Tag Archives: Fresno Liberty Movement

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.”