Thomas v US, CA 87-1820
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
WILLIAM THOMAS, et. al., )
Plaintiffs Pro Se ) CA 87-1820-LFO
) Judge Oberdorfer
NEWS WORLD COMMUNICATIONS, et. al., )
DECLARATION OF ROBERT DORROUGH
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
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
7) Off. C: "What's in the attache case? What's in the
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
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
15) Lynn Fredriksson went down to take notes when they were
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
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
Sgt. Spannuth: "I never said that."
20) Off. H: "Whose tennis shoes?"
I said: "They belong to Lynn. She's not wearing them at
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
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
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
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
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
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-
Robert A. Dorrough
P.O. Box 27217
Washington, DC 20038
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