Pelham, NH CopBlock (VIDEO)
Michael Wright was attempting to walk home on October 1oth, 2013 when Bismark Montano, a police officer in Pelham, NH, stops him because he’s about to walk through Pelham’s Veterans Memorial Park. Yes, you read that correctly, Montano wanted to make sure Wright was a Pelham resident because it’s illegal to use the park if you are not. As you watch this video remember, this is what a police state looks like.
I reached out to Wright, who had this to say, about the incident:
They were regularly enforcing the policy of only Pelham residents can use the park. This bothers me because, one, public is public so anyone can use it. Number two, there are ZERO rules or regulations regarding the use of any of the public parks. None for hours of use and non restricting use to residents only (which would be unconstitutional and easily challenged in a court room). The chief had to research all the way back to the 1960’s to the beginning of the town’s park committee existence. Also, the last I noticed they still have the sign posted that says the park is for Pelham residents only.Another note is that they tried to say the park was closed even though at the beginning of the video Montano drives by a large open metal gate with two stops signs attached. That does not say closed to me. They just make stuff up as they go along. Even if I was trespassing, if you read the law, the officer must allow the person the opportunity to leave after being warned. Throughout most of the video you can either see me trying to leave the property or hear me saying that I want to leave. This dingbat Montano wrote me up on that bogus trespassing ticket at the station. He had plenty of time to read the law he was quoting. It was the first thing I did when I got home!
Wright took this battle to court and within six month not only got his charges dropped by won a settlement against the city too. Included in that settlement was a clause that would require all Pelham, NH officers to receive training on ‘terry stops.’ It’s refreshing to see a person such as Wright hold these cops accountable. Sure the officer wasn’t being overly aggressive or harmful to Wright but he still had no reason to stop him, the park was obviously open for foot travel and he had every right to be where he was a the time. This was most certainly a lesson for Pelham and the police officers.Learn more about filming the police, knowing your rights and more at CopBlock.org’s resources page.