Massachusetts Wiretapping Case (for filming police) Headed for Trial

Fellow CopBlock.org contributor, Pete Eyre, and I were assaulted (or arrested depending who you ask) by Todd M. Dodge (and some of his co-workers) last July for filming him and other public officials (county sheriffs) inside a public building (the Franklin Co Jail lobby). The ‘state of Massachusetts’ claims we broke their law (which I’ve never agreed to) because we wouldn’t stop filming and/or due to part of a telephone call being published online (when we were in jail!) – remember all actions were done in plain sight and with everyone’s knowledge. Since then we’ve returned to Greenfield, MA three times (counting this visit) for court proceedings because if we don’t the same men who assaulted us will come to our home (with guns) and take us to their court against our will. (For a complete overview click this meta post, which will bring you up to speed.)

Today’s hearing was slightly more productive, from the states eyes, than previous ones, mostly because the judge kept moving along despite our objections or questions. It started with me, who was called up first, because I had a lawyer who claimed to be representing me (he stopped returning my phone calls months ago and I decided to represent myself) so after he was removed from my case Pete was called to join me. We were asked several questions about understanding the procedures of the court, the charges against us and discussed the motions filed before the court. Here’s how it broke down.

The first thing the judge did was appoint us ‘stand by counsel.’ When Pete and I objected the judge noted it and appointed us counsel anyways. The judge said that counsel would be critical to our defense because procedure plays such an important roll in trial settings. I wanted to ask him, “are you saying that determining if someone committed a wrong against another won’t be the issue at my trial but whether or not I follow your rules is? How is that justice?” Also, in previous court appearances the ‘court’ asked us to pay $150 for state representation, which we refused, and now they ordered counsel to ‘stand by’ us – at no cost? I guess if you live in MA and can’t afford a lawyer you should do what we did, refuse to take one and the state will appoint one for you anyways, silly isn’t it. I wish those being forced to pay for it had a say in it; I’m sure the taxpayers of Greenfield wouldn’t approve of attorneys being paid for nothing.

After that, the motion to join our cases into one trial, even though there was also a motion to dimiss which – to me – would make more sense to hear first, was presented by the state. Both of us objected to the joining motion – due to our different charges, different defense tactics (possibly) and could have argued, if we believed in such document, that the constitution allows us to have separate trials – and the judge  noted our objections then ruled – allowed. I even mentioned how the DA stated that this would be cost effective for the state yet the state doesn’t seem to worry about my expenses or time. Why should we be denied the right to our own trials so the state can save a few bucks (money the government forcibly taxes from people anyways). The judge again noted my objection for the record but still favored the state in his decision.

We then moved on to the motion to dismiss filed by Pete and myself (Pete did the leg work on this). The judge listened to our statements about there being no victim, no body of crime and that without such our alleged charges have no merit. We touched base on a few of the fallacies provided in the states documents (which were just given to us that day) and the judge heard the state’s response. I guess it was a good sign when the judge said he’d take it into consideration and rule within 30 days. It was probably the only thing the judge did that was even close to favorable for us.

Once that issue was over the judge asked me about a motion I filed two court appearances ago to have our property returned to us, video cameras and cell phones. I stated how the state has kept my property, that is my livelihood, for several months and I’d like it returned. The state objected saying they need the cameras and cell phones for evidence, I responded with they’ve had almost 9 months to obtain a search warrant to copy said footage. The back and forth on the issue continued until, like usual, the judge sided with the state. The judges ruling on the motion was that all property that wasn’t ‘evidence’ can be returned and that the state has an undetermined amount of time to provide me with copies of the footage and/or my actual property – which is code for never. I went on to add that I shouldn’t be punished because the state is inefficient and lazy with retaining my footage for evidence, though the judge seemed to agree with this statement he didn’t change his ruling.

We were then told the date (July 18th) we could return for our two day trial. Which, even though we’ve harmed no one the people who are demanding our presence have harmed many and continue to do so on a daily basis – until we stop them. So instead of having men with guns follow us around, we’ll be in their court, playing by their rules, which will most likely end in us doing time – at taxpayer expense of course. Why? Because we don’t know their rules, we don’t work with these people everyday (like the judge and DA do) and because we know we didn’t do anything to violate anyones rights. I can’t wait til the footage comes out, if it’s not deleted, not only were the ones who accuse us of these alleged crime doing the same thing but they couldn’t even explain the law (if there is such) to us while it was happening. The whole thing is a joke.

We’d like to thank those who came to court with us, again, to show support – we really appreciate it. If only the system was as interested as you to find and support what’s right, then we wouldn’t be in this mess.

EPN

Ademo Freeman

was born and raised in Wisconsin, traveled the country in a RV dubbed “MARV” and is an advocate of a voluntary society, where force is replaced with voluntary interactions. He’s partaken in projects such as, Motorhome Diaries, Liberty on Tour, Free Keene, Free Talk Live and is the Founder of CopBlock.org.
____________________________________________________________________________

If you enjoy my work at CopBlock.org, please, consider donating $1/month to the CopBlock Network or purchasing CopBlock.org Gear from the store.
____________________________________________________________________________

Find Ademo at these social networks:
Facebook
Twitter
Youtube

  • Ademo, nuts if that’s what is going on in the states. The cops here in the UK tried to pull stunts like that on people filming them, using anti terrorist laws. They also tried to bring in a law that forbade filming police.

    Well it didn’t work as there was a massive public outcry over it. I hope you get the support from the US public, it seems they may be trying to shut you down because of being a tall poppy.

    check out when I filmed the police.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx0rFqidrAI

  • Greg M

    Hi Guys,

    Litterally no offense at all. I respect your right to represent yourselves. But, you say that you will probably never see the footage? That would be basic discovery. Copies of all video tapes, transcripts, etc. Granted it will cost reproduction fees to get the discovery, but you will need it for your defense. I am not an attorney…but..these are basic things… Again no offense, I disagree with these charges as it is not wiretapping and the way the law reads you can tell that this wasn’t the state’s legislature’s intent for this law…

  • Jenn

    Fuck Massachusetts. Just leave and never go back. Assholes.

  • roobah

    If you don’t specifically ask, via a filed motion to the court and prosecutor, to give you a copy of all evidence they plan to use against you and give you at least 30 days to review it prior to your trial, inform the prosecutor and court that you plan to object to the evidence being used against you. Next, file a GRAMMA request with the city for all digital,video, and audio, to include phone calls to dispatch, police, jailers, and public area video for the period of time in question. Explain that you are directly involved in the request and it needs to be provided in an expedited manner for a legal case. Give the city a copy of the case number. Your request will not (should not) be denied, but you may get a response that there is no such evidence available. Save that reply and make sure the prosecutor does not use any evidence that reasonably could have been shared with you. Such GRAMMA evidence may actually help your case in ways you are not aware of. Find the rules of criminal procedure for the court you are in and learn them well! In any case, if you lose do not let them sentence you then and there. State that you plan to file an appeal and do it. Then get a copy of the court proceedings. You may discover serious errors after the fact that will benefit your appeal. Essentially, if there is any chance you are legally innocent and you have the desire to push the point, you can bury them in paperwork easier than they can do the same to you. You just have to stay on top of it with short deadlineses. The courts, especially in Pro Se cases are usually more lenient to your errors in filing. Good luck!

  • Pingback: The “State of MA” aka Todd M Dodge vs. Ademo & Pete Eyre | Cop Block()

  • Guy Fawkes

    I wish Ademo and Pete all the best, but I have to admit it’s hard not to be cynical, the justice system being what it is. If the judge decides he doesn’t like Ademo and Pete, even though he is SUPPOSED to remain neutral or recuse himself that is not what will happen. Instead it will go like this: All of Ademo and Petes motions: “denied, denied, denied, denied”. All the states motions “approved, approved, approved, approved”. Ademo and Petes objections: “overruled, overruled overruled, overruled”. The states objections: “sustained, sustained, sustained, sustained”. If it goes like I think it will Ademo and Pete might as well show up in a kangaroo costume and a train engineer uniform.

  • As Greg advised, exercise your right of discovery. You could and should ask the court clerk to issue or you write (or have someone write for you) a Subpoena Duces Tecum to Sgt. Dodge or serve Request For Production Of Things (your camcorder footage, for one) and Defendant’s First Set Of Interrogatories to the D.A. to more formally attempt to get your burning questions answered as part of the discovery phase and process. There are several more forms of discovery, including Deposition, Request For Admissions and Request For Production Of Documents (or To Inspect Documents or Property). You serve any or all these on the D.A./prosecutor. You don’t necessarily file them with the court clerk. Definitely not Interrogatories. The books I sent Adam explain all of this more.

  • We at the government are allowed to monitor you overtly or covertly all we want. It is you who cannot even “wiretap” us; that is what the laws we made say.

    Crimes we commit against you are rarely prosecuted, and most would be crimes are not even considered crimes due to the difference in status between us at the government and our source of money (you). Crimes you commit against those in higher castes are prosecuted most aggressively. In fact, your suspicious act does not even have to be a crime for us to remind you of your place.

    http://youareproperty.blogspot.com/2010/09/we-put-you-right-back-into-caste-system.html

  • Pingback: Greenfield Chief Responds to My Fax – Ten Weeks Later | Cop Block()

  • Pingback: Greenfield, MA Documents | Cop Block()

  • Pingback: Franklin Co. Jail Surveillance Footage | Cop Block()

  • Pingback: Franklin Co. Jail Surveillance Footage | GrassrootsHeadlines.com()

  • Ray Brown

    Given that Massachusetts state law prohibits secret recording only as evidenced by State