Land of the Free, Part II
Land of the Free, Part III
Are you sick of reading this yet? Yeah, well I'm sick of writing it. This story should have ended a long time ago. However, Corporal Chadd's total disrespect for the law wouldn't allow it.
Most of what I've said so far in this series of posts has been in defense of my own actions. I never broke a law, and Corporal Chadd's own account of the situation proves I never broke a law. But his arrest report also proves that he and Sheriff Steve Fenwick committed some serious crimes against me. So I'll now use the remainder of the arrest report to further pick apart the charges against me, as well as to demonstrate how Corporal Chadd incriminated himself in the offenses he committed against me.
In the first two paragraphs of Corporal Chadd's arrest report, all he established is that he saw me sitting on my backpack beside the road and he asked me a few questions, two of which I willingly answered (even though I didn't have to answer any of them). When he asked me the magic third question, though, I invoked my constitutional right to remain silent and I stopped cooperating because, as I've already explained, I don't cooperate with harassment from law enforcement officers.
Corporal Chadd continues:
At this time Sheriff Steve Fenwick arrived at my location at which time I again asked the subject for identification to which he again refused to provide. At this time Sheriff Fenwick asked the subject to provide identification to which he again refused.
First of all, he has not accused me of breaking any laws so far.
Right off the bat, though, he tells a lie. Sheriff Fenwick certainly was not on the scene yet, as Corporal Chadd didn't even call for backup until near the end of the report. I don't know why he chose to lie here, saying that Sheriff Fenwick was already on the scene, but I suspect he did it in an attempt to establish a witness that would back up his story. That is, I suspect he did it because he figured the lies of two cops would hold more weight than the truth. Apparently, though, he lacks the mental capacity to understand that he is one of the worst liars on the face of the planet, and it doesn't matter how many people back up your story if your story doesn't back up itself.
Don't just take my word for it when I call out his lie. Instead, weigh my account of the incident vs. Corporal Chadd's account of the incident to figure out whose account adds up to a believable story.
Some questions you might want to ask yourself (if you're trying to make an informed judgment by weighing the evidence):
- Since Corporal Chadd had only asked me a few quick questions before this paragraph, and since he did not indicate that I reacted in a hostile manner, exactly when or why did he call for backup?
- Does my lawful refusal to answer one question seem like the kind of thing that would make a 250-pound cop call for backup? (Remember, I weigh 130 lbs.)
- If he did call for backup so soon after responding to the report of merely a suspicious pedestrian, does it make sense that the sheriff--the actual sheriff, not a deputy--would have responded to his call for backup?
- And here's the biggie: How could his backup already have arrived on the scene by this point in the report, considering he had accounted for no more than 30 seconds prior to this paragraph?
His report doesn't add up, does it?
Like most cops, Corporal Chadd is not accustomed to dealing with people who legally assert their rights, for at least two reasons: 1) Most of the people he stops have actually committed a violation, which obligates them to identify themselves, and 2) Most Americans don't know their rights, so they cooperate with cops even when they don't have to. (Recent comments on this blog prove my point, as do almost all the posts on the law enforcement message boards that have been trying to vilify me for standing up for my rights.)
Instinct vs. Critical Thinking
Police work is filled with repetitive tasks that rarely require much critical thought. The repetition involved in police training and police work builds instinct, not critical thinking skills. So when a cop finds himself in a position that requires him to think critically, rather than trusting his instinct, he becomes a deer in headlights. He finds himself in a chess match, except he doesn't know how to play chess. Considering the instinct-oriented nature of police work, Corporal Chadd had rarely been presented opportunities to develop the critical thinking skills required for handling the kind of situation he created when he began harassing me.
Usually when a suspect refuses to identify himself to a cop, the cop has already charged the suspect with an offense. Having already charged the suspect with an offense, the cop is allowed to use necessary force to arrest and restrain the suspect. One very important detail in my case, however, is that I hadn't already been charged with an offense, nor was I suspected of having committed an offense, which means the law did not require me to identify myself or cooperate with Corporal Chadd. My refusal to cooperate put Corporal Chadd in an unfamiliar position and obligated him to play by rules he didn't know quite as well as the normal rules. (Actually, my refusal to cooperate obligated Corporal Chadd to leave me alone, but he chose instead to stick around and harass me.)
When I refused to identify myself to Corporal Chadd, I took him out of his comfort zone. Also when I refused to identify myself, I forced Corporal Chadd to start thinking about how to respond to my actions, which means he could no longer rely on instinct. In fact, every subsequent move I made throughout the encounter forced him to think hard before making his next move. I effectively took instinct out of the picture.
If you put yourself in Corporal Chadd's place for a moment, it shouldn't be difficult to understand why he was caught off guard by my refusal to cooperate with his harassment. Since he didn't have any built-in, rehearsed responses to any of my actions, I unintentionally took him off his game. My actions took away his ability to rely on instinct and forced him to think before acting. As a result, he constantly had to revise his gameplan in his effort to persuade me to comply with his unwarranted demands. You can tell by reading his next several statements that he doesn't really know what to do because he keeps doing the same thing over and over: He tries to intimidate me, hoping I'll cave in to his pressure, but I call his bluff every time, so he backs off and tries again with a slightly different approach.
At this time I attempted to reason with the subject and asked for his name and birth date to which he again stated he did not have to provide.
(He still has not accused me of breaking any laws.)
Why did he keep asking me the same thing over and over instead of arresting me?
Here's why: Because he can't arrest someone just for pissing him off. By restraining himself from using physical force, Corporal Chadd demonstrated that he understood he couldn't legally do anything except continually ask me to cooperate, which by now had become harassment and misconduct.
But why would he have called for backup (as he implied he had done early in the arrest report) if he intended to continue "reasoning" with me? And if his backup was already there by this point, as Chadd claims in the report, why did Corporal Chadd still feel such a need to keep "reasoning" with me? Why didn't the sheriff give him a hand?
The answer: He wouldn't have called for backup. And contrary to his earlier claim, he still had not called for backup at this point in the report. There still were no other law enforcement officers on the scene at this time.
Unlike Corporal Chadd, I was very accustomed to this kind of situation because I had to deal with unwarranted police stops on a nearly daily basis for the past several months. With all the police harassment I'd endured throughout the first several months of my walk, I had become very practiced at responding to such harassment; I knew exactly what to expect during these police stops, and my responses had become very fine-tuned (which is confirmed by Corporal Chadd's description of my reactions in the arrest report). So I continued to stand my ground, knowing full well that there was nothing remotely illegal about my behavior. Not only was it my right not to cooperate with Corporal Chadd, but I also consider it my responsibility.
While speaking with the subject he continued to yell and tell us that he was a US citizen and did not have to provide us with any information and that he was aware of the Constitution. After numerous attempts to reason with the subject and asking him to quiet down and cooperate, he stated that he would not provide us with any information.
(He still has not accused me of breaking any laws.)
Not that it matters, but I didn't yell. Also, as before, I didn't say I was a US citizen; I simply reminded him that this is the United States of America, Land of the Free, where you are allowed to walk from sea to shining sea without having to fear that you might be harassed by cops every day, just for walking.
Take note that Corporal Chadd is still trying to "reason" with me instead of arresting me. What this tells you even more clearly than before is: 1) He was very aware that this was not a serious situation, and 2) He knew he had no legal justification to either use force on me or arrest me because he knew I had not broken any laws. He just wanted to get his way because he's a power-mad criminal punk.
This all supports my claim that Corporal Chadd still had not called for backup. So here are a few more questions to ask yourself:
- If he had actually called for backup, and if his backup (the sheriff) had already arrived well before this point, why does most of Corporal Chadd's language make it seem as if he was still the only law enforcement officer on the scene?
- Between Corporal Chadd and Sheriff Fenwick (who, according to Corporal Chadd's arrest report, was already on the scene), do you really believe the best strategy they could think of was to ask me for my ID over and over if they had ANY suspicion that I had committed an offense?
- And if they actually were both there, asking me for my ID time and again, what else does that tell you? It should tell you Corporal Chadd is a really bad liar, because regardless of whether the sheriff had already arrived, this story just doesn't add up.
- If anything Corporal Chadd says is true, why didn't he and his supposed backup just take me down and cuff me right away?
- If I kept resisting his legitimate attempts to gain control of my arm, as he claims I did a few times, why did he keep putting up with it? Especially considering he and the sheriff outweighed me by something like 500 lbs to 130 lbs. Why? There's gotta be a reason!
I'll tell ya why: Because he had no justification to arrest me, touch me, or even speak to me. He has effectively admitted he had no legitimate business with me by writing an arrest report with so many obvious holes, in addition to the fact that the report never mentions any of my alleged violations.
At this time I told the subject to turn around and place his hands behind his back to which he stated that I better not touch him and that he was not going to comply. At this time I again asked the subject to place his hands behind his back to which he again stated he would not.
ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?!?
OK, so if I had already committed a violation that warranted arrest, AND if I was being so loud and belligerent, AND if Sheriff Steve Fenwick was already on the scene to back up Corporal Chadd... then why didn't Corporal Chadd or Sheriff Fenwick arrest me after any one of NINE defiant acts he has now listed?
And why did he hesitate when I told him he "better not touch me"?
By this point he was starting to get a little more physical with me, and I began sensing that he might be the kind of guy who considers himself above the law. So I told him it would be a good idea for him to go read the law before he tries anything else with me. He responded, "Oh, I know the law; I'm an attorney."
Yeah, right. That's pretty believable.
If by this point I had committed any violation that warranted arrest, and then I resisted arrest, as is implied by my alleged statement that he "better not touch me," why didn't he immediately take me down and cuff me? I mean, if I was so clearly a criminal and a threat to the safety of innocent people, why has he already allowed me to resist arrest more times than I can count? And why have I still not been arrested?
Come on now, Chadd! Your story just doesn't add up. Did you even try to make it add up, or did you just assume your corrupt boss would have your back on this one because he had your back so many other times in the past, when you pulled this shit with other innocent citizens?
Regarding his claim that I said he better not touch me: There was a point when he started making a motion that suggested he intended to restrain me, at which point I said, "Don't even think about touching me" in an authoritative tone. He then backed off and began to ponder his next strategy, which makes it even more clear that he knew I had acted within my rights and also that he had long ago exhausted his authority to continue questioning me.
But his huge cop ego still wouldn't allow him to leave, even though he knew he was legally obligated to leave me alone long before we got to this point.
At this time I attempted to gain control of the subjects arm to which he jerked away and took a few steps and again told me not to touch him.
OMG, OMG, OMG!!! He said it again! I really didn't think he was going to say it again, but he said it again. He still has not accused me of breaking any laws, but he now has accused me TEN TIMES of knowing my rights.
Now he's also trying to make it sound as if a 130-pound guy escaped the physical grasp of a 250-pound veteran law enforcement officer who could have had me subdued and disabled on the ground before I even knew what hit me. I don't remember this happening, but if this did actually happen, then his own words have yet again incriminated himself, not me.
How much is enough? Remember, I didn't write this ridiculous arrest report; I'm just responding to it.
Shortly after his most recent attempt at intimidating me, Corporal Chadd made a phone call for backup (which is not the same thing as calling for backup on the CB radio). Since he used a phone instead of his radio, I assumed he was calling his superior to assist him at the scene. This reminded me of what happened back in Kiowa County, Kansas, so as he began making the phone call, I asked him if he was calling his superior, to which he answered, "I am the superior."
Thinking we might finally be nearing the end of this ridiculous waste of what could have been productive time for both of us, I walked to my backpack several feet in front of Corporal Chadd's vehicle. I sat down on the backpack and faced slightly away from Corporal Chadd, then I patiently waited for him to comply with the laws that say he must leave me alone and disappear. Corporal Chadd remained at his vehicle while waiting for his backup to arrive.
Remember how the report placed Sheriff Steve Fenwick at the scene throughout the entirety of this post? Yeah, well Sheriff Steve Fenwick did not arrive at the scene until several minutes after Corporal Chadd's phone call. When Sheriff Fenwick did finally arrive, I was calmly sitting on my backpack, several feet in front of Corporal Chadd's vehicle. After Sheriff Fenwick's arrival, the two cops met near Corporal Chadd's vehicle, I assumed to discuss the situation and conspire to intimidate me just a little bit more before finally conceding defeat and leaving. When they finished their discussion, they both approached me as I remained sitting on my backpack.
At this time I assisted the subject to the ground and placed him into handcuffs and advised him to stop resisting, to which he then complied. At this time I patted the subject down and located a wallet in his front pocket that contained an Ohio drivers license identifying the subject as Ryan Michael Powell.
At this time I advised Mr. Powell of his Miranda Rights to which he stated he understood. At this time I contacted dispatch to have the jail van enroute to transport Mr. Powell to the Putnam County Jail. Upon arrival of the jail van Mr. Powell and his belongings were loaded and he was transported to the Putnam County Jail.
Note that he still has not accused me of breaking any laws, nor did he claim to inform me that I'd broken any laws. He also doesn't claim to have informed me that I was under arrest. He just says he assisted me to the ground and cuffed me, without explanation. And then, according to him, he informed me of my right to remain silent.
Hmmm, isn't that exactly what I've been doing ever since he asked me for identification? And isn't my silence precisely what has led to this non-arrest? So then, if he did advise me of my Miranda Rights, isn't he just informing me I'm allowed to do precisely what I've already been doing ever since he asked for my identification? Yes, yes, and yes.
According to Corporal Chadd's logic: If I refuse to talk to him, my refusal to talk is grounds for my arrest. But if I get myself arrested for refusing to talk to him, then I don't have to talk to him.
Uhh... Yeah, right.
Here's what really happened: When the two law enforcement officers approached me, I was still sitting on my backpack, waiting patiently for this harassment to end. Neither Corporal Chadd nor Sheriff Fenwick informed me that I had committed an offense, nor did they inform me that I was under arrest.
Without any warning as I sat calmly upon my backpack, one of the cops suddenly grabbed my arms, twisted both arms behind my back, then rotated me about 90 degrees and threw me to the ground. Immediately after I hit the ground, both Corporal Chadd and Sheriff Fenwick pounced on me before cuffing my hands behind my back. With about 500 lbs landing on me all at once, forcing my ribs into the ground, it felt like I'd just been hit by a car, pinning me against a solid brick wall. To say they used excessive force is putting it mildly, especially considering they both knew I hadn't done anything, which means they both knew they had no right to touch me.
That's police brutality right there, folks, as well as false arrest.
Since the "arrest" was unlawful, when Corporal Chadd emptied my pockets in search of my identification, without my consent, he violated my Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Also, Corporal Chadd's claim that I resisted this false arrest is simply ridiculous; I never even had a chance to resist their false arrest. (If I had actually resisted, I'd be the first to admit I resisted, just as I admitted my refusal to identify myself, because it's not a crime to resist an unlawful arrest, just as it's not a crime to withhold ID from a cop who has no justification to ask for ID.)
The moment Corporal Chadd and Sheriff Fenwick forced me into the jail van, they had committed the crime of false imprisonment. Once the van started moving with me inside it, they had also kidnapped me. Those are some serious crimes, and Corporal Chadd's own words in his arrest report are proof that he and Sheriff Fenwick committed these serious crimes against me.
Contrary to the claim in the arrest report, no one EVER read me my Miranda Rights or informed me that I was under arrest. Before committing the crimes of false imprisonment and kidnapping, they simply beat me up and cuffed me.
If it had been an honest mistake and they had arrested me because they believed in good faith that I had committed an infraction, only then could anyone attempt to argue that Corporal Chadd and Sheriff Fenwick's actions did not constitute police brutality, false arrest, false imprisonment, and kidnapping. But they didn't believe in good faith that I had committed an infraction, and the report proves it because the report never even accuses me of committing an offense.
You may counter that maybe these officers just didn't know the law, to which I respond: Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.
After arriving at the jail and during the process of placing Mr. Powell's belongings into the property room, a glass smoking device was located in Mr. Powell's bag commonly used to smoke marijuana. At this time Mr. Powell was remanded to the jail staff on the above stated charges.
As jail employees processed my property after my kidnappers directed the van driver to take me to the jail, the jail employees searched my gear inside and out. During this search, they found a glass pipe, which explains the Possession of Paraphernalia charge.
Of course, had they not conducted this second illegal search, they never would have found the pipe, which means the pipe never really existed and the charge has no merit.
Directly as a result of Corporal Chadd and Sheriff Fenwick's crimes against me, I got to spend the next three days and three nights in jail, without actually being accused of violating any laws.
(Continued in Land of the Free, Part V)
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