Thomas v US, CA 87-1820

WILLIAM THOMAS, et. al.,              )
     Plaintiffs Pro Se                )   CA 87-1820-LFO
                                      )   Judge Oberdorfer 
versus                                )
     Defendants                       )


I, Robert Dorrough, under penalty of perjury, declare that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

1) On June 15 at or about 7:30 am, I was in the center of the south sidewalk attending Concepcion Piccioto's demonstration site.

2) I observed Off. Chertoff and Hewick roustng the people sleeping in the grassy area behind the Sunrise demonstration site.

3) After waking them, the officers told them they had to be within three feet of a sign to be demonstrating.

4) Then they went over to the tree and confiscated some stuff. Edwin Motley pleaded with them not to remove his stuff but to return it to him. He followed them to the vehicle. Off. Chertoff stepped up to him nose-to-nose and Off. Hewick grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the ground. Off. Hewick then threatened him with further bodily harm and arrest. The two officers got in their vehicle and left.

5) At 12:30 pm, Off. Hewick, Off. Chertoff, and Sgt. Spannuth arrived and addressed me.

Off. C: "Hello Bob."

Off. H: "Hello Robert."

Sgt. S: "We're going to have to check to see that everything that you have is what you need in a twenty-four-hour period."

6) Off. H: "We want to make sure that you don't have any excess property."

7) Off. C: "What's in the attache case? What's in the box?"

8) I said: "I think you need a search warrant."

9) They looked at one another.

Off. H: "No, we don't need one."

Off. C: "No, we don't need one."

10) Sgt. S: "Okay, if you don't want to show us we're going to take it."

11) I said: "Okay, but for the record I think you need a search warrant."

12) I showed them the contents of the attache case and the boxes. I said: "See, petitions and files."

13) Off. C: "Okay, you're clean. You are in compliance."

14) They walked west to Concepcion Picciotto's demonstration site.

15) Lynn Fredriksson went down to take notes when they were confronting Concepcion.

16) Lynn returned to my site and told me Concepcion had asked that I remove some of her "stuff" from the park area which she feared would be confiscated, including feed for birds and peanuts for squirrels, which she distributes daily.

17) While I was leaving, the three officers confronted all the other demonstration sites.

18) At or about 1 pm Off. Hewick, Chertoff and Sgt. Spannuth were joined by three additional officers, Dowd, Mitchell, and Deriso.

19) They approached my demonstration site. Sgt. Spannuth wanted to look under my blanket which covers the pallet to which my signs are attached. I said: "I thought you said I was in compliance."

Sgt. Spannuth: "I never said that."

20) Off. H: "Whose tennis shoes?"

I said: "They belong to Lynn. She's not wearing them at the moment."

21) Sgt. Spannuth: "Could you ask her to get up. I want to look under there again" (pointing at my blanket). Hewick said: "Get up!" in a threatening manner.

22) Lynn got up and moved. Hewick pulled the blanket back revealing a piece of black plastic.

Off. C: "What's this?"

Hewick pulled it out from under the pallet and began to unroll it.

23) I said: "It is a piece of plastic I use to cover the ground after the lawn sprinklers soak the grass."

24) Off. C: "There is no forecast of precipitation in the next twenty-four hours so we're confiscating it."

25) Off. H: "Do you want us to just throw it away?"

26) I said: "No, since you're confiscating it, I want you to keep it as evidence of something."

27) Officer Chertoff asked me questions about the spelling of my name, about my date of birth, and about my address and telephone number.

28) As he was doing so, Officer Hewick poked and prodded through all of my material, once again asking, "Where are the pamphlets and literature you display?"

29) I told him I had them well under control and showed him my petitions.

30) Sgt. Spannuth: "What's in the gallon jugs?"

I said: "Water."

Sgt. Spannoth: "Just water?"

I said: "Yes, just water."

31) They took the black plastic, put it in a plastic bag, and walked towards Concepcion's demonstration site.

32) I followed them to take notes.

33) As they approached Concepcion she handed Sgt. Spannuth a letter from Richard Robbins dated May 8, 1986.

34) While Spannuth was looking over the letter, Officer Hewick bent down and took a pair of scissors Concepcion had been using just prior to their approach.

35) I asked officer Hewick for the time. "1:13," he responded.

36) Before Spannuth had finished reading the letter Officer Chertoff said: "We're going to take the plastic. There is no rain forecast for the next twenty-four hours."

37) Officer Hewick started ripping up the plastic. "Wait a minute," Concepcion pleaded, "the sergeant isn't finished."

38) Sgt. Spannuth handed Concepcion her letter back. "Yep, that's what we're here for."

39) Officer Hewick ripped her plastic up. "There are two umbrellas -- you can only have one." Quickly going through the stuff item by item, confiscating food, an umbrella, literature, papers, he opened every plastic bag. In one he found pictures of Concepcion with chemical burns. He said, "This is a sign. You can only have two signs."

40) Sgt. Spannuth asked what the broom was for. Concepcion said, "For sweeping up." "We have maintenance people for that," he said. The broom was confiscated. Additionally, they confiscated a small wooden bench Concepcion used for sitting, a back pack with her tape recorder, an umbrella used for sun shade, any and all literature not on display, her thermos, and some fresh fruit she had bought that morning. Officer Hewick was very rough and threatening with Concepcion, grabbing bags out of her hands and yelling in her face repeatedly Officer Chertoff said: "You can only have enough food for yourself." "Now they're trying to control my stomach," Concepcion said. Chernoff ticketed her.

41) They then moved down to Dr. Hyder's demonstration site. Warren _________ was in attendance. Officer Hewick moved the signs, taking everything except 1 cushion and 1 blanket, piling them in the middle of the sidewalk. He turned to Warren and asked: "Are you going to claim any of this?" "No," Warren said. "Fine, then it's abandoned property," said Hewick. The officers assisted in removing it to the paddy wagon.

42) Officers Hewick and Chertoff and Sgt. Spannuth then approached the Sunrise demonstration site. Sunrise was folding a piece of plastic. Hewick grabbed the opposite end and snatched it away. "What are you doing," Sunrise asked. "You can't have it," Hewick said threateningly.

43) "What's the broom for?" asked Sgt. Spannoth. "For sweeping," Sunrise said. "We have maintenance people for that," Spannuth said, as he took the broom.

44) Off. Hewick told Sunrise to get off of his blankets. "You can only have one blanket," he said. Sunrise refused.

45) Off. Hewick then grabbed Sunrise's shirt which was next to him on his sign. "Hey, he's taking my shirt. You're stealing, you're a thief," Sunrise shouted.

46) "Okay, " Hewick said, "we're taking the blankets. You choose which one to keep or I will." "What do you mean choose which one," Sunrise said as he picked one up. Off. Hewick took the rest and rolled them in a ball.

47) They started to leave until Chertoff pointed out a carpet. Hewick started to roll it up and take it when Sunrise said, "I'm using that." "What for?" Sgt. Spannuth asked. "People sit on it. It's for my demonstration," Sunrise answered. "There's nobody on it now. Take it," Spannuth said. Officer Hewick rolled it up and took it away.

48) They then approached the Thomas demonstration. Kayleen Purdy was in attendance. Officer Hewick picked up a pair of boots without a word and put them in the middle of the sidewalk. "Which umbrella do you want to keep?" Hewick asked. Kayleen did not respond throughout the entire incident. Off. Hewick went through the stuff as Off. Chertoff wrote a citation to Kayleen. She wouldn't respond so she was threatened with arrest and detention at St. Elizabeth's.

49) Off. Hewick picked up a small case with pens and other vigil supplies. "You can't have sign making materials," he said as he confiscated the case. Since Kayleen wouldn't respond, he quietly went about confiscating a space blanket, piece of plastic, some literature, and a broom with a Peace Puppet on it.

50) Chris _______ had been playing his guitar. He had a small pile of tree bark lightening had struck off a tree. Off. Hewick threatened him with arrest if he did not relinquish and remove his foot from it. "It's within 3 feet of me. It is my property," he said. Finally he capitulated and Off. Hewick picked it up and threw it in a NPA trash truck.

51) They went to the benches behind the signs and harassed a few people about what they had in their possession, but confis- cated nothing.

Robert A. Dorrough
P.O. Box 27217
Washington, DC 20038
(202) 462-0757

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