by Garret Ean
Oct 16 2012
Yesterday’s article featured video of a police encounter from May 17 that resulted in no searches or arrests outside of the initial detainment. Today’s entry features another encounter from later that same day, this time elsewhere in the bay state.
Earlier that Thursday, myself and a large group of Occupiers were stranded at South Station in Boston after our bus to Chicago had broken down twenty minutes outside of the city. We had spent the night prior inside the disabled vehicle at a rest stop while a mechanic tried futilely to revive it. We returned to Boston around 8:00am, and had our itinerary restored by 3:00pm. Once we discovered that we would be getting flown to Chicago the following morning, we made our housing arrangements for the night.
I had taken a bus out of the Shire to Boston the evening prior, and rather than traveling back and fourth again, I was invited to await departure with young occupiers from Acton. It was my first time in the quaint town, and in my short time there I met many wonderful people. But as is often the case, when too much of a good time is had, the police are bound to arrive and investigate.
Myself and a group of just under a dozen were sitting in a scenic area alongside a highway. We were there about fifteen minutes before a cruiser began to park in the breakdown lane, and we took that as our cue to leave. When we emerged from the trail back onto the main road, Jon Stackhouse of the Acton police was waiting for us. He played friendly and dug for information from the group while I filmed the ground. When he noticed me filming, he said, “Why don’t you delete that before you get arrested.” He insisted that I needed his permission to film. To deescalate, I turned off the camera briefly, showed him the screen displaying that it was off, and asked him if I could continue recording, which he affirmed. Had I not been so keen on making the trip to the NATO Summit, I might have chosen to stand my ground and see if Mr. Stackhouse was true to his word about arresting for recording. My interest at the time was evading the police and safely finishing the encounter. You can hear me reference the Glik decision to the officer, which one would hope he has since taken the time to research.
Shortly thereafter, he released us, but we got no more than thirty feet down the road when he circled back and said that his lieutenant requested that he document our names. After parking his car facing the wrong direction on the wrong side of the road, he emerged from his vehicle. “You’re not getting a ticket, it’s just, it’s going in the computer.” Some in the group began to identify themselves and reveal dates of birth and addresses (which I’ve muted out of the video embedded above). Here’s a transcript of Mr. Stackhouse’s attempt to pry personal information from myself.
Stackhouse: What’s your name, buddy?
Ean: Am I being detained?
S: What’s that?
E: Am I being detained?
S: No, you ran from the police, so it’s… Just asking for your name. That’s all it is. It’s not a big deal, you’re not getting a citation, you’re not getting arrested. Just asking your name, okay? You guys, if you didn’t run from the police, this wouldn’t have been a big deal. But you guys chose to run.
E: Okay, so you said I wasn’t being detained, right?
S: Now, do you want to give your name and date of birth or not? Do you want to make this easy or hard, it’s up to you.
E: As one nice person to another, my name is Garret Ean.
S: Alright, nevermind. How about this one?
By the time I said ‘person’, he was turning to the next individual and asking their name before I had uttered mine. Massachusetts does not have a law requiring you to identify to police whenever asked. After the brief stand on my rights, one of the locals with us asked me if she was required to identify herself as well. We spoke about the right to remain silent as the officer recorded more information from members of the group. Clearly hearing what was being said, when the officer finished with everyone else in the group, he did not even bother to ask information from her. The veiled threat of, “Do you want to make this easy or hard?,” was never substantiated.
The sun set, and the group parted; save the four of us prepared to fly west at dawn.