by Garret Ean
June 4 2012
One year ago today, myself and seven neighbors became the Chalking 8, when we were arrested at a protest outside of the Manchester police department on various charges. Three of the eight quietly plead out to a violation charge, simply to avoid having to finance a court battle over a criminal charge. Representing myself without an attorney at trial, I was able to beat two criminal charges. Ademo Freeman and Wes Gilreath were found guilty of chalking the Manchester police station, and while Ademo has a superior court trial pending, Wes sits in Valley Street jail, not just for the chalking charge, but also for having missed an earlier court date in the process, which was called ‘contempt of court’. He’s been incarcerated since January, and will hopefully be released in the coming weeks.
Kate Ager had a jury trial in May, in which she was found guilty of resisting arrest for what three officers testified was a one to three second delay of the arrest. She was not tried in superior court for the charge under which she was arrested (disorderly conduct) a charge which she was found guilty of at the non-criminal violation level of in district court, thus making the arrest charge itself ineligible to be heard by a jury. The full trial was filmed by two videographers, myself and Ian Freeman. You can see my full trial video in four parts here, and Ian’s footage here.
Yesterday Ademo posted to Free Keene and Cop Block an update on his case. His jury selection and trial dates were sent in an odd envelope to a random address from the court, and the prosecutor is trying to use the government’s error to prevent him from receiving a jury trial. The Cop Block post with video is here.
In noting international anniversaries, today marks twenty-three years since the iconic Tiananmen Square protests and massacre.