Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Information on "Dad's actions didn't warrant arrest"

On 2-3-2007 an event took place at Northrop High School over Videotaping my daughter's performance.

I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Many have given the ultimate sacrifice for the rights many want to trample today. I have a civic duty, a moral obligation to my country and my children to question the state when they extend by implication or worse, a statute beyond the plain and literal language given it by our elected representatives. If we do not do this, our freedoms, our rights will disappear because we failed to question and keep them at bay. The 2nd amendment is a prime example in that the United States Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4. Why was it not 9 to 0? If we want the United States Constitution to be "updated" or reinterpreted based on today's meaning of the words used, the mechanism for doing that is not the courts, but amending the Constitution. The United States Constitution means exactly the same thing today as it did in 1787.

I would like to comment on Kevin Leininger’s column of 7-15-08. Given the amount of material and limited space, the article for the most part was correct. The US Supreme Court as well as Federal Courts has ruled numerous times that photography/videotaping is protected free speech. Anyone has the Constitutional Right to photograph/videotape ANYTHING that can be seen from public property. However, even though you have the right to do so, you may not have the right to sell it. In order to sell an image, performance, dance, choreography, etc, one must obtain the permission of the owner. In the case of Northrop, they needed the written permission of very singer, dancer, musician and the owner of the music song during the show.

What Northrop and Huntington Media Services did was to sell without permission the performers work/property. In simple terms they pirated the property of others for personal gain.

When entering Northrop there were no visible signs. The signs were on the doors to the gym and auditorium which were either too far away, blocked by people waiting to enter or the doors were open facing another door to be seen. No one at the admittance table said a word to me about no videotaping until after I had paid and walked a third of the way across the commons.

A volunteer told me they were recording the performances and that I was more than welcome to buy a DVD. I replied “we will see about that.” A performance was taking place. I waited with my mom. Sgt. Glock came up behind and said “If I catch you videotaping I will arrest you.” He did not provide his name or badge number. The doors to the gym opened, my mom went in front of me and I followed. I did not push by anyone. Mr. HARTZLER stated “26-16 There was no physical contact, but his demeanor indicated to me that he was, seemed angry to me. I mean, he seemed agitated, but other than simply brushing past me, you know, he didn't make any kind of aggressive move towards me, other than to, you know, dismissively push past me.”

I sat down, placed the tripod and camera case on the floor under the chair. Neither my wife nor I had signed a consent and release to sell my daughter’s property rights. With about five minutes before the next show would begin, I got up to speak with a Northrop official.

What are the known facts up until Larsen and Damerell speak to each other?

1. From Northrop's and FWCS's standpoint, they don't care one way or another who videotapes. Demerell’s deposition 17-20 through 18-2

2. Larsen approached Damerell not the security guard.

3. Larsen asked Damerell where they had the authorization to videotape and sell tapes of performers.

4. Damerell did not know who Detective Barrientes was until after Larsen had been dragged out.

4.1. Damerell 35-21 The officer (Barrientes) that appeared to be there not on duty, but for some other reason, or part of the program, when did he actually get involved? Did he just start walking forward when uniformed Officer Glock started walking forward?

4.2. Damerell 36-2 He (Barrientes) had, during the conversation with Mr. Larson, I think he (Barrientes) had entered, saw the officer that he knew, came over to say hello to him, kind of gathered that there was a situation, ended up just watching this gentleman. Said his hellos, or whatever, and just kind of, "Hey, if you need some help, let me know," type of thing, then went out and sat in his seat.

4.3. Damerell 36-10 When Mr. Larson, the officer and myself were talking, he (Barrientes) happened to come back, just because he knew that we were looking to talk, watching him. Now, he (Larsen) is standing there talking to us, so he (Barrientes) just came over and kind of listened in. When the officer who was hired by us, when security escorted him back to his seat, I think the other officer (Barrientes) followed him, just to make sure, you know, brother in arms type of thing, make sure that he would take care of his friend.

4.4. According to Damerell, Detective Barrientes had no input into our conversation, he listened, there is no mention that Barrientes ever spoke.

5. Damerell inquired of Tom Maupin about the issue after his conversation with Larsen.

5.1. Damerell 24-22 He was there temporarily. I talked to him and just told him, then he had to run off and do something else.

5.2. This means Damerell had no knowledge of the Carroll – Northrop Application to perform when he spoke with Larsen. More specifically, the statement that Carroll’s Application to perform would be professionally recorded and sold is hearsay. A copy of which has not been found. This implies that this too was not known to him at the time Larsen and Damerell spoke.

5.3. Damerell 16-12 I would say yes. Another event, being a general student concert, part of a class, what event might happen at night, they may say that a parent can bring in a video camera and record that. But because of this being a very exclusive kind of a show, obviously there is a higher admission on a Saturday, they probably worked out the video is with the professional recorder, they kind of had the exclusive rights to record the event.

5.4. Damerell 17-8 Not being the contractor, I would say there is probably something in there giving them exclusive video taping rights. I have not seen the contract.

5.4.1. Damerell has no first hand knowledge of the Videographer Contract until 8/1/2007.

5.4.2. There is no language in the videographer’s contract giving it exclusive right to videotape.

6. Damerell 27-8 We spoke a little bit more about rights, or whatever. I just finally, I felt like we were tripping over each other in a conversation. I finally said, "Sir, if you are not happy, we would be more than glad to refund your money and you may leave." He did not wish to do that. We just reiterated we were not going to allow video taping and continued to have a discussion back and forth.

6.1. Mr. Damerell acknowledges I declined the offer of a refund, yet later states he thought I was going to leave 28-11.

6.2. I never requested to video tape nor did I state I was going to videotape.

6.2.1. The School and Law enforcement made the assumption that my questions concerning consent and release were just a ploy to get around the rule “no videotaping allowed” that none of these individuals know who made.

7. Damerell 27-24 Speaking for a number of minutes, he was not combative, he was just argumentative.

7.1. Anyone questioning a rule or policy is considered to be argumentative.

8. Damerell 28-7 Oh, no. We were ten to fifteen feet from anyone. We weren't shouting. We were just kind of having a discussion.

9. In Damerell’s Deposition (Damerell 42-11) he got the impression I would not be happy with any answer he gave me. We now learn Damerell;

9.1. Had not seen the videographer contract until 8/1/2007

9.1.1. The contract with the videographer has no exclusivity language

9.2. Has never seen the application submitted by Carroll High School where it is alleged to state performances would be videotaped and available for sale.

9.2.1. He is unable to get a copy of the application to perform submitted by choirs

9.3. Had no idea who made the rule

9.4. Who put the signs up

9.5. So what did Damerell tell Larsen in their conversation that was based on first hand knowledge, nothing?

9.6. Why would any intelligent individual accept what Damerell was telling them based on the above?

9.6.1. Why not just admit he did not know and say I will get back with you?

9.6.2. Why did he continue to bluff his way through questions when he had no knowledge of the answers?

10. If Damerell who is the assistant principal has no knowledge of the rule, signs, videographer contract and performers application, then on what basis did Sgt. Glock and Detective Barrientes enforce the “rule” no” videotaping allowed?”

10.1. Did a parent decide to put the signs up?

11. What was the reason for removing Larsen from public property?

11.1. Glock 42-15 A Subsequently, when I had the conversation with the assistant principal and Detective Barrientes, as his attitude and behavior worsened, then I told him specifically that he was going to be removed from the building.

11.2. Glock 40-22 A I never asked him to leave until after his very rude and insolent conversation with Kevin Damerell, the assistant principal.

11.3. Damerell 28-11 A Finally, we just said, "You know, sir, we just think you should go. You obviously are not happy with us. Before something happens, maybe you should just go. We'll be glad to refund your money." So now, at this point, the officer and I had agreed that the gentleman ought to leave. I sat there and the officer went with the other gentleman to his seat. I am assuming that he was just going with him to make sure that he picked up his belongings and made sure that he left quietly.

11.3.1. So if a person is not happy, do they have to leave public property? Only happy people are allowed to be on public property? Only people who agree with the school and police are allowed to be on public property? If you question their authority, they interpret this as being unhappy and argumentative.

11.3.2. They state they removed me before anything happened.

11.3.3. I was not videotaping My camera case was on the floor under the seat along with my tripod.

11.4. According to Damerell it was a suggestion, not an order to leave. “Maybe you should” is not an order.

11.4.1. What I recall is “Will you please leave?”

11.5. The officer and Damerell agree that I should leave. How did they communicate this consensus between themselves with me standing there?

11.5.1. I did not hear any discussion between them.

11.5.2. Did they have a prearranged non-verbal sign to indicate this?

11.6. Damerell did offer to refund my admission, but to me this was just an offer. At no point did I feel I was being ordered to leave the school property.

11.7. Damerell thought I was going to leave. What gave him this idea?

11.7.1. Barrientes 22-2 We said, "I think it's time you just leave, then." And he said he wasn't leaving.

11.8. Glock 27-15 Without saying anything, but both myself and Officer Barrientes knowing that once we've given someone an ultimatum and they have refused to obey a law enforcement officer, that this is time to take action.

11.8.1. What lawful command was given?

11.8.2. What probable cause did they have to order me to leave Northrop?

11.8.3. It was not against any Indiana Statute to videotape Barrientes Deposition 14-19 through 14-22 Glock Deposition 14-19 through 15-4

11.8.4. What law/statute did I violate?

11.8.5. I was not videotaping. My camera case and tripod were under my seat

12. Damerell 23-18 During this time when the officer called me over to the gym, the doors were open at the time, there was a break right around 11:00 o'clock, 10:45, somewhere in that range, said that both parents, the parents at the front door, the parents at the gymnasium door, who had reminded the gentleman again that there would be no video taping, not knowing that the first group of parents at the main door maybe didn't see the camera, but, again, just reiterated that no video taping was permitted. Again, the response was rude.

12.1. Were the signs not located where the average person would see them?

12.1.1. They were on the Gymnasium over 110 feet from the entrance and impossible for anyone to read before paying for an admission ticket.

12.1.2. They were on the Auditorium doors, but being shut you would not see them.

12.1.3. There were no signs on the tables used by volunteers at the admission tables.

12.1.4. There were no signs on the entrance to the school.

12.2. Were they relying on visually identifying cameras and then informing people that flash photography and videotaping was not allowed?

12.2.1. This is after paying for admission to the school.


At 10:31 AM, Blogger Bobby G. said...

I read the entire account of what went on, and I find the FWPD used (imho) excessive force to bring about a result they could be "pleased" with.

A simple "bum's rush" (two officers-one under each arm) would have sufficed with no collateral damage to anyone), but today's officers have this tendency to go ape$hit for the least suspicion of any "intent", and in some respects it beats being shot and killed, but let's be fair here.

YOU were doing nothing that warranted such action against you.
And I see NO violation of civil rights (except towards you).
If the school has a problem, then THEY need to change things.

You SHOULD be allowed to tape, record or take pictures of something YOUR child is in (and that YOU, as a taxpayer have funded).

It's that simple.

We've become a nation of profitability (at any cost) and God forbid someone just wants a keepsake of their child for posterity!

Hope things work out for you and your family.


At 11:47 PM, Blogger Phil Marx said...

I'm not certain on this, but I believe that Detective Barrientes was the FWPD officer who testified at a murder trial that I was seated as a juror on. His poor testimony was what caused us to take several hours for our deliberations. We eventually found the accussed guilty, but all of the holdouts were basing their doubts upon this officers inadequate statements.

If this is the same guy, then he definitely gets my vote for "asshole cop."

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, I admire a person of your courage and I sincerely hope you take these people to the cleaners.
Semper Fi,

At 10:12 PM, Blogger William Larsen said...

Thanks for all your support. I could see this happening in Russia, German WWII, North Korea, but the US, no.

These two off duty police went off the reservation, through their power (not authority) around. They knew what they were doing was wrong, yet did it anyway. I will fight!

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it ok for two off duty officers, one of whom is getting paid as a rent-a-cop, to strong-arm a law-abiding citizen seated at a public school event with his family?

Putting this person in a head lock, aggravating an injury incurred while serving our country honorably, and having the temerity to assert that he was 'faking' it, by God lets say he WAS faking it, he better play dead to save himself from more serious bodily harm. Who doubts for a minute that these goons would taser him a heart beat if they had the means at hand. We do not need these jerks in law enforcement.

It would be interesting to examine the record of these renegade officers and see how efficient they are in bringing real criminals to justice and making it stick. My guess is they are rank amateurs that hide out and bag the bush when they are supposed to be patrolling. Their actions are consistent with the playground bullies that they no doubt were in school. Someday they will pull this crap on the wrong person and they will get shot. When it happens, they should not be honored with the spectacle of a large blue FOP police parade.


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