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.
Witness footage of the detainment can be seen here.
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 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.
During 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.
Sgt. 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.
Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
Connect with Kelly at these social networks; Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
1st mother fuckers, has anyone else noticed the rise in ads?
Motherfuckers is one word, dumbass.
………no, it isn’t, retard.
Shut your pie hole, motherfucker.
As I noted before, chalking in this form is vandalism, just as if someone wrote on your car with water-soluble markers – oh, you would just have to wash it off so it wouldn’t really be vandalism…? Whether the damage is permanent or not, it costs someone to clean it up (a public sidewalk is an exception because it isn’t expected to be clean, but I wouldn’t write profanity or blasphemy or bigotry on a public sidewalk). It will likely and properly lead to a guilty verdict. It is a waste only in priorities, but not in that it might discourage vandalism and stupidity.
I’m also tired of people who don’t get it that you must record every interaction. Where is his girl with her cell phone recording? Where is his phone recording? Is there a security camera recording? Screech all you want, but whatever happened isn’t on YouTube or Vimeo.
Why does the guy have to be such an asshole? It is one thing to be completely nonviolent and peaceful and accept unprovoked brutality, but another thing to keep provoking, poking, and trying your best to see how low the Cop’s threshold is.
It is bad enough to do so out in public where people are witnessing the interaction and recording (especially if the Cop doesn’t take the bait). Doing so in a courthouse (think “in the middle of enemy territory”) is insane and/or stupid.
If he calmly and politely kept asking the officers regarding the ID, it might end up in a stalemate or just take a long time before one or the other side gave up. Or if they blew up it would be a very clear matter and I would side with him.
They guy is guilty, yes. But that has nothing to do with this. This is a case of cops personally administering ‘justice’ because he offends them. That isn’t acceptable. Like me, they should wait to get their justice in court.
“Why does the guy have to be such an asshole? It is one thing to be
completely nonviolent and peaceful and accept unprovoked brutality, but
another thing to keep provoking, poking, and trying your best to see how
low the Cop’s threshold is.”
Are you for uncontrolled cops? regardless of any personal ‘poke’, cops do not have the power to use their position for personal grudges. If their self control is that low, then THAT is what needs addressed. You don’t fix out of control LE by caving in and letting them behave as they wish unchallenged. You fix it by exposing it, and then CHALLENGING it.
It isn’t our role in life to keep cops happy.
Ahhhhhh…..not quite there guy.
The court can set rules of conduct and decorum…..as can all public buildings.
He didn’t wanna play by the rules???? Ok. But that decant mean that there are consquences for that.
It’s so funny that these twerps wanna compare themselves to civil rights protesters from e 60s. What a joke. Those people protested about things that they couldn’t control…..the color of their skin. These goobers are mad because of something they can control….their behaviors.
This guy wants to deface public property. You all should be pissed. You paid for it and this idiot is damaging it.
And what’s worse…..you idiots are gonna “call flood” for him as he tries desperately to avoid any accountability for his actions.
Yeah….he’s a real freedom fighter
You also don’t fix it by entering a secure area such as a court house without making a record. You never want it to be your word against theirs. What out of control LE? Where is the film? Where is the recording? I just have his word – and he already said he wasn’t being quiet and peaceful.
Also, when you start swearing and acting up, you are showing that you, yourself are uncontrolled. Now there is an argument for holding cops to a higher standard, but when you, yourself lower the bar by acting badly, there isn’t much height required. So the comparison is someone 90% out of control v.s. 95% out of control, instead of showing that cops are violent even when not challenged or provoked.
Not that anything is shown when nothing is recorded.
When I have a dispute with something I bought, it matters if I can show a receipt. When there are such conflicts such as the above it matters even more if there is a video – or even audio or photo – of the whole event.
Otherwise it is all but pointless to challenge. If a cop cuts down a tree in a forest, and no one is there to record it, does it make any noise? Or any difference?
Enjoy paying those fees. Don’t worry, the court accepts partial payments.
“Nigga, I ain’t got yo wallet” Blah blah blah
This is vandalism. It’s no different than him going into a cemetery and doing the same thing. There was no excuse for doing that. The incident in the security line, he started mouthing off and creating a scene. He got what he asked for.
Asshole abusers on steroids. – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/constitutional-stoner-skip-budman?trk=prof-post
i can fully understand the point of view that this would be disrespecting the honored dead, however is it not the behavior of the police that invoked the harmless statement. what would the dead think of the police behavior today. what would the lawful be thinking of the corruption we now must face.
offense… This guy got exactly what he asked for and deserved. Chalk
or not, he vandalized a cop’s tombstone and then acted like a dick and
refused to produce ID at the court house (apparently he must not realize
that you have to show ID when arriving for city or traffic courts).
I stand with the cops here.