

  • James Baldwin
  • Hamilton County Prosecutor
  • (317) 776-8595
  • Case Number: 29D05-1510-CM-008801

Background/Call Flood Request

As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, Ademo Freeman and Brian Sumner were arrested Monday in Noblesville, Indiana on outstanding warrants that had been issued as a result of a chalk protest they conducted there last month. Prior to that, they had been taking part in the Mobile Accountability for Cops Tour in order to bring attention to issues concerning the lack of accountability for police and to connect with various Cop Block chapters across the country. The chalk protest in Noblesville was part of the first stop on that tour.

During the stop in Kansas City, Ademo was arrested for a “criminal mischief” warrant that was originally stated to be a felony, but in reality was a misdemeanor. This warrant stemmed from the protest in Noblesville and, apparently, based on the use of “liquid chalk,” which like any other sidewalk chalk is also completely washable and easily removed with nothing but water. It was shortly after revealed that Brian also had a warrant for the same charge.

Free Ademo Free BrianAdemo and Brian have asked that people contact the officials in Noblesville that have decided to attempt to prosecute peaceful protesters for something that has already been ruled legal and constitutionally protected under the First Amendment as Free Speech several times in the past.

Sidewalk chalk, as the name would obviously indicate, is a common product designed, marketed, and used on a regular basis to draw on sidewalks. It’s an incredible rarity for anyone to be arrested or even cited for doing so on public property, which sidewalks unarguably are. Almost exclusively, those few arrests have been the result of chalk being used as part of a protest and, once again almost exclusively, those cases have been thrown out or defeated in court. It amounts to nothing short of intimidation and a retaliatory act.

Please contact James Baldwin, the prsecutor in their case or if you are in the area (and you really want to let them know you disapprove), visit the Noblesville Police Department and exercise your first amendment right with some chalk. Let them know that they shouldn’t trying to intimidate and retaliate against citizens for exercising their constitutional rights to protest against government abuses and injustices.

Brian and Ademo’s case number: 29D05-1510-CM-008801

Pre-trial: December 8th at 9am

Omnibus hearing: January 14th 1:30pm

James Baldwin: (317) 776-8595

There will be a chalking protest event held the morning of December 8th (the day of their next court date) starting at 7am at the police station, court house, and well the entire town.

Noblesville Police Department:

Hamilton County Jail:

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office:

City of Noblesville:

John Ditslear, Mayor of Noblesville:

Hamilton County, Indiana:

County Commission:

Dan Stevens Assistant to the Commissioners:

  • Phone – (317) 776-9719
  • EmailEmail

Liquid ChalkIt’s an indisputable fact that sidewalk chalk (liquid or otherwise) causes no material damage and can easily be cleaned with a regular garden hose or typical water bucket. Like in previous cases, the charges filed against Ademo and Brian were filed simply because the police and other authorities in Noblesville don’t like the fact that the messages being written criticized them and exposed the crimes that they are not held accountable for.

Those messages could easily be cleaned up, even though the only real reason to have to do so is to try and hide what they say from those the police claim to “Serve and Protect.” However, the shame of the injustice and lies that the messages brought attention to cannot so easily be erased.

#BlueLiesMatter and the #ThinBlueLies kill on both sides of that line.

Police Claim Ademo Charged With Felony – Actually Charged With Class B Misdemeanor

Date of Incident: 2015-10-17
Departments Involved: Shawnee, KS police; Noblesville, IN police
Contact Information: Shawnee PD: 913-631-2150. Johnson County Jail: 913-715-5100. Here’s the agency that issued the warrant (Noblesville, IN): 317-776-1588

Critical update, plus new video link for arrest.

Early this morning, Free Keene broke the news that Cop Block founder Ademo Freeman was arrested on a warrant for felony “criminal mischief”. We now have a copy of the case summary from Indiana, which shows the charge is only a class B misdemeanor, not a felony.

So, that’s the good news. The bad news is he’s still in jail, likely until Monday afternoon’s scheduled court appearance in Kansas, where he was arrested for the warrant that the Noblesville, IN police claimed was for a felony.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene and to Cop Block’s MAC Tour for the latest. In case you missed it, here’s the video of Ademo’s arrest:

– Ian Freeman

Thanks, guys!

BREAKING: Ademo Freeman Arrested for Felony Chalking?!

Originally posted at FreeKeene.com by Ian Freeman. (Stay tuned for video and further updates here at Cop Block

Date of Incident: 2015-10-17
Departments Involved: Shawnee, KS & Noblesville, IN
Contact Phone Numbers: Shawnee PD: 913-631-2150. Johnson County Jail: 913-715-5100
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtC2zKcGqfA

free-ademo-copblockThe War on Chalk continues nationwide with tonight’s arrest of Cop Block founder and Free Keene blogger Ademo Freeman. Ademo has been arrested in Shawnee, KS on a felony warrant purportedly for “criminal mischief” charges over chalking the Noblesville, IN police department a couple of weeks ago. Ademo is expected to be arraigned on Monday and whether he’ll be extradited to Indiana remains to be seen.

The Noblesville PD chalking incident happened the day before Ademo and Brian Sumner kicked off the Cop Block Mobile Accountability for Cops (MAC) tour. According to their post about the incident, Cop Blockers visited Noblesville police department and used liquid chalk to write various messages directed toward and about the police. Later on, they are threatened by multiple Noblesville cops in a parking lot – see the video here. The gang members detain Ademo and Brian for a quarter-hour and claim that one of “their group” used real paint during the chalking outside the PD.

Now Ademo is in Johnson county jail in Kansas on a felony warrant. As a result, requests for calls to the jail and PD rang out on Facebook. Initially, the jail denied having him and police on the phone played games like one claiming his first name was “deputy” (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard that one.):

Should you wish to call the jail and/or police and express yourself, here are the numbers: Shawnee PD: 913-631-2150. Johnson County Jail: 913-715-5100. You should also call the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Noblesville IN, where the warrant originated from. The phone number there is 317-776-1588

Brian did get video of the arrest. As of 3:49am Eastern, it is uploading on what he reports to be a weak internet connection. I am posting it here, but until it’s done uploading and processing, you won’t see it, so please check back a little later this morning (The video is live now):

If you think the massive call flood that these arrests trigger is awesome, then imagine what it would be like if those people willing to call a jail in favor of setting someone peaceful free from captivity were instead willing to move to the same geographic area. Imagine the cop blocking that could be possible. Rather than call the jail, you could go there with others. You could even go to the homes of the people who kidnapped Ademo. Ademo moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. Here are 101 reasons why you should consider doing the same thing.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene and the Cop Block MAC Tour page for the latest on this developing story.
– Ian Freeman

Click the Image to go to the Facebook Event Page.

Click the Image to go to the Facebook Event Page.

Update on 2015 National “Chalk the Police State” Day Locations

Tears Whiny Authoritarianism vs ChalkThe Third Annual Chalk the Police State Day events are all set to go tomorrow, Saturday July 18th. Hopefully, you’ve already seen Ademo’s recent post with advice and tips and are already all set to go for tomorrow. Because of the ease and impromptu nature of chalk protests it’s not too late to get involved in your own town, though.

In fact, even Cop Unblock got in on the chalking fun a few days ago. So here is a current list of all the cities that will be participating. If there is already a group chalking in your city, you should join them. If there isn’t you should round up some friends that care about police accountability and get out there.

Note: this year Chalk the Police State Day will be dedicated to Brian Sumner, an awesome CopBlocker from Fresno, who is actually on trial right now on bogus vandalism charges stemming from a chalk protest he did last year. Since chalk doesn’t do any actual damage and it has been ruled several times, including by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Fresno), that chalk messages are protected free speech under the First Amendment and that something that simply requires a little cleaning up isn’t considered property damage, what Brian is really being charged with is hurting the delicate feelings of the police.

Of course, it looks bad for them if they right that on a police report. So they have to make stuff up and waste the courts’ time and your money on ridiculous charges. (If you are in the Fresno area, the courthouse where this nonsense is being held would be a good location for a Fresno Chalk the police State Day event.#JusSayin)

Current List of Cities Participating

Chalk Police State NationalThe National Facebook Event Page has been set up through the CopBlock Network Facebook page to organize and coordinate events across the country. If you want to find out information in general about chalk the Police State Day events, this would be a good place to ask. Also, if you have your own Facebook Event page for a local event and it’s not already listed here, you should share it there so others in your area can find out where and when they can join up with you.

Chalk Police State Las VegasLas Vegas, NV.Chalk the Police State Day in Las Vegas will be held at the Regional Injustice Center at 2oo Lewis Ave. It begins at 6pm

Chalk Police State IndianapolisIndianapolis, IN.Chalk the Police State 2015 in Indianapolis will be held at the Indianapolis City Market, which is located at 222 E. Market St. It begins at noon.

Chalk Police State ClevelandCleveland OH.Chalk the Police State Day in Cleveland will be held at the Justice Center, which is located at 100 powers Blvd. It Begins at noon.

Chalk Police State MinneapolisMinneapolis, MN.Chalk the Police State Minneapolis will be held at the Minneapolis Federal Building, which is located at 212 3rd Ave. S. It begins at 3pm.

Chalk Police State ChicagoChicago, IL.National Chalk the Police Day in Chicago will be held at the James R. Thompson Center, which is located at 100 W. Randolph St. It begins at noon.

Chalk Police State Lehigh ValleyBethlehem, PA. – The time and place for Chalk the Police Day Lehigh Valley are not being released publicly. You can contact Lehigh Valley Cop Block via their Facebook page for the details.

Chalk Police State SalemSalem, OR.Chalk the Police State Salem will begin at Noon. (See the Facebook event for location and other details).

Chalk Police State SeattleSeattle WA.Chalk the Police State Seattle will be held at the King County Courthouse, which is located at 516 Third Ave. It begins at noon.

Other Places: Although there are no Facebook events (that I’m aware of) set up for them, several additional places have indicated they will be participating in Chalk the Police State Day events. This includes Portland, OR., Baltimore, MD., Keene, NH., Hollywood, CA., and Victoria, BC. There’s even rumors that a group in Germany will be chalking tomorrow.

Click banner to learn more about filming the police

Click banner to learn more about filming the police

And Don’t Forget to Watch all these Videos:

Chalk the Police State Promo:

Brian Chalks the Police:

Manchester Chalking 8 Arrest:

Chalking the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department:

CopUnblock Even Gets in on the Action

PAST VIDEOS OF CHALK THE POLICE DAY:

LAS VEGAS, NV:

KEENE, NH:

QUARTZSITE, AZ:

MINNEAPOLIS, MN:

banner-flyers

Call Flood for Brian Sumner: Charged with Vandalism for Chalking Fresno Police Memorial (Update)

Brian Sumner

Literally, Thrown Out of Court

Last month, on February 10th, Brian Sumner was scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial. His charge is vandalism of less than 400 dollars. This charge was based on him drawing with chalk, which causes no real property damage and can actually be washed off very easily with water. (see below or here for more details)

While he was waiting for his girlfriend to pass through the security checkpoint, Fresno Sheriffs deputies began to harass him for where he chose to stand. When asked for ID, Brian asked if he was being accused of a crime and if he was being detained or if he was free to go. The statements angered deputy Requino, and he dragged Brian out of the lobby. Brian attempted to enter the courthouse again, and the same sheriff that dragged him out, said he would be allowed inside if Brian produced ID. Brian’s reply was “I’ll show you my fucking ID.”

Right after this sentence was out, a sheriff shoved Brian to the ground, and four deputies lifted him off the ground by his arms, and legs. He was carried out of the courthouse and detained for no reason other than his freedom of speech, and a potential bad attitude.The Cpl in charge; Cpl Passmore said he would make sure the judge knew about the interaction, so no warrant would be issued. After checking with the public defender it was clear that this did not happen. This action by Sheriff’s Deputy Requino, and Cpl Passmore as well as two unnamed deputies resulted in Brian not being permitted to appear, for his pre-trial, as well as a bench warrant being issued for his arrest.

Please make sure to call the Fresno District Attorney, and demand that the charges are dropped, and that the city of Fresno choose not to waste over ten thousand of your tax dollars on a trial that will lead to nothing but a not guilty verdict.

Join the call flood.
https://www.facebook.com/events/398619406972453/

Witness footage of the detainment can be seen here.
http://youtu.be/jCcJreWv60A

Date Requested for Call Flood: March 9, 2015 (Court is scheduled for 9am PST/12pm EST)
Outfit/Individual to Call: Fresno (CA.) District Attorney’s Office – Vanessa Wong
Phone Number(s) to Call: (559) 600-3141
Fax Number: (559) 600-4400
Email Address: [email protected]
Preferred Request/Statement: Tell Vanessa Wong (or whomever answers) that chalk is not a crime, and flipping off a cop is a Constitutionally protected gesture under the First Amendment. Also, ask that a video camera, which was stolen by police in a subsequent incident (using the excuse that it was evidence) be returned to Brian.
Further Information: See the Facebook Event Page or Cop Block Fresno website post

Brian Sumner Call Flood

Brian Sumner of Fresno People’s Media, who is also one of the people involved with Cop Block Fresno, has requested a call flood to show support for him during a court appearance scheduled for February 10 March 9, 2015 (at 9am PST) and to urge that the unfounded charges of vandalism (for writing with washable sidewalk chalk) be dropped and an end to repeated harassment he has faced from employees of the Fresno Police Department, since the protest where that chalking action took place.

In the past, call floods have proven numerous times, including a previous case where Brian Sumner himself was charged with obstruction for filming cops, to be an effective way to deter the police and court official from pursuing frivolous and/or harassment based charges. We strongly encourage you to call and show that people are watching and will not tolerate these sort of retaliatory actions against peaceful protestors, such as Brian Sumner.

Chalk washes off with water and it comes off much easier than the blood on the hands of the Fresno Police Department, who prompted the original protest by unnecessarily shooting someone 17 times, ever will.

Fresno Police Dept Memorial ChalkingDuring a protest against police brutality, and recent police shootings in Fresno, Ca. Brian Sumner used chalk on the Fresno Police Department Memorial. Phrases such as “FPD = Guilty”, “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights”, and “Who do you call when the police murder?” were written in an attempt to call attention to the issue.

Brian was arrested (see video below) with one other individual, and charged with vandalism of less than $400. Brian has already appeared in court twice for this matter, and on February 10th will be appearing for Pre-Trial. In addition, Brian is also facing charges the same day stemming from a separate incident of resisting arrest, and making a threatening gesture. This particular case was clearly a situation of harassment (one of several since the original protest) by Fresno police in retaliation for the previous chalking action.

Near the end of last year, Brian was sitting in a park waiting for a friend when Sgt. Andy Murcado of the Fresno police arrived, and pulled a taser out on Brian. He claimed that Brian was standing on the corner flipping off passers by, and yelling “Fuck You”. This claim is completely false, and even if it was true saying “Fuck you”, and using your middle finger are both actions constitutionally protected under the First Amendment.

Brian Sumner MugshotSgt. Murcado, and multiple other officers grabbed Brian, took him downtown to be processed, and refused to return his video camera to him claiming that the video of the interaction between Brian, and the officers was evidence of a crime being committed. That video is unavailable at this moment, but Brian is working on having it returned him.

Brian is asking that everyone who is available to, please call the Fresno DA’s office, and remind them that chalk is not vandalism, as there is no permanent defacement, and police kidnapping activists out of parks on bullshit reasons, then stealing their property, are symbols of a society in decline. Demand that they drop the charges against him, and end the harassment.

CBN banner 2

Area Cop Block Affiliate: If you live in the Fresno (CA) area, you can help Brian Sumner and others advocate for police accountability and your neighbors’ rights by connecting with Cop Block Fresno, via CopBlockFresno.org their Facebook page and/or their Ustream channel. In addition, if you live outside Fresno, you can find the appropriate affiliate in your area by consulting the Cop Block Groups page or by Starting a Local Group.

Call Flood for Brian Sumner: Charged with Vandalism for Chalking Fresno Police Memorial

Brian SumnerBrian Sumner of Fresno People’s Media, who is also one of the people involved with Cop Block Fresno, has requested a call flood to show support for him during a court appearance scheduled for February 10, 2015 (at 9am PST) and to urge that the unfounded charges of vandalism (for writing with washable sidewalk chalk) be dropped and an end to repeated harassment he has faced from employees of the Fresno Police Department, since the protest where that chalking action took place.

In the past, call floods have proven numerous times, including a previous case where Brian Sumner himself was charged with obstruction for filming cops, to be an effective way to deter the police and court official from pursuing frivolous and/or harassment based charges. We strongly encourage you to call and show that people are watching and will not tolerate these sort of retaliatory actions against peaceful protestors, such as Brian Sumner.

Chalk washes off with water and it comes off much easier than the blood on the hands of the Fresno Police Department, who prompted the original protest by unnecessarily shooting someone 17 times, ever will.

Date Requested for Call Flood: February 10, 2015 (Court is scheduled for 9am PST/12pm EST)
Outfit/Individual to Call: Fresno (CA.) District Attorney’s Office – Vanessa Wong
Phone Number(s) to Call: (559) 600-3141
Fax Number: (559) 600-4400
Email Address: [email protected]
Preferred Request/Statement: Tell Vanessa Wong (or whomever answers) that chalk is not a crime, and flipping off a cop is a Constitutionally protected gesture under the First Amendment. Also, ask that a video camera, which was stolen by police in a subsequent incident (using the excuse that it was evidence) be returned to Brian.
Further Information: See the Facebook Event Page or Cop Block Fresno website post

Fresno Police Dept Memorial ChalkingDuring a protest against police brutality, and recent police shootings in Fresno, Ca. Brian Sumner used chalk on the Fresno Police Department Memorial. Phrases such as “FPD = Guilty”, “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights”, and “Who do you call when the police murder?” were written in an attempt to call attention to the issue.

Brian was arrested (see video below) with one other individual, and charged with vandalism of less than $400. Brian has already appeared in court twice for this matter, and on February 10th will be appearing for Pre-Trial. In addition, Brian is also facing charges the same day stemming from a separate incident of resisting arrest, and making a threatening gesture. This particular case was clearly a situation of harassment (one of several since the original protest) by Fresno police in retaliation for the previous chalking action.

Near the end of last year, Brian was sitting in a park waiting for a friend when Sgt. Andy Murcado of the Fresno police arrived, and pulled a taser out on Brian. He claimed that Brian was standing on the corner flipping off passers by, and yelling “Fuck You”. This claim is completely false, and even if it was true saying “Fuck you”, and using your middle finger are both actions constitutionally protected under the First Amendment.

Brian Sumner MugshotSgt. Murcado, and multiple other officers grabbed Brian, took him downtown to be processed, and refused to return his video camera to him claiming that the video of the interaction between Brian, and the officers was evidence of a crime being committed. That video is unavailable at this moment, but Brian is working on having it returned him.

Brian is asking that everyone who is available to, please call the Fresno DA’s office, and remind them that chalk is not vandalism, as there is no permanent defacement, and police kidnapping activists out of parks on bullshit reasons, then stealing their property, are symbols of a society in decline. Demand that they drop the charges against him, and end the harassment.

Area Cop Block Affiliate: If you live in the Fresno (CA) area, you can help Brian Sumner and others advocate for police accountability and your neighbors’ rights by connecting with Cop Block Fresno, via CopBlockFresno.org their Facebook page and/or their Ustream channel. In addition, if you live outside Fresno, you can find the appropriate affiliate in your area by consulting the Cop Block Groups page or by Starting a Local Group.

No permission is needed to share this post, or any content housed at CopBlock.org.
Ideas have consequences – the more
good ideas are shared the better we all are.
Help fuel our efforts – donate
Bitcoin: 1D6hdGKcFfzciJaMSLU6X1Tq69fcCsEh65

Call Flood Request for Brian Sumner Arrested for Filming Cops *Update*

Update: Charges Dismissed Against Brian Sumner

Brian Sumner’s Case was Dismissed. (Thanks to a Little Help from Some Freinds.)

Brian Sumner has reported via the FaceBook event page that his charges were dropped He also stated:

“Its all thanks to you. I wish everyone of you could have seen the DAs face. My lawyer told me that she wasn’t sure if the DA was going to inner (sic) the agreement. I’m going to take that as it was a very successful phone bomb. You all have my heart, and our voices will be heard.”

Thanks to everyone that managed to call. Remember, call floods have been very effective at putting pressure on police departments and courts to release people being charged with bogus crimes based on retaliation or intimidation motives. Always call if you can.

 

 


Brian Sumner wrote the article included below regarding how “obstruction” charges are often used to punish and attempt to discourage people involved in Copwatch or Cop Block related activities. This is done much the same way that “resisting arrest” is often used to prosecute people who have been arrested, even when the actual excuse for arresting them is thrown out or dismissed, as a way of intimidating them.

Brian is a local activist and copwatcher from the Fresno area. Within a relatively short time he’s made quite a few videos and been involved in several major actions in and around Fresno seeking police accountability as part of the Fresno Liberty Movement. As a result, he has become a target for retaliation by local police and other government employees. In one such instance (not the one in the video included below), he was charged with obstruction simply for filming the arrest of another person from a distance. He will be starting trial for this “crime” today, Sept. 10th 2014, and has asked (via a FaceBook event) that people call the DA to show their support and ask that they drop those bogus charges:

“Brian Sumner was arrested for obstruction of justice while filming a routine traffic stop in Clovis, Ca. Please call the DA’s office as many times as humanly possible and ask them to drop the charges. Brian will begin his first day of trial at 1:30 pm 9/10/14. Vanessa Wong is the DA prosecuting the case against Brian. The phone number to her office is (559) 600-3141. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated. #NoVictimNoCrime #PhotographyIsNotACrime #CopBlock #CopWatch #Solidarity”

“Obstructing” is “Resisting” for Cop Watchers

We have all seen a youtube video where a cop demands ID, or for someone to go with them, and when they refuse the cop threatens them with resisting arrest. Even though no crime was committed beforehand…  If you have not seen one of these videos click the link below.


Threatened with resisting arrest.


 

I FILM COPS!

I have been filming the police for around a year and a half now, and it has slowly just become apart of who I am. I was just out of the military, and dealing with the poor taste it left in my mouth. I had been Listening to the Adam VS the Man podcast, reading The Free Thought Project, and watching everything CopBlock.org was putting out. I had joined the military to serve, and well lets just say my service was more of a disservice.

The visible wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan these “Wars on Terror” were being flaunted along with 9/11 as major reasons to draft such legislation as the Patriot Act, or NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) to create such organizations as the NSA, and the TSA. While the US military eroded rights, and lowered the living conditions in the middle east, the US government was  systematically removing rights, and lowering the standard of freedom in the USA.

I was drawn to activism and civil disobedience because it was an in your face act of rebellion, and when you do something like block a freeway, chalk up a police station, or take over the streets with a group of people, and the authorities just have to let you do it due the critical mass its very liberating to one’s soul. You make connections, and form bonds with each other much like in the military.

One thing I have noticed is cops don’t take kindly to an unknown person walking up and sticking a camera in their face. Luckily for me, I could care less what a cop wants. Too many times there is no objective record, and cops take advantage of people, or worse hurt them. The supreme court ruled that it is the job of police to enforce the laws, not protect people. With that in mind does it make a little more sense why there are so many victimless crimes?

Police often tell me that my presence is an obstruction of their investigation, they usually try to defend it with “I’m cool with you filming, just from over there, Officer safety, and all” or something along those lines. In reality what the cop is trying to do is place you in a position where you are less likely to capture what he is doing, and/or saying. I have been threatened with arrest for this crime known as “Obstruction of Justice”  on many different occasions. I recently made the connection between resisting arrest, and Obstruction of Justice.

If I am not harming anyone, and I am filming from a distance that I deem is reasonable for both mine, and the officers safety, and if I am not engaging the officer in any unwanted dialogue how can I be obstructing justice, or interfering with his investigation? Is he claiming that my presence with a camera is somehow hindering him from doing his job? Or is he afraid of what the camera will see? Regardless the situation remains where unquestioned obedience to an authority figure, possibly a complete stranger, can and will land  you in cage, even worse you can end up with a criminal record.

The same can be said with resisting arrest. As we saw in the video link above the man was eating a meal at a fast food restaurant. When the man did not want to leave his meal, and go with the officer he was threatened with arrest for resisting arrest. How can your only crime be not wanting to have an interaction with a complete stranger? Does it make sense that you can literally be arrested for refusing to go somewhere with someone who claims authority over you?

Police now can detain and arrest you for not wanting to talk to them. At the same time police can detain and arrest the people who would film these arrest’s in order create an objective record, if they do not follow the orders of a the police officer. I will now share a personal experience from 2 nights ago with the Clovis, Ca police department.


Clovis police officer, and local hero Jesus Santillon, threatened me with arrest for filming him while he detained, and later arrested a homeless man with a bicycle.


This video also may serve as an objective comparison of the behavior of  cops while in certain uniforms. The officer with the tactical vest, and the military haircut was the one to make contact with me, and cry about “officer safety” in an attempt to get me to alter my position.  While the police officer in his regular uniform was very patient, and kept to the matters at hand.

Notice also that even the nice cop was telling me what to do. Officer Santillan was telling me to move, the other person involved Officer Shermanti was telling me that no one threatened me, and the supervisor was telling me to keep my opinions to myself, and to do whatever complete strangers with guns tell me to. In retrospect thats actually not that bad of advice… If a complete stranger came up to me with a gun and told me what to do. I would probably do it. Unless it was a cop. Then I would probably film it.

I hope you also noticed that none of the cops really listened to me, they all just made excuses for each other, and talked at me in a manner that made me feel more like a subject to them. In other news, Officer Jesus Santillan was awarded a hero medal for 80 DUI arrests, and singlehandedly making up 21% of the DUI arrest for Clovis PD.

Hero Cop Jesus Santillan

 “A Clovis police officer was given a California Hero Award on Saturday at the 16th annual Statewide Law Enforcement and Community Recognition Event in Sacramento, said Janet Stoll-Lee, spokeswoman for the Clovis Police Department.

Stoll-Lee said Officer Jesus Santillan arrested 80 drunken drivers during the graveyard shift in 2013, which accounted for 21% of the department’s total DUI arrests. Santillan worked on DUI checkpoints, AVOID task forces and saturation patrols in Clovis.

The event, which is sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, recognizes law enforcement officers and community leaders throughout California for their efforts to stop drunken driving.”