by Garret Ean
Sept 24 2011
In an ironic twist on the usual balance of good and bad news, there’s a report on a deescalation of state power in DC while independent media is arrested in Keene, New Hampshire for possession of a camera.
The Jefferson 5 dancers, who were arrested on May 28 for silently dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, had their charges dropped in court after increasingly more lenient plea deals were offered by the state. The prosecution made the offer to drop the charges to the judge, who asked if there was any objection from the defendants. When there were none, the judge announced the charges dismissed and said “Good job, guys.”
Outside of court, the Jefferson 5 appropriately celebrated the decision with some dancing.
The news came one day prior to Jason Talley’s arrest in Keene at the Cheshire Country Superior Court. On Friday, Jason entered the building to obtain a form allowing him to record a habeas corpus hearing for Ian Freeman, who is being caged for 90 days after standing in the way of a police car over a year ago. As he entered, he reportedly checked his video equipment with security, and approached the clerk’s window to obtain the paperwork he needed. After spotting a small personal camera on his belt, authorities tried to grab the camera off of his body. In seconds, he was under arrest for possessing the camera, the official charge pending as, “common law criminal contempt”. Witnesses reported that court security guards dragged Talley away by the handcuffs. He’s currently being held in Cheshire county jail, and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
Authorities in Keene have been increasingly tyrannical against those acting as members of the press at the district and superior court. In 2009, two other independent journalists, Sam Dodson and Dave Ridley, were arrested in separate instances at the district court while filming in the lobby. It is unclear whether or not the camera Talley was arrested for possessing was even operational at the time that he was seized. Updates have been posted over at his website, talley.tv.
9/26/2011: Jason Talley was released from state custody on PR bond earlier today following an arraignment.