Paul Leason of MN Cop Block Films Stop & is Assaulted/Kidnapped/Caged/Threatened

The post below was authored by Carlos Miller of photographyisnotacrime.com on November 15th, 2012.

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by Carlos Miller

When Paul Leason spotted a group of Minneapolis police officers making an arrest, he pulled out his camera and began taking photos from a public sidewalk.

One of the officers spotted him and ordered him to keep walking.

Leason, 23, a member of Cop Block, knew his rights and asserted them, which as we all know, is the quickest way to land in jail.

One officer told him to “get the fuck out of here.”

Leason responded by saying “fuck the police.”

Next thing he knew, he was surrounded by three cops who kept calling him “faggot.”

This is how he explained it in an email to Photography is Not a Crime:

I felt as if they were trying to make me fight them. I remained calm but did voice my opinion that what they were doing was wrong. I tried to record the conversation when one of them smacked the phone out of my hand. I was then put into a headlock, handcuffed and arrested. My friend tried to calm the officers down but one of them shoved him into the ditch.

The incident took place on October 13th as Leason participated in an event called Zombie Pub Crawl, which means there were a multitude of other people standing or strolling on the same sidewalk witnessing the initial arrest.

But Leason was the only one who decided to take pictures.

Leason was charged with disorderly conduct, spending six hours in jail.

During the initial hearing, an officer testified that they feared Leason was going to hit them; that old “fearing for their life” routine that makes them come across as terrified pansies.

The court offered him a plea deal where the disorderly conduct charge would remain on his record in exchange for $350, which he didn’t accept.

Now the case is pending with no definite trial date set.

They also kept his wallet and other important items.

They took my wallet and I never saw it again. It was a weekend wallet with my ID, American Express, debit card, permit to carry card and $10.53 cash. Cash and ID were returned to me when I was released but never anything else. I have the number to call but gave up after sitting on hold for an hour. I had extras of the permit to carry and my ID already because I figured if something like this happened I would want spares. They came in handy. I had a friend along who witnessed the whole event. He tried to get the officers to calm down and was pushed into the grass. They also ID’ed him

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NEW INFORMATION NOT INCLUDED IN ABOVE POST

The men who taunted Leason, then assaulted, kidnapped, and caged him, then stole his property, were:

  • Toddrick Kurth
  • Twila Villella
  • Charles Adams III
  • Michael Frye

They work out of the First Precinct of Minneapolis Police Department. Feel free to give them a shout if you have some thoughts to share.

First Precinct, Minneapolis Police Department
http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/precincts/police_about_1st-precinct
19 North 4th Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 673-5701

Thanks in advance! The more we support each other in such situations, the less frequently they’ll happen.

And if you’re in Minnesota or support their work, be sure to connect with Minnesota Cop Block

-Pete

 

UPDATE 2012.11.29

The threats levied against Leason are no more due to “insufficient evidence”. Undoubtedly this conclusion was reached due to Leason’s proactive nature to share with others what happened and also the influx of support that he rightly received.

That’s what Cop Block is about – transparency and good folks looking out for good folks.


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Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.