Forum Post: Police Admit Romney Campaign Illegally Hired them to Arrest US Citizens on Bogus Charges at Campaign Event
Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 11, 2012, 1:30 p.m. EST by fucorporatemedia
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I asked about his authority to remove me. “We’re working for the Romney campaign,” he said. I asked if he was on-duty; he said he was. My confusion deepened. So was he working for the town of Hudson today, or for the campaign? “Both.” (Later, I think I got it straight: the campaign hired the police for the day, sort of like a private security detail.)
At the police station, I was put in a cage and asked to remove my shoes, belt, and sweatshirt. An officer named Manni and another officer processed my paperwork. As they did so, they told me not to go back to “that area” when I was released. I indicated that I understood I wasn’t permitted to be on the company’s land or facilities, but surely I could go back to the street if I so chose – it’s public property, after all. Don’t go back to that area, they said. If you go back, you might cause a disturbance or a riot, and you could be arrested for disorderly conduct.
I tried to keep calm and ask even-keeled questions. Were they telling me I wasn’t even permitted in the street near the facility? And if so, on what grounds? (I wondered, Is the Romney campaign just permitted to cordon off a whole neighborhood?)
And then the following exchange took place. I began to ask, “If I express my First Amendment freedoms –
And Officer Manni interjected, “You’ll probably be arrested.”
It was clear to me that the two officers had no interest in discussing what the law actually said, or what my rights actually entailed. I was paperwork, and they wanted to get it over with. That didn’t sit well with me, so I kept asking questions. One of the officers then opened up the New Hampshire legal code and read me the definition of disorderly conduct. He read the words dully, as if they were just syllables, with no interest at all in what they meant.
I asked the officer if he could help me connect what he’d just read with my situation and understand why it would be a problem to return to the street outside the event. He told me that I might return and say things that “aren’t what others think.” It was incredible – he actually paused before he said those words, as if searching for something politically correct to say. I don’t think he realized that the words he found had so little to do with the letter and spirit of our laws and Constitution.
Nearly four hours after all of this began – after time spent in an actual cell, and then even more time back in the cage – the bail bondsman arrived. He set up an arraignment date, drove me to an ATM so I could extract the $40 bond, and dropped me off at my car. As we parted, he repeated the officers’ advice from earlier: “Don’t hang around this area.” Apparently, even hours after the event had ended, the Romney campaign and the local police were still present, nibbling away at my freedoms.