On the 27th of May, Heather Doyle was convicted of filing a “false” police report for truthfully complaining about being dragged by police from the Feb 3, 2015 crane sit against Dominion’s gas export manner in an unsafe manner. She also truthfully objected in that complaint to being assaulted by police. The Calvert County Sheriff’s dept turned the tables, denied all charges, and have now successfully sentenced Heather to serve 15 days in jail for filing a compliant for police brutality and recklessness.
This “verdict” is an act of war against everyone in Calvert County who opposes Dominion’s LNG export dreams, against the anti-fracking movement, and against the environmental movement. The Calvert County Sheriff’s dept and the courts have declared that anything goes in prosecuting peaceful civil disobedience, for which Heather had already served about a month in jail. In this case, she filed a formal complaint about reckless police conduct and assault, yet she is the one who goes back to jail. This is a formal statement that Calvert County and Dominion prefer their “disobedience” without the “civil.” Possibly this case was intended to force the defendants to flee Calvert County, thus permanently getting them out of Dominion’s way? If so, that objective was not achieved.
This verdict is also a broader strategic attack on everyone who ever has cause to complain about police brutality and may even have been intended to deter Black Lives Matter activists from attempting to use the courts for redress of grievances in any jurisdiction in the US. In short, the published laws do not apply to police: report their crimes and YOU are the one who goes to jail or prison.
Thus the general public has no reason to respect any of their laws either, and should not consider published laws to be reliable rules of engagment as to what can be expected from police. Hell-it’s illegal for police to murder people too, but American racism “trumps” that so on average police and security guards murder one person of color every 28 hours and get away with it Why would police obey any lesser law anywhere in the US when they can literally get away with murder in a Baltimore courtroom?
If a cop in Baltimore can break someone’s neck with impunity for the color of their skin, a Calvert County sheriff’s deputy can certainly drag an activist out of a cranesit in an unsafe manner and stand with his boot on her chest. When she complains, he can turn the tables, lie in court, claim the report is false and put HER in jail! Thus, no justice is to be found for any abuse by police by walking into any courthouse or police station.
This is a repudiation of the very concept of a court system that anyone can turn to for justice. Blow the whistle on police abuses, go to jail. Show up for trial, go to jail regardless of the facts of the case. Hell, in Mumia’s case WITNESSES were arrested on the stand when they didn’t say what prosecutors had demanded they say. This kind of thing is proof that justice must be sought in the streets and not the courts when police commit crimes. In Baltimore killer cops may get acquitted, but that doesn’t get back the money rich businesses in Baltimore lost when the siege of the Orioles stadium forced cancellation of a week of baseball games. Those businesses are the cops’ masters, and they were punished even though the cops themselves have so far escaped all justice.