July 1, 2014
Victory in Montgomery!

More than three years after that crime-ridden city’s police brutality against a citizen who was within his God-given, constitutionally protected rights, the guilty culprits get slapped on their wrists.

By Olaf Childress
editor@firstfreedom.net

Reporter Alvin Benn, the Montgomery Advertiser’s ace sleuth, failed to show up when this rebel newspaper editor’s case against police brutality got underway in that Capitol city at Federal District Court this June 16 and ended three days later with a brilliant victory for The First Freedom. Where were you, flaming fellow journalist Al?

The Advertiser was all over the place on Saturday, February 19, 2011, at that parade up Dexter Avenue to the Alabama capitol’s steps where my good friend and longtime TFF subscriber Tyrone Crowley, dressed up as Jefferson Davis, delivered the words of our CSA President’s inaugural address before a crowd of 1,000. And reporter Benn was there to deliver his newspaper’s usual tut-tutting of all those “misguided” individuals still stuck in bygone days, not yet arrived in the twenty-first century. Hey, Al, where were you on June 16, 2014?

The trial lasted three full days. Heidi and I drove up the prior Sunday, sightseeing in nearby Old Prattville, eventually meeting attorneys Mary Oliver and L. A. Cobb at the courthouse.

150th Anniversary

On that Saturday morning, February 19, 2011, the Jefferson Davis inaugural parade reenactment – as sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans – formed up before the fountain circle where Dexter Avenue begins. The Capitol of Alabama is visible atop Goat Hill from there. This parade and the street would terminate at the other end. My daughter Irene, Jeb Lessley and I were handing out copies of our special February 2011 TFF edition which recounted what had transpired at this location exactly 150 years earlier, urging readers to be there that day.

But Mr. Benn was working the street’s opposite side, advising Advertiser readers that the whole affair meant next to nothing. Today’s Marxists cannot build their New World a-coming until what once caused the South’s secession and the CSA’s formation is down the memory hole; so, not bothering to even consider that we were supporting this inaugural reenactment parade, because apparently he feared Benn might “link” his organization (it’s an old trick) to such an unapproved paper as The First Freedom, the SCV officer in charge asked a couple of off-duty policemen to stop our handing out literature. They did, and quite forcefully. Because I refused to meekly obey that pair of Montgomery cops’ order to leave, they grabbed both my arms, dragged me around the corner and, assisted by four additional MPD goons and two SWATskis, shoved my face against a plate-glass wall while twisting my arms up behind me, buckling on leg irons and handcuffs, then hauling this ageing journalist off to spend the entire day with no food or water, nor toilet or place to sit, stripped to his underwear in a cold, wet cell.

“Disorderly conduct” was the fabricated charge. I missed the parade and Tyrone’s delivery of Jefferson Davis’ acceptance speech in our Cradle of the Confederacy while sitting in jail a few blocks away.

The subsequent month’s March 2011 TFF edition implored readers not to get all hot and bothered with certain SCV officers who act thus because they fear adverse publicity. Let’s direct our battle against the ones creating so much apprehension about any alternate discussion even as they harp on “diversity” while “teaching tolerance.”

Fined $500 at Montgomery Municipal Court following “offended” SCV officer Strane’s complaint about the content of this newspaper, even while not denying my right to free speech, the two arresting cops had testified that my mere presence there created a disturbance. Because I had not acted disorderly in any way, I appealed to the next higher venue.

That the mediacracy had succeeded in intimidating a significant event’s organizer into publicly dissociating the SCV from any connection with TFF was no problem, and I continually reminded readers as to who the Sons of Confederate Veterans were: a proud and longstanding organization still dedicated to preserving our South’s true history, as opposed to Mr. Benn’s and the larger mediacracy’s confused orientation. When those cops shoved my face against that glass and shackled my arms and legs, I had asked MPD Corporal Chavez, “Aren’t you sworn to uphold the Constitution?” “Yes!” he shouted in reply, but turned away to help control a gathering crowd of protesters before answering my next question: “Have you read it?”

Montgomery’s Circuit Court, realizing the delicacy of this argument, assigned the very able and competent Attorney Mary Oliver, originally from New York but now relocated here, to assist my Attorney L. A. Cobb who resides at some distance in north Alabama. Since the SCV officer had not criminally moved against my free speech rights by asking me to leave, I only wished to charge those arresting officers, the ones who roughed up and jailed me even though they had not seen (until they created it) any disturbance. The police alone were guilty of that day’s atrocities.

The trial begins

On June 16, 2011, at table left sits City Attorney Ms. Reed alongside defendants (now-retired MPD Sgt.) Chavez and fully- uniformed MPD Lt. Walker. Chavez had been a Corporal in 2011 when brutalizing me, but now is demurely attired in civilian attire. I take a seat at the plaintiff’s table right, between Attorneys Oliver and Cobb, and inform Ms. Oliver as to what Mr. Cobb and I have agreed upon – that we should try for a jury of younger men and avoid senior women who are sometimes wont to prefer “order” at whatever cost. As we’ve heard the defendants might call Morris Dees of the SPLC to testify against TFF’s content, I also suggest we be prepared to counter with the fact that the FBI has recently dropped both the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League from their sources of trusted information, also that the SPLC’s informant Bill Cox, until exposed in these pages, had passed himself off as one of us, even organizing his own sub-groups like the Alabama Confederate Cavalry, a motorcycle club.

The jury pool consists of some 22 men and women arriving and taking assigned seats in the gallery. We all stand as Federal Judge Fuller enters. The prospective jurors get up and individually state their names, answering a few brief questions under oath to confirm their citizenship, residence and right to serve as non-felons, etc. The judge then requests our plaintiff’s team to rise, followed by the defendants doing likewise, before he goes into the details of this case, assuring that no juror has any connection with either of the contending parties. He then calls the lawyers and several members from the jury pool forward for additional questioning.

Following a short recess and another conference between judge and attorneys for both sides, the eight-member jury is seated: five men and three women. This has taken all morning.

LeeRoy A. Cobb can’t be
both lawyer and witness

At lunch in the basement cafeteria, we meet with our witness Lloyd Caperton. “Cape” had not only seen that 2011 police brutality along with Attorney L. A. Cobb and many others, but is also enthusiastic about testifying what he saw on February 19, 2011.

At 1:00 pm the jurors take their seats. Judge Fuller instructs them at great length regarding the implications of this hearing. Attorney Cobb then delivers our opening address to that jury, followed by Defense Attorney Reed announcing her arguments aimed at convincing the panel with another version of why such a newspaper as TFF had barged in on the SCV’s event with its racist propaganda and refused to depart when politely asked to do so.

Ms. Oliver calls her first witness. The court clerk asks if he swears to speak the truth and nothing but the truth. My right hand raised, I reply: “So help me God.”

The truth at last

“Mr. Childress, please tell the court in your own words what happened that day.”

I recite the entire nightmare, Attorney Reed objecting quite often. Images of the crime scene appear onto screens for all to see, showing the fountain area at the foot of Dexter Avenue where the Montgomery police illegally arrested me while standing on the sidewalk handing out papers only to willing recipients, many of whom I had known for some time. Not only “Cape” and Mr. Cobb but quite a few additional TFF subscribers had come there to observe or participate in that day’s SCV parade.

Trials preceding the trial

Ms. Oliver already knows the answers, as she was the main player at a couple of pre-trial conferences trying to settle things out of court, but I recount for those jurors and the record that, beside mental anguish, embarrassment and stress, altogether seven 350-mile round trips from Silverhill to Montgomery and Prattville each cost me a day away from my desk, loss of business, lodging and travel expenses, or about $400 average per trip. That entire day in 2011 during which I missed the parade along with Tyrone Crowley’s 150th anniversary inaugural address recital because standing naked in a cold, wet Montgomery city jail cell had been totally uncalled for, as my confiscated wallet contained at the time more than sufficient cash to go my bail. It had been a robocop’s standard operating procedure: harass, arrest and lock up civil disobedience; punish those noncompliant ones now, drop charges later; they’ll get the message and eventually act like good sheeple.

Next comes the cross-examination.

Ms. Reed: “Mr. Childress, had you ever been arrested before that day?”

“Yes.” And stood as the accused before two prior juries, but she wasn’t about to let me enlarge on my having resisted Baldwin County’s unconstitutionally-imposed rural area garbage pickup mandate which today operates using 17¢-per-hour Black inmate slave labor. Our 200-member protest group had demanded legitimate public hearings to stop that takeover from private haulers of what is now a lucrative, no-competition racket; nor did she care to have me explain my noncompliance at an unconstitutional Police State roadblock.

“And, among the expenses on your seven trips to Montgomery regarding this case: didn’t the city reimburse all of your filing fees?”

“I don’t recall.”

“Did you have a knife when arrested?”

Dangerous!

“Yes.” That’s the only answer this jury hears. It was a small pen knife for opening bundles of TFFs. But she’s not finished, and with the help of her clients will paint this elderly gentleman as a danger even if unarmed.

“When they asked you to leave and you refused, did you not resist arrest?”

“Only to the extent of trying to turn my head sidewise to see who was witnessing that arrest, but to no avail; they kept my face shoved against the plate-glass wall while buckling on their hardware.”

After a short break, Ms. Oliver calls on behalf of this plaintiff for patriot Lloyd Caperton to enter the witness box and tell what he saw that day.

“First of all,” says Mr. Caperton, “I saw several others that day passing out various literature and nobody bothered them, so it was just a case of somebody objecting to the contents of TFF. I saw a crowd forming on that side street by the Dexter Avenue fountain where the parade’s first ranks were gathered at around 10:30 am for the event which was to kick off at 11:00. I just at first saw they were roughing up an older gentleman, turned out to be Mr. Childress. I tried working my way closer and finally could see a number of police shoving him up against that plate glass window. He tried looking sidewise but they kept shoving his face the other way. I asked those cops what was going on. They said they had asked him to stop passing out unwanted papers and leave, but he refused so they arrested him – and if I didn’t get back they would arrest me, too. A couple of others said –”

“Objection!” interrupts City Attorney Ms. Reed. “Hearsay evidence.”

Federal Judge Fuller halts the testimony. “Cape” remains seated as a witness while the judge opens his rules book and calls all three lawyers forward for a conference. Eventually, the witness may continue.

“Others had been passing out leaflets, church and business type stuff. But, all of a sudden, they were shoving Mr. Childress around for doing the same thing. He tried to tell me what was happening, but they kept shoving his head against that glass.”

End of discussion

Ms. Reed will not cross-examine this honest witness. Judge Fuller instructs the jurors to close and give their notebooks to the sergeant-at-arms, dismissing them until 9:00 am Tuesday.

After a 30-minute recess, Judge Fuller summons the lawyers into a conference on certain points of law this case involves, mainly concerning every American’s First and Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights. He then adjourns court until next day.

“Cape” and other witnesses say much more than is recounted here immediately following that three-day trial. I’ve seen no transcript of it at present, and I’m sure you would find its taking up additional space boring, so this is just paraphrased from what I scribbled while sitting between those two capable lawyers.

Day two

Judge Fuller invites Montgomery City Defense Attorney Ms. Reed to have SCV officer Strane go into the witness box and answer a few questions. Mr. Strane states that he had only asked the police to send me away.

Upon cross-examination by plaintiff’s Attorney Cobb, Mr. Strane says he did not tell them to arrest me.

Mr. Cobb: “Do you believe that a parade permit trumps the First Amendment?”

As the witness answers evasively, an electronic image appears on screens visible throughout the courtroom, zeroing in on the parade permit’s pertinent clause.

Plaintiff’s Attorney Cobb: “Mr. Strane, do you recognize this as the parade permit issued to you, and would you please read for the court the clause we see here?”

After much hesitation and some coaxing from the judge, Mr. Strane reads the highlighted sentence as: “This parade permit does not give the organization permission to deny anyone’s First Amendment rights.” The witness has at last admitted what his permit says.

Morris Dees doesn’t show

I had invited friends to join me in front of the SPLC’s Poverty Palace around the corner from where this SCV event ended, this to again ask Mr. Dees what I had posed to him several years ago following one of his “Teaching Tolerance” lectures at the University of West Florida. Those who showed up for that expected confrontation wondered why no Olaf Childress. They didn’t know he was in jail. The question: “Mr. Dees, we always meet on or around January 11 in front of the Capitol steps to remember our true Confederate history and emphasize that it’s entirely about heritage. Why do you keep insisting on calling that remembrance hate?”

Ms. Reed next questions not Morris Dees but MPD Sgt. Chavez. In retirement since December 13, he had been in charge of traffic on that fatal date and it was he who signed the warrant for my arrest. He now asserts having received word that “Mr. Childress wanted to debate SPLC Director Morris immediately following the SCV events, so about four or five additional police were posted at the SPLC headquarters. Mr. Strane asked us to remove Mr. Childress from the area. Two SWAT troops helped us arrest him. Mr. Childress is quite strong; we had a difficult time getting him out of there.”

This 81-year-old editor winked at his Attorneys Oliver and Cobb, making as if to flex nonexistent muscles.

“What was he doing when you first saw him?”

“Those receiving his papers just threw them in the trash.”

“And did Mr. Childress try forcing his newspapers onto people?”

“Yes. We ordered him to leave.”

“How did the arrest go?”

“He resisted, asked us if we had read the Constitution. We arrested and charged him with disorderly conduct.”

Ms. Oliver cross-examines the retired MPD Sgt. Chavez: “You have stated that Mr. Childress was outside the barricades handing out papers when you arrested him?”

Confused?

“He was inside.”

“Lt. Walker was your supervisor?”

“Yes.”

“He put you in charge of traffic?”

“Yes.”

“You were there to direct traffic?”

“Yes, but a policeman must also protect the public at all times.”

“Lt. Walker has testified you were there only to direct traffic. Was he in error when making that statement under oath?”

Sgt. Chavez answers at first hesitantly, finally admits that Lt. Walker was “not in error.”

“How many barricades were there?”

“About twenty or thirty.”

“This receipt which we have a copy of shows that $100 was paid by the SCV for those barricades, $50 for placement of the first barricade and $5 for each additional one. Is that correct?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Had Mr. Strane complained about the contents of The First Freedom?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Sgt. Chavez, let me read you the rules for Disorderly Conduct. It exists when one
causes trouble with intent to create public inconvenience,
engages in fighting,
makes unreasonable noise,
uses obscene language,
disturbs the event,
obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic,
or congregates with others, refusing to comply with a lawful order to leave.

So what was the problem?”

Unwanted diversity

“I saw he was offering papers to people who didn’t want them.”

Ms. Oliver then asks: “In City Court, Mr. Strane said the problem was TFF’s content. You agreed with that?”

“I didn’t object to the paper’s contents.”

Judge Fuller stops the questioning at this point, orders the lawyers up front for quiet consultation. After a short break, he returns, saying, “I want to continue with Exhibit 9.”

Exhibit 9

Ms. Oliver: “So you transported Mr. Strane to the Municipal Clerk’s office where he could sign an arrest warrant, but that was disallowed. Therefore you signed the warrant?”

Sgt. Chavez, after further equivocation, finally: “Yes.”

“You testified at City Court that you had not observed Mr. Childress disturbing the assembly. Again, did you see him creating a disturbance?”

“No.”

“It was your duty, and not Mr. Strane’s, to determine whether Mr. Childress was disturbing?”

“Yes.”

Ms. Oliver shows the court photographs of the fountain assembly area minus any barricades, for whatever that’s worth, so we’ll just have to consider who’s talking with regards to where they stood on the day in question. Sgt. Chavez responds by claiming he had put those barricades far back up the side streets from the fountain, not on the sidewalk curbs where I saw and stood outside of them while distributing papers.

Pep talk

Judge Fuller calls a 15-minute break. The jury exits. Mr. Cobb, Ms. Oliver, Heidi and I retire to the plaintiff’s conference room and discuss how the proceedings are going thus far. With less optimism than the others at this gathering about whether we are convincing the jury, I remind them that no matter what the verdict is, we win by showing up, hanging in there and keeping good faith with our Alabama State Motto: Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere.

When court resumes, Ms. Reed takes up the questioning of Sgt. Chavez, followed by cross-examination.

Ms. Oliver: “You returned to the event after signing that warrant?”

“Yes, five minutes later.”

“You are aware that other media were there?”

“I don’t know.”

The Montgomery Advertiser covers such events, doesn’t it?”

“I don’t know.”

Ms. Oliver asks to confer with the judge on a point of law, so a short break follows. Upon resumption, she asks, “Who placed the barricades?”

Sgt. Chavez: “I don’t know. Usually the maintenance department does that. There were 20 or 30 barriers.”

Judge Fuller: “We’ll now take a one- hour lunch break.”

Heidi and I go to the cafeteria for a bite. Attorneys Cobb and Oliver remain in the courtroom with their documents and this video of the actual 2011 Jefferson Davis Inaugural Parade Reenactment. The trial resumes at 1:15 pm. Ms. Oliver shows the court and jury a three-minute segment of that SCV parade: hundreds of uniformed marchers bearing Confederate flags, many antebellum-costumed ladies and others, all of them marching past the fountain area, no barricades of any kind visible. Onlookers move in and out among those marchers taking pictures with no controls anywhere or indeed necessary. For these people are unreconstructed Southerners.

Ms. Oliver: “No barriers are visible. Were they there at that area?”

MPD Sgt. Chavez: “They were there.”

Judge Fuller tells the jury to “Take a longer break. I will meet with attorneys for thirty minutes. Jurors please return at 2:00 pm.”

Ms. Reed addresses the court. Judge Fuller asks for clarification: “Do you have a law that would dismiss Sgt. Chavez from this charge of unlawful arrest?” She presses on with her argument for dropping charges. The judge continues: “The jury will decide if a law was broken and whether by Sgt. Chavez, Lt. Walker or both of them. Lt. Walker did assist in the arrest?”

Ms. Oliver: “Yes.”

Judge Fuller: “I need to see testimony to that effect. I believe it has only been shown that Sgt. Chavez made the arrest.”

Ms. Oliver: “But the earlier City Court transcript shows that Lt. Walker assisted in the arrest.”

“I need to see that evidence.”

Ms. Oliver: “It’s on page 38.”

A fifteen-minute break follows.

Judge Fuller: “Ms. Oliver, I have seen the transcript.”

Ms. Oliver:

“The record shows that Lt. Walker understood The First Freedom as containing anti-Semitic literature. He was present, agreed with the arrest and was part of it.”

Judge Fuller: “I do at this time find that a reasonable jury could decide Lt. Walker was also part of that arrest. It will be up to the jury to decide if that arrest was illegal. Ms. Oliver, how will you argue this to the jury?”

Ms. Oliver: “Sgt. Chavez has testified that he was in charge of parade permits for fifteen years. He should have known it was an illegal arrest.”

Judge Fuller: “And how will you tell the jury they violated his Fourth Amendment rights?”

She elaborates at length on this point. After a break, my lawyers are back in the courtroom having received the just-printed 21-page instructions that both parties have agreed this jury may hear. It is thorough on all the issues.

Judge Fuller returns. “I hope you have seen the jury instructions. Now I wish to know what you (attorneys) want added or removed.” Addressing me directly, he asks what my appeal has cost, travel expenses, etc. I remind him that I’ve already testified before the jury that I have made seven trips to Montgomery seeking justice in this matter.

“But what about the money amount?”

“I said $400 per trip on average.”

“You can tell that to the jury.”

Closing arguments

He now goes through those 21 pages of jury instructions, getting the lawyers in agreement on which paragraphs to modify, add or delete, then calls them forward for a another conference. Ms. Oliver is first to address the jury upon its return, followed by Ms. Reed. The judge instructs the panel according to those texts having satisfied both parties. He then calls the attorneys forward to discuss what is to transpire the next day. Judge Fuller tells the jury to retire and elect a foreperson, then decide if they want to deliberate on into the night or will continue on Wednesday. The jury departs. Twenty minutes later the clerk announces they’ve elected to go home and reconvene on the morrow at 8:00 am.

Day three

We arrive in court at 8:00 am to find the jury is already there and now deliberating. Attorney Cobb, Heidi and I retire to the cafeteria until Attorney Oliver summons us back at 10:30. The jurors are still out and Judge Fuller is meeting with them as they have a question. Soon the judge and his attendants reappear.

Judge Fuller: “I have met with the jury. They have two questions, namely why are some parts of Exhibit 2 missing and, when referring to ‘intent,’ what is the understood meaning of that word?” He asks for the lawyers to come forward, finds that neither party has a better copy of Exhibit 2, then openly addresses both counsels: “Do you all agree that Mr. Childress is correct when arguing that the defendants ‘intentionally’ deprived him of his First Amendment rights, Ms. Oliver?”

“I’m looking at that on my computer,” she replies. Judge Fuller summons her and Ms. Reed forward for clarification. At this time Attorney Cobb slides a note to me: “This means the jury is looking to give you the 4th Amendment claim but may let them off on the 1st Amendment.” The other two lawyers return to their tables.

Judge Fuller: “What is ‘intent’?”

Ms. Oliver: “I like the word’s common understanding, without referring to Black’s Law Dictionary.”

Judge Fuller: “I will instruct the jury that ‘intent’ means an actor desires to cause the result which has followed. Their third question was, ‘Can we go to lunch now or is it back into session?’ Bring them in.”

The jury reenters and hears the judge’s latest instructions. As for lunch, that’s their decision. All rise; the jury leaves.

Back in court after lunch, we learn the jury is still out and has two more queries. Upon returning, their new questions evoke this answer: “If you are satisfied that the defendants denied Mr. Childress his 4th Amendment rights, you must consider compensatory damages and you may even consider punitive damages in whatever amount you choose, likewise regarding his 1st Amendment charges against Lt. Walker and Sgt. Chavez. In answer to your other question, ‘Is that figure final?’ you should not concern yourself with that after you leave this courtroom and case. Now go back to your deliberations.” The jurors leave. Court is in recess until their return at 2:05 pm.

Judge Fuller: “Jury, I understand you have reached a verdict. If you will deliver it to Ms. Robinson, we’ll listen as she reads your verdict.”

Clerk Ms. Robinson: “Mr. Childress has prevailed in proving that both defendants violated his 4th Amendment rights. The jury awards him as compensatory damages $0 and as punitive damages $0. Mr. Childress has prevailed in proving that the defendants violated his 1st Amendment rights. The jury awards him compensatory damages of $0 and as punitive damages $0.”

Victory of showing up

Judge Fuller summons all the attorneys forward and asks the jury to wait outside for a few minutes while this conference takes place. No problem here. I had told Ms. Oliver and Mr. Cobb beforehand that it’s about bringing the truth out, not getting money. The City of Montgomery – having failed to successfully defend its clients against my allegations of unlawful police brutality in denying me my constitutional rights – must pay their expenses and all court costs.

This being the third time I have stood before a jury of my “peers” prior to and within today’s “enlightened” new century, it’s somewhat of a “Strane” on this rebel newspaper’s editor – but a job that must not “offshore” to that internal dead sea called the mediacracy. Because of Morris Dees’ “Teaching Tolerance,” it’s little wonder when a panel having never heard of TFF, at its second-day deliberations, discusses what one or more of those jurors tell the others after ignoring the judge’s words and scratching where curiosity was itching. Googling “the first freedom” along with “silverhill” now returns 126,000 hits.

Understandable position

The Constitution obliges honest citizens serving on jury duty to apply the truth at all times, but cannot compel them to subsidize “racism” and “anti-Semitism” with awards of “honest” fiat, “Federal Reserve Notes.”

The protracted conflict is long. It won’t be “won” in your lifetime or mine, only fought. So let us always be girded up and bearing our standard high.

Judge Fuller: “Comments on the jury’s verdict?”

Ms. Oliver refers to the Circuit Court case number and points out that the jury did not follow its instructions in that it must, after finding we had prevailed in proving each of four charges, award me damages if only in the amount of $1 to be paid by those defendants. The jury returns, is thus again so instructed, departs and, following brief deliberations, comes back in and compensates my losses with four “Federal Reserve Notes.”

Mary Oliver, a highly capable attorney and Black refugee from New York, was put onto my case by the Circuit Court. But the jury didn’t know that, of course; they may have assumed Mr. Cobb and I had bribed her to sit with us and make a supposedly cynical “racist” appear more humanlike.

Today’s problem is not in the difficulty of convening a jury of our peers, but why so many Zionistas up to no good with their “teaching tolerance” 24-7 get such access, herding the public into compromised and unthinking obedience, thus “bringing in the sheep” to the mediacracy’s drumbeat.

Beyond those barricades

We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children. So let’s begin by sanitizing the media, making the public more aware of such unAmerican agencies as the ADL and SPLC by outing subversive informants like Abe Foxman, Bill Cox and Morris Dees. We can do it!

Let’s demand justice if it takes three years or a lifetime
By Olaf Childress

editor@firstfreedom.net

 

Do we deserve this burgeoning Police State? If not, it wouldn’t be here. So let’s mobilize White civil disobedience and put the mediacracy on notice that its days of covering up for high treason while calling those who expose that perfidy anti-Semites are over. The public is catching on.

In their faces

Media munchkins, elite “sources” such as the SPLC Poverty Palace and even cops getting their cues at third hand from those sellouts don’t particularly like it when an “alternate” newspaper prints and hands out opposing viewpoints right there on their doorstep. Let nobody kid you; that’s what The First Freedom’s now three years and holding case is all about.

May 22, 2014, Attorney Mary Oliver: “Conference went well. We are set for trial the week of June 16. We will pick a jury on the 16th and we have two days for trial…”

May 23, 2014: Attorney L. A. Cobb: “Yours is one of three cases that the Court will try over the two week trial session. We will strike your jury after the other two cases strike their jury and all three juries will be struck on the 16th of June. The Judge set aside two days for your trial and he said he would give us the exact dates after he had a chance to study how he wants to schedule the three trials. The Judge has a list of questions that he will be asking each juror and these questions can be seen on the Court website. We have the right to submit further questions to him to be included in what he will be asking from the jurors.

“The Judge let Ms. Reed [Montgomery City Attorney] know that your case would be tried during this court session. Ms. Reed started to complain about other State cases she had for trial during the federal trial period and the Judge cut her off and in no uncertain terms informed her that your case would be tried and that he would call the State judges to so inform them of this fact if need be.

“Also, the Judge let us know that your 1st and 4th Amendments claims were all we had left out of your original complaint. No false imprisonment, etc. I then asked him if we could go into your treatment at the jail and he said sure but all of that would be included in your constitutional claims.

“Other than the above, the Judge said we need to make sure that we get training on the Court’s electronic equipment before trial.”

Give law a chance

TFF: “I’m glad to learn that the court will not object, as was the case with Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan’s court appearance, to our invoking the Constitution, leaving us at least that much argument against today’s full-blown Police State. I do not hate those two constitutionally ignorant officers who arrested and roughed me up before so many witnesses any more than I hate their mentors in the media-ZOG complex, which is to say not at all; I just want citizens and public servants alike, on behalf of yours, Ms. Oliver’s and mine, to start remembering we’ve got a law in this land.”

Natural selection

Why try to square the circle? Thinking he’s revising those tablets shown above, a typical media munchkin would use subtle coercion for teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony his version of universal “equality.” We who know a good example works better than drinking that Kool-Aid can’t help one who’s apparently beyond recognizing the wonders, nay, miracles, all around us no thanks to petty apparatchiks.

Self-government does mean “teaching tolerance,” but not for what Mo Dees is promoting just a few blocks from where this trial belatedly convenes. Let us remain intolerant of Marxist-staffed universities letting a Southern Puberty Lechery Center bring its ideas into their halls yet denying all opposing viewpoints that same access to receptive young minds. Nor should the Montgomery Advertiser, only slightly less wealthy than the SPLC, be intimidating the Sons of Confederate Veterans into fearing “linkage” to The First Freedom so that even this city’s policemen think political correctness trumps one’s right to offer an alternate newspaper on a public sidewalk.

Let us avoid jail and promote the faith; losers are those who choose defeat. Our victory is not some final milestone but the daily act of showing up wherever called out. I’ve argued before juries twice, both times pro se, in other words with a fool as this defendant’s lawyer.

Civil disobedience was my first crime, being the last holdout in what had started as a 200-member group demanding public hearings to which our county commission would respond, not just go ahead with its plans to put private haulers out of business by using inmate slave labor on rural area mandatory garbage pickup runs.

My second crime? Civil disobedience at an unconstitutional Police State roadblock. Arrested, jailed, summoned to Silverhill Municipal Court, convicted and fleeced, I had the temerity to appeal thinking a jury would find the 4th Amendment still holds. Yet, since all twelve of those “peers” had already submitted at similar stops without warrant or cause, such a pro se argument plus one dollar bought me a cup of coffee ten days later when released.

Over the objections of my two volunteer lawyers, who wanted to settle for peanuts and let those police defendants get on with business as usual rather than face a jury, I insist they pay the Foundation To Defend The First Amendment $50,000 and refresh their memories of the U. S. Constitution by attending a few “sensitivity” classes. If it’s another jury of mostly active or retired government employees, however, all bets are off.

Staying power

That we win some and lose more is the appearance. However this plays out, it’s as Holo denier Günter Deckert says: “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!”


  ----- Original Message -----
From: "LeRoy Cobb" <alcobb@cableone.net>
To: <editor@firstfreedom.net>
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 8:47 PM
Subject: Court Schedule

Mr. Childress,

Your case has been set for trial during the term of court that commences on June 16, 2014, in Montgomery, Alabama. A pretrial conference has been scheduled for May 15, 2014, in the chambers of Judge Mark E. Fuller. Call me tomorrow if you would like to discuss this matter.

L.A. Cobb

Attorney Cobb

The court has summoned me away from my desk half a dozen times already, in each instance consuming one full day. How many more conferences transparently designed to wear down my demands for punishment of that police brutality inflicted against me over three years ago in Montgomery, Alabama? When do we go to trial?

Olaf Childress

May 12, 2014    

Mr. Childress,

     I received an email from Ms. Oliver this morning in which she said
you do not need to come to Montgomery Thursday for the pretrial
conference. I understand that the pretrial conference will be held in
the Judge's private chambers where the judge will try and ascertain from
the lawyers the expected time length of the trial. Other than that, I am
not sure if the judge has any other purpose for holding the meeting.
     Ms. Oliver and I will be meeting after the pretrial conference to
plan how we are to conduct our part of your trial. I hope to be able to
stop by Cape's on the way home to discuss his expected testimony with
him. I will mail you a copy of the depositions that you and Lt. Walker
gave last year. It is plain from the statements of Lt. Walker on pages
38-39 that the strategy of the City will be that these officers were
trying to protect the rights of those assembled, "right of free speech
and free press and free assembly as well." And that you were
"encroaching on their rights to have a peaceful assembly" by "handing
out both racially derogatory, inflammatory and insightful and causing
offense to the people there assembled. The organizers did not want to be
affiliated with Mr. Childress or his propaganda, and they simply ask us
to request that he move just down the sidewalk and out of their assembly
area."
      There is what I believe will their defense in a nut shell. That
they were trying to protect 1st Amendment rights, not violate them. And
to try and paint you as a wild-eyed racist radical whose intent for
being there was "to cause a disturbance or anything -- or create an
inflammatory situation."
     In short, the City's attorney will try to turn you into the bad guy
and have the officers as the good guys wearing the white hats.
     If you want to come to Montgomery Thursday, you definitely can join
Ms. Oliver and I as we discuss the strategy for your trial. She said she
has other legal matters scheduled from noon onward so that will be the
limit to the time we have available for the session.

 L A Cobb

2014 and counting

March 2014 – The following arrived immediately after last month’s lament that “…as I’ve heard NOTHING from either of ‘my’ attorneys for months, I now disclose…”
Good Morning,
    It is my pleasure to inform you that the 11th Circuit has ruled in our favor and upheld Judge Fuller’s denial of the City’s Motion for Summary Judgment.
    Let’s get ready for trial. I will file the motion asking the court to set this case as soon as the calendar permits. I’ll update you all as soon as I know.
            Thank you,
            Mary Oliver

February 2014 – If the City of Montgomery won’t indemnify its police for the full sum this court may award, and as their counsel says that bankrupts those officers, many on the city’s street patrols will feel a little less secure when it comes to harassing people without good reason. Because I’ve refused to budge an inch, I may not get anything, compromise being the name of the game these days. As I’ve demanded that $50,000 go not to myself, but the Foundation To Defend The First Amendment, should a jury accept this argument and decide to help us teach police departments across the land to study this Constitution they swear to uphold (it’s just a short read) – and all of the online alternate media will spread that news – republican government may even survive. Meanwhile, as I’ve heard nothing from either of “my” attorneys for months, I now disclose that, at that “final” mediation session, they joined the judge in urging me to settle for peanuts, i.e., their expenses.

June 3 trial date cancelled

See earlier reports below this May 30, 2013, update
Case No.: 2:12-cv-117-MEF
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
NORTHERN DIVISION
OLAF CHILDRESS, Plaintiff, v. L.P. WALKER,
et al., Defendants.
ORDER

In consideration of Defendants L.P. Walker and O.V. Chavez’s Notice of Interlocutory Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Doc. #37) from this Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order dated April 30, 2013, denying summary judgment to these defendants on qualified immunity, it is hereby ORDERED that this case is STAYED pending appeal, and the trial of this case is CONTINUED GENERALLY until further order of this Court.

                                        DONE this the 29th day of May, 2013.

                                        /s/ Mark E. Fuller

                                        UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 

See earlier reports below this May 28, 2013, update

 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

…In sum, viewing the facts in a light most favorable to Childress, Walker and Chavez did not have probable cause to arrest or detain Childress for disorderly conduct without a warrant on February 19, 2011. Because Childress has established a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, based on his version of the facts, the Court will now move to the second step of the qualified immunity analysis: whether the right to be free from a warrantless arrest and detention without probable cause is “clearly established.” The Court holds that it is. Indeed, it is clearly established that seizing and detaining an individual without reasonable suspicion or probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment. See Dupree v. City of Phenix City, Ala., No. 3:10-cv-970-WKW, 2012 WL 4378585, at *7 (M.D. Ala. July 2, 2012); see also Von Stein v. Brescher, 904 F.2d 572, 579 (11th Cir. 1990). Given this clarity in the law and “the firmly entrenched nature of the right” to be free from a warrantless arrest and detention absent probable cause, the Court finds that, under Childress’s version of the facts, it would be clear to a reasonable officer that Walker and Chavez’s arrest of Childress was unlawful. Therefore, Walker and Chavez are not entitled to qualified immunity.

In light of this conclusion, as well as the numerous factual disputes in this case, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Childress’s Fourth Amendment claims is DENIED. Having made this determination, Walker and Chavez are likewise not entitled to summary judgment on Childress’s First Amendment claim. See Willis, 307 F. Supp. 2d at 1243. The Court finds that issues of fact exist as to Childress’s allegation of a violation of his First Amendment rights, and Walker and Chavez have failed to produce evidence that Childress’s First Amendment rights were not violated.14 Accordingly, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Childress’s First Amendment claim is DENIED…

Efforts at mediation

May 3, 2013, editor@firstfreedom.net to his attorneys in re Federal Judge Mark Fuller’s findings of 30 April 2013:

I have this date read the transcript and respond as follows.

The 35-page Memorandum Opinion and Order contains a lot of circumlocution regarding prior court decisions with which I am unfamiliar. So be it; I’m no attorney.

Pages 21 and 22 assert the validity of my charges, but the summary judgment goes on to find that Childress suffered “no emotional distress.” What would Judge Fuller call it if he were assaulted by a whole team of MPD and SWAT agents who twisted his arms painfully up behind his back and brutally forced his face against a brick wall, all of this while he was offering no resistance, then shackled his feet and wrists before spiriting him off to spend the day stripped to his underwear in a cold, wet cell without food, water or toilet? A whole crowd witnessed the start of this (see TFF March 2011) and TFF can appeal in its June 2013 issue for other readers in addition to Caperton and Cobb having seen the same to come forward before the suit goes to trial.                – Olaf Childress

 

Mr. Childress,

I have read the Judge’s Opinion and Order but have not had the time to study in depth his decision. I thought from the first that you had a good case against the two arresting officers but knew it would be difficult to loop the city into the lawsuit. At least the Judge did not rule that the parade permit trumped the First Amendment. That ruling would have meant the end of your case unless we could have gotten the 11th Circuit to overturn the Judge’s Opinion. And I know from experience that the 11th Circuit is a tough nut to crack.

The two arresting officers should be covered under the City’s insurance. If so, there will be money there for a settlement or a judgment. The jury will still be able to hear testimony about the emotional and physical pain that you endured as the result of your wrongful arrest. I think that the Judge’s ruling that you suffered “no emotional distress” just means that you can not ask the jury to award you damages for emotional distress, separate and apart from damages for the wrongful arrest.

Ms. Reed, City attorney, has put me on her witness list as a means to knock me out of being one of your lawyers at trial. The Judge at our conference told us to try and work something out on this matter. Thus far, Ms. Reed has not been easy to work with so we shall see how this shakes out before trial. The ball now is in the City’s hands. The City may appeal the Judge’s decision, decide to offer a settlement, or decide to take their chances on a trial. Either way we must start the preparation for trial.   – L. A. Cobb

 

From: Oliver Group

To: Al Cobb

Cc: editor@firstfreedom.net

Gentlemen,

Below you will find the counter-offer from the City… Let me know your thoughts.                – Mary Oliver

 

From: sreed@montgomeryal.gov

To: Oliver Group

Sent: Mon, May 6, 2013 3:36:36 PM

RE: Demand Letter and Stipulations

Mary — Based on the Court’s ruling and your client’s lack of damages, I’ve been authorized to offer $2500.00 to settle this case. At this point, only the officers remain in their individual capacities. At this point, for the purpose of negotiating settlement, the City is still willing to indemnify them, but I cannot say that will be the case if this matter goes to trial. If we are not able to settle the case, I’ve been instructed to appeal the court’s summary judgment ruling to the Circuit which will preclude this matter from proceeding to trial. So please let me know your thoughts at your earliest convenience.

                Stacy Lott Reed

                Senior Staff Attorney

                City of Montgomery

 

Ms. Oliver,

I have not heard from Mr. Childress, but as for me, I’d rather get nothing after the fight than to surrender for $2,500.00. This is not a counter-offer, but a joke, or more likely an insult. Going to the 11th Circuit doesn’t scare me. I am already over there as the lawyer for the Appellant/Debtor in Brown v. Gore. I wouldn’t mind being the Appellee for once. The 11th Circuit tends to treat the Appellees much better than the Appellants.            – L. A. Cobb

 

Ms. Oliver and Mr. Cobb,

I know they’re stalling every way possible because they don’t have a defense, but let’s refuse that paltry settlement offer and let it go to trial. The Montgomery Police Department needs to rethink false arrest and unnecessary physical force against an elderly man. That doesn’t get it. There are some things we private citizens won’t put up with.                          – Olaf Childress

 

Friday, May 10, 2013 1:28 PM

Mr. Childress,

I agree completely.

Judge Fuller scheduled a conference call today with all counsel. He has instructed us to schedule mediation of this matter with Judge Walker. He also stated that we should expect to proceed to trial on June 3, 2013, if mediation is unsuccessful. We will contact Judge Walker’s office next week for a date and time. I will update you on our progress.   – Mary Oliver

 

May 10, 2013 5:00:21 PM

Ms. Oliver and Mr. Cobb,

If at all possible, please try to have the trial date set for anytime AFTER the first week of June. I’m expecting several guests during that entire week. Your help in this regard would be very much appreciated.                – Olaf Childress

 

Monday, May 13, 2013 10:10 AM

Mr. Childress,

I am sorry but we are not going to get this matter re-set for trial without a show of good cause. Perhaps we will not even have to worry about this if we settle. We are going to schedule a mediation session with Judge Walker today. I will update you as to time and place for the conference, in case you have to come.            –Mary Oliver

 

Mediation failed

By Olaf Childress

Attorneys Cobb and Oliver wishing me not to publish details of our final mediation conference refereed by Judge Walker May 20 at Montgomery Federal Court – except to say the City did not meet our demands – we’ll argue this case before a jury in that same building on June 3, 2013.

So I can only give you readers my own thoughts, viz: If the City of Montgomery won’t indemnify its police for the full sum this court may award, as their counsel says, and that bankrupts those officers, many on the city’s street patrols will feel a little less secure when it comes to harassing people without good reason. Because I’ve refused to budge an inch, we may not get anything, compromise being the name of the game these days. We’ve demanded that $50,000 go not to ourselves, but the Foundation To Defend The First Amendment. Should the court accept our argument and decide to help us teach police departments across the land to study this Constitution they swear to uphold (it’s just a short read) – and all of the online alternate media will spread that news – republican government may even survive.

All or nothing

Each round trip of 350 miles from Silverhill to Montgomery having cost myself and family members a day away from our work at The First Freedom, two gas tank refills, meals on the road and much wear on our nerves, we demand compensation from those falsely arresting defendants of $750 each for a total five trips and counting, or $3,750 at present.

The embarrassment of being brutally and unlawfully arrested by five uniformed Montgomery Police officers plus a pair of SWAT agents wearing fatigues who, in plain sight of no fewer than ten subscribers to The First Freedom, slammed my face against that brick wall, twisted both arms painfully up behind my back and carted me off in leg-irons and handcuffs, cost me at least $1,200 in lost time and business.

The defendants’ unlawful and brutal arrest of this unresisting man having resulted in my incarceration within a 10x12-foot cell bare to the walls of contents, forcefully stripped to my briefs and standing on a cold and wet floor sloped to its drain, no seat, no toilet, no food or water for five hours until released, I demand as an education to police officers everywhere that they pay $50,000 to the Foundation To Defend The First Amendment, 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 100, Washington, D.C. 20003 • 202-547-5585.

See earlier reports below this February 2013 update

to be resolved:

Does a parade permit trump the First Amendment?
By Olaf Childress
editor@firstfreedom.net

Jan. 23, Montgomery, Ala. – At today’s deposition your editor answered this city’s questions put to him by Lawyer Stacy Lott Reed. When arrested and brutalized by a team of MPD and SWAT officers on Feb. 19, 2011, why was he there? My reply: To observe the Sons of Confederate Veterans parade and offer this newspaper’s support honoring its theme, the 1861 inauguration of our President Jefferson Davis. (On that opener, she almost choked.)

Q & A

Were there others besides yourself there passing out copies of The First Freedom?

Yes, but I was the only one charged with disorderly conduct. Did you refuse to leave when Corporal Chavez asked you to do so? I agreed to stay on the sidewalks and that’s where they arrested me; no bad behavior on my part, but I was severely roughed up in front of a gathering crowd of witnesses including one of my attorneys now suing the MPD, SCV Commander Al Cobb. Do you believe in the holocaust? Many had to suffer during WWII; gas chambers were only for de-lousing; if they had intended to murder Jewish inmates it would’ve been a bullet for each, not feeding and housing, even providing them with a swimming pool and theater throughout the war.

Why was it so necessary to hand out TFF and support that parade? Because the Montgomery Advertiser, like all big dailies a liberal newspaper, likely would (and did) belittle it; they’re ever behind government overreach such as efforts to grab our guns. Am I subject to the laws? Yes, those that stay subject to constitutional restrictions, but I’m free to challenge the ones hurled at me that don’t. Have you ever been arrested before? Yes, at an unconstitutional road block by a police chief who refused to let me show her the legitimate law that forbids detaining and searching ordinary citizens without probable cause.

Do you own a gun? Yes. Ever carry it outside your home? I’m armed anywhere I please to go. You have a permit for that? Yes; it’s called the Second Amendment.

Am I a member of the SCV? No, yet I back its noble cause and sympathize with those SCV leaders fearing the Montgomery Advertiser might “link” them to a “radical” newspaper such as TFF. Is it anti-Semitic? No, truthful; yet it does cover the subject of today’s Zionist menace. We publish many articles written by Jews who want no part of what “their” leaders are up to, just as Gentiles distrust those conspirators in D. C.

Our turn

Attorneys Al Cobb and Mary Oliver for plaintiff TFF stepped outside the hearing of those in the conference room and, upon returning, the latter began questioning that MPD police officer sent to answer for the entire defense. She asked whether they had any reason to arrest me. Yes, the SCV had a parade permit, and some of them wanted me gone. Did the MPD object to TFF’s content? No, but some of those present did. Does that negate Mr. Childress’ right to be there, and allow you to arrest him just for exercising his First Amendment freedom of speech? The parade permit allows those having obtained it complete control over Dexter Avenue from the fountain all the way up to the Capitol. You ordered Mr. Childress to leave and he didn’t? Yes. And that’s when you arrested him? Yes. Was he on the sidewalk at the time? Yes. He agreed to remain on the sidewalk but kept handing out papers? Yes. That’s when you arrested him? Yes.

Defense Attorney Reed cautioned her client often during those answers, Attorney Oliver coming back with stiffer questions each time. Despite all the stalling, it’s an open and shut case against police ignoring the laws they’ve sworn to uphold, but we’ll see where it goes from here.

This month, the counsels for both sides meet again for a review of those transcripts recorded on Jan. 23 and try to negotiate a settlement; failing which, this case goes to a federal judge in June, and it is anybody’s guess at that juncture.

See earlier reports below this December 2012 update

Case against Montgomery police brutality creeps along

By Olaf Childress
editor@firstfreedom.net

As reported in TFF (March 2011 et seq) I got their punish-now-drop-charges-later treatment so familiar to many of us keeping faith in our rights and duties. Al Cobb as my attorney took on Montgomery’s Police Department for refusing to accept any bail while detaining me from 10 am to 5 pm in a 10x12 concrete hole, no food or water nor even a bench or toilet, just bare walls and floor, stripped to my briefs and cold.

The municipal court downstairs in that same building on May 19, 2011, found me guilty of disorderly conduct, then reversed itself and dropped the charge. Had I got the message?

We filed police brutality charges against the MPD in Montgomery Circuit Court; those defendants stalled, as attorney Cobb had predicted, in the hopes of getting their defense transferred to federal court where they could expect better chances.

That motion succeeded, and the trial is due in Montgomery federal court shortly.

Police cupidity

Receiving the defendant cops’ “first set of interrogatories to plaintiff” by email on November 19, 2012, from Montgomery Circuit Court-appointed attorney Mary A. Oliver (whom I have not met, though she is to help Mr. Cobb prosecute the case), then contacting SCV Camp Commander Cobb, I related to him the answers called for. Funny thing, those questions were dated September 24, 2012, and received by me almost a month later “to be answered within thirty days.” Mr. Cobb explains this as just a mixup and an extension will be granted, also that a federal judge may rule on these charges minus the jury I’ve called for.

What strange confusion! How much faith to have in that court? See the December 2012 issue of TFF, page 3.

Let’s just stick to the facts

Ms. Oliver,

Please continue sending email to this address – editor@firstfreedom.net – or snail mail to P. O. Box 385, Silverhill, Alabama 36576. Your efforts toward a just settlement on behalf of all parties to this case is much appreciated. I can be most conveniently in Montgomery on December 5, 6, 7, 10, 11 and/or 12.

I’m mailing you today two February 2011 issues of The First Freedom, the one I was handing out when assaulted by those SWAT and MPD troops; also two copies of the March 2011 edition describing on page 5 what happened to me that day. As you will see, my only purpose in being there rather than at my busy desk was to promote the SCV’s message to the public, which the inimical Montgomery Advertiser (see its archives for the day after that event) gave no fair hearing. My grievance is not with two or three misguided SCV officers fearing the Advertiser’s agenda, whispering to one another, “Appease, appease,” though their parade got ridiculed anyway by those they tried to please.

Some few of our people in the SCV were thinking perhaps that if they should dissociate themselves from this politically- incorrect newspaper, the Advertiser would throw them a crumb. As a champion of the First Amendment, I would not deny the Advertiser nor SCV officers going along with its program their predilections, but let’s demand those MPD officers get back to school and learn a little more about the law they’ve sworn to uphold.

Deo vindice!
Olaf Childress

March 2012 – This tabloid’s police brutality case against the City of Montgomery is now before the federal court, Middle District of Alabama; the defendants are hoping for better prospects there. Our attorneys L. A. Cobb and Mary Alexander-Oliver having sued them in circuit court where their chances of beating the rap were a bit tougher, they’ve slipped that noose. Temporarily. We understand this thing may drag on for a year or more. No sweat. No compromise. And no surrender.

See earlier reports below this January 2012 update

Jury trial demand

In the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama

Olaf Childress, Plaintiff

Vs.

L. P. WALKER, in his official and individual capacities, L. V. CHAVEZ, in his official and individual capacities, CITY OF MONTGOMERY POLICE DEPARTMENT, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, ALABAMA, KEVIN J. MURPHY, Chief of Police, in his official and individual capacities, and Fictitious Parties A through D, otherwise unknown at the time of the filing of the Plaintiff’s Complaint but will be added by amendment when ascertained, DEFENDANTS

Complaint and demand for damages

Plaintiff brings this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, to obtain monetary relief to redress the injuries and damages he suffered, and continues to suffer, as a direct and proximate result of the conduct of Defendants that violated rights secured to him by the First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as will more fully appear herein below.

Plaintiff also seeks attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 42 U.S.C. § 1988.

This action is brought pursuant to in both 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988, as well as the First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Jurisdiction is founded on 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343 and the aforementioned statutory and constitutional provisions.

Venue lies properly in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391(b), because all named defendants reside in the same state, Alabama.

1. Plaintiff and Petitioner Olaf Childress is the editor of THE FIRST FREEDOM, a newspaper that is published in Silverhill, Alabama.

2. Defendant, L. P. Walker is believed to be a Lieutenant (“Lt. Walker”) with the City of Montgomery Police Department, and is being sued in his official and individual capacities. At all times relevant in this matter, defendant Walker was employed as a police officer in the City of Montgomery Police Department.

3. Defendant, L. V. Chavez is believed to be a Sergeant (“Sergeant Chavez”) with the City of Montgomery Police Department, and is being sued in his official and individual capacities. At all times relevant in this matter, defendant Chavez was employed as a police officer in the City of Montgomery Police Department.

4. Defendant, City of Montgomery Police Department is the primary law enforcement body for the City of Montgomery, in the State of Alabama.

5. Defendant, Kevin J. Murphy, Chief of Police of Montgomery, Alabama, is being sued in his official and individual capacities.

6. Fictitious Defendants, A, B, C, and D are individuals or other legal entities, who while acting under color of State law, unlawfully deprived, and/or conspired with Lt. Walker, Sergeant Chavez, Chief Murphy, and the City of Montgomery Police Department to deprive, Olaf Childress of his legal right of free speech and free press as guaranteed to him by the Constitution and Laws of the United States.

7. The events hereafter are believed to have transpired on or about February 19, 2011.

8. The Sons of Confederate Veterans (“SCV”) had a permit from the City of Montgomery to assemble and parade in an area that included all or parts of Montgomery Street and Commerce Street.

9. The SCV parade area was barricaded off to vehicular traffic, but the streets and adjacent sidewalks were opened to the general public on foot.

10. Olaf Childress was handing out copies of his newspaper to the general public on the public sidewalk and as he crossed the streets within the SCV parade area.

11. Lt. Walker was on duty with the Montgomery Police Department and was working in the area where the SCV parade was assembling.

12. Sergeant Chavez was on duty with the Montgomery Police Department and was working in the area where the SCV parade was assembling.

13. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference the allegations in the foregoing paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.

14. Lt. Walker was advised by organizers of the SCV parade that a gentleman was passing out material within the parade area and the organizers wanted this gentleman removed from the parade area.

15. Sergeant Chavez was advised by an organizer of the SCV parade that a gentleman was giving out propaganda within the parade area and the organizer wanted this gentleman removed from the parade area.

16. Olaf Childress was pointed out to Lt. Walker as the gentleman that organizers of the SCV parade wanted removed from the parade area.

17. Olaf Childress was pointed out to Sergeant Chavez as the gentleman that an organizer of the SCV parade wanted removed from the parade area.

18. Lt. Walker observed Olaf Childress giving out written material to the general public on the public sidewalk adjacent to and/or within the SCV parade area.

19. Sergeant Chavez observed Olaf Childress giving out newspapers to the general public on the public sidewalk adjacent to and/or within the SCV parade area.

20. Lt. Walker did not personally witness Olaf Childress do anything to disturb the lawful assembly of the SCV.

21. Sergeant Chavez did not personally witness Olaf Childress do anything to disturb the lawful assembly of the SCV.

22. Lt. Walker heard Sergeant Chavez make four requests to Olaf Childress to leave the SCV parade area.

23. Sergeant Chavez approached Olaf Childress and advised and/or asked Olaf Childress to leave the SCV parade area.

24. Lt. Walker approached Olaf Childress while Olaf Childress was standing and/or walking on the public sidewalk within the City of Montgomery, Alabama.

25. Sergeant Chavez approached and made contact with Olaf Childress while Olaf Childress was standing and/or walking on the public sidewalk within the City of Montgomery, Alabama.

26. Lt. Walker arrested or assisted in the arrest of Olaf Childress after Olaf Childress refused requests by Sergeant Chavez for Olaf Childress to leave the SCV parade area.

27. Sergeant Chavez arrested or assisted in the arrest of Olaf Childress after Olaf Childress refused several advisements and/ or requests by Sergeant Chavez for Olaf Childress to leave the SCV parade area.

28. Lt. Walker arrested or assisted in the arrest of Olaf Childress while Olaf Childress was standing and/or walking on the public sidewalk within the City of Montgomery, Alabama.

29. Sergeant Chavez arrested or assisted in the arrest of Olaf Childress while Olaf Childress was standing and/or walking on the public sidewalk within the City of Montgomery, Alabama.

30. Lt. Walker did not have a warrant for the arrest of Olaf Childress at the time that Lt. Walker arrested or assisted in the arrest of Olaf Childress.

31. Sergeant Chavez did not have a warrant for the arrest of Olaf Childress at the time that Sergeant Chavez arrested or assisted in the arrest of Olaf Childress.

32. Lt. Walker understood that the United States Constitution gave Olaf Childress the right to freedom of press and the right to freedom of speech.

33. Sergeant Chavez understood that the United States Constitution gave Olaf Childress the right to freedom of press and the right to freedom of speech.

34. Lt. Walker understood that the public sidewalks adjacent to and/or within the SCV parade area were open to the general public on foot.

35. Sergeant Chavez understood that the public sidewalks adjacent to and/or within the SCV parade area were open to the general public on foot.

36. Lt. Walker, while acting under color of State law, arrested or assisted in the arrest of Olaf Childress and deprived Olaf Childress of his U. S. First Amendment rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

37. Sergeant Chavez, while acting under color of State law, arrested or assisted in the arrest of Olaf Childress and deprived Olaf Childress of his U. S. First Amendment rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

38. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all allegations contained in all numbered paragraphs of this Complaint as if set forth fully here.

39. The Defendants, Sergeant Chavez and Lt. Walker acting under color of law, caused the Plaintiff to be arrested, detained and imprisoned on and about February 19, 2011, even though they were devoid of any justifiable basis and lacked probable cause for said arrest, detention and imprisonment in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Defendants’ false imprisonment of the Plaintiff constituted an unlawful seizure.

40.The aforementioned actions of the Defendants proximately caused the Plaintiff to be deprived of his Fourth Amendment right to be free from arrest and imprisonment lacking probable cause and caused him to be unlawfully detained and imprisoned against his will, causing the Plaintiff damage. The Plaintiff was aware of this unlawful detention and imprisonment.

41. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all allegations contained in all numbered paragraphs of this Complaint as if set forth fully here.

42. The Defendants, Sergeant Chavez and Lt. Walker, acting under color of law did detain, arrest, fingerprint, and photograph Plaintiff on and about February 19, 2011.

43. The aforementioned actions of the Defendants proximately caused the Plaintiff to be deprived of his Fourth Amendment right to be free from arrest and imprisonment lacking probable cause and caused him to be unlawfully detained and imprisoned against his will, causing the Plaintiff damage. The Plaintiff was aware of this unlawful detention and imprisonment.

44. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all allegations contained in all numbered paragraphs of this Complaint as if set forth fully here.

45. Defendants, individually and collectively, and in their official capacity, under color of State law, intentionally and deliberately inflicted emotional distress on Plaintiff by maliciously prosecuting Plaintiff, or by abusing the lawful process by unlawful purpose, or by violating Plaintiff’s constitutional rights, or by falsely arresting and imprisoning the plaintiff, by conspiring against Plaintiff, or by interfering with Plaintiff’s civil rights by threats, coercion, or intimidation, or knew or should have known that emotional distress was the likely result of their conduct.

46. Defendants conduct was extreme and outrageous, beyond all possible bounds of decency and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.

47. The actions of the Defendants were the cause of Plaintiff’s distress.

48. Plaintiff is a reasonable man.

49. The emotional distress sustained by Plaintiff was severe and of a nature that no reasonable man could be expected to endure.

50. As a result of the Defendants’ extreme and outrageous conduct, Plaintiff was, is, and, with a high degree of likelihood, will continue to be emotionally distressed due to the intentional exclusion.

51. Defendants City of Montgomery Police Department, Defendant Murphy, Defendant McCall, are liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

52. As a result of the Defendants’ extreme and outrageous conduct, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer mental pain and anguish, severe emotional trauma, embarrassment, and humiliation.

53. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all allegations contained in all numbered paragraphs of this Complaint as if set forth fully here.

54. This is a claim against all Defendants individually and collectively, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

55. The actions of the Defendants were taken in concert concurrently with one another, under color of law. The above- described actions subjected Plaintiff to a deprivation of rights and privileges secured to Plaintiff by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States as protected by 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

56. As a direct and proximate result of the above-mentioned unconstitutional acts of all Defendants, Plaintiff sustained severe mental anguish, emotional trauma, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, loss of the ability to earn money in the future and other expenses. In addition, Plaintiff has incurred substantial expenses including attorneys’ fees and costs.

57. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all allegations contained in all numbered paragraphs of this Complaint as if set forth fully here.

58. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Defendants Sergeant Chavez and Lt. Walker were acting under the direction and control of Defendants Murphy and the City of Montgomery, Alabama Police Department.

59. Acting under color of law pursuant to official policy or custom, Defendants Murphy and City of Montgomery Alabama Police Department knowingly, recklessly, or with gross negligence failed to instruct, supervise, control, and discipline on a continuing basis Defendant police officers in their duties to refrain from:

(a) unlawfully and maliciously harassing a citizen who was acting in accordance with his constitutional and statutory rights, privileges, and immunities,

(b) unlawfully and maliciously arresting, imprisoning, assaulting and prosecuting a citizen who was acting in accordance with his constitutional and statutory rights, privileges, and immunities,

(c) conspiring to violate the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed to Plaintiff by the Constitution and laws of the United States by subjecting an unlawful arrest and false imprisonment, and

(d) otherwise depriving Plaintiff of his constitutional and statutory rights, privileges and immunities.

60.Defendants Murphy and the City of Montgomery Alabama Police Department had knowledge or, had they diligently exercised their duties to instruct, supervise, control, and discipline on a continuing basis, should have had knowledge that the wrongs conspired to be done, as heretofore alleged, were about to be committed. Defendant Murphy had power to prevent or aid in preventing the commission of said wrongs, could have done so by reasonable diligence, and knowingly, recklessly, or with gross negligence failed or refused to do so.

61. Defendants Murphy and the City of Montgomery Alabama Police Department directly or indirectly, under color of law, approved or ratified the unlawful, deliberate, malicious, reckless, and wanton conduct of Defendants, Chavez and Walker, heretofore described.

[Par. 62-71 omitted for space. – ed.]

WHEREFORE, plaintiff Olaf Childress demands judgment as follows:

A. Awarding Plaintiff compensatory damages in the amount of twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) and punitive damages in the amount of seventy five thousand dollars ($75,000.00);

B. Awarding attorney’s fees and costs of suit in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 1988;

C. Granting such other further relief as the court may deem just and equitable.

LeRoy Alan Cobb (ASB-7043-B64L)
Attorney for Plaintiff
P. O. Box 306
Anniston, AL 36202

Mary Alexander-Oliver (ASB-2998-R71A)
Attorney for Plaintiff
207 Montgomery St., Ste. 213
Montgomery, AL 36104

See earlier reports below this December 2011 update

Truth on trial

By L. A. Cobb
Lawyer – Oxford, Alabama

One of the first decisions that have to be made in the preparation of a lawsuit against those responsible for the illegal arrest of Mr. Childress is in what court to proceed? He has the right to sue either in federal or State court under the old civil rights law, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Code Section 1983 grants concurrent jurisdiction on State and federal courts and this means that Mr. Childress has the option to elect the venue he wants to travel.

To choose the federal route, his lawsuit would have to be filed in Middle District Court of Alabama sitting in Montgomery and on appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, from there to the United State(s) Supreme Court in Washington D. C. The State route would be to file this lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama, and on appeal to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in Montgomery, Alabama, from there to the Alabama Supreme Court also sitting in Montgomery and from there to the United State(s) Supreme Court.

In theory, either route brings you to the United State(s) Supreme Court, but in reality this is just a mirage. Mr. Childress has a much better chance of winning the Georgia Lottery than he has of having his case heard by the United State(s) Supreme Court. This court only selects, each year, a handful of cases to hear from the tens of thousands of cases that request an appeal.

The truth is that an appeal from the editor of a real newspaper represented by a red-necked Alabama lawyer ain’t going to make it to the U. S. Supreme Court.

This means that either the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Alabama Supreme Court will be the end of the stage line for the Childress § 1983 action. A quick review of case law points to the Alabama courts as the better choice.

In the 2002 case of Hope v. Peltzer, Larry Hope, a prisoner at the Limestone Alabama Prison, was handcuffed to an overhead “hitching post” for seven hours in the hot summer sun, his shirt stripped off, a drink or two of water, no bathroom break, and the 11th Circuit saw nothing cruel or unusual about that – dismissing Hope’s § 1983 case, which is kind of like saying waterboarding is simply a sinus treatment. The Supreme Court overturned the 11th Circuit, reinstated the case and told the 11th Circuit that their standard for § 1983 cases was too high for the plaintiffs.

In the case of Willingham v. Loughnan, a 2003 case, Betty Willingham threw a glass of water (hitting) and a knife (missing) two police officers as they entered her kitchen. After she raised her hands to her head, they shot her four times even though she was unarmed.

The 11th Circuit threw that case against the police out because the law had not been “clearly enough established” to give those police officers “fair warning” that shooting an unarmed suspect is unlawful conduct. The Supreme Court said that in light of its ruling in the Hope case, the 11th Circuit needed to review the Willingham case using the correct standard for § 1983 cases. The 11th Circuit reviewed the case again and found that no matter what standard they used, Ms. Willingham’s case was toast! As Bill Clinton said, “It depends on what the word is means.”

In West v. Tillman, a 2007 case, a prisoner was held in the Mobile County Jail fifty-seven days after he should have been released. The 11th Circuit dismissed the prisoner’s § 1983 action which alleged a violation of his due process constitutional rights, stating that his not being “released in a timely fashion from Jail is bad” and that the jailers suffered some “unfortunate lapses,” but they were not “deliberately indifferent” to the rights of the prisoner.

In contrast to these 11th Circuit rulings, the Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama this year reinstated a case where a prisoner sued, under § 1983, because prison personnel wrongfully withheld $24 from money deposited into his prisoner account to pay for medical co-pays.

With this contrast, it’s easy to see that the best chance for success lies with the Alabama courts. We hope to get the lawsuit filed in the circuit court within the next few days.

 

See earlier reports below this November 2011 update

Ignorance an OK defense?

By L. A. Cobb
Lawyer – Oxford, Alabama

“Every person who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State, or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law . . .” This is the part of Title 42 of the United States Code, Section 1983, that gives Olaf Childress, the editor of The First Freedom, the power to sue those who violated his First Amendment rights.

The dismissal by the City of Montgomery of the bogus criminal case against Mr. Childress opened the door for a lawsuit to proceed against those who are responsible for his arrest and incarceration in the Montgomery City Jail.

Section 1983 was part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 designed to combat Southern resistance to the continued rape of the South following the War. The intent was that carpetbaggers and their allies would use section 1983 to sue State and local officials who dared to use the legal powers of their office to resist the total destruction of the South.

The law was little used until 1961 when the Supreme Court in the case of Monroe v. Pape ruled that an individual could sue any State or local official acting outside his powers of office to violate the individual’s rights as found in federal statute or the United States Constitution. Now the worm has turned. Our enemies have given us a weapon that we can use against their reconstructed stepchildren. But it is a weapon that the courts have given a very limited range and the targets are quite small.

The two police officers who arrested Mr. Childress are given “qualified immunity” by the courts. This means that any lawsuit against these officers will be quickly dismissed unless it is clearly established that these police officers knew the arrest was a violation of the rights of Mr. Childress. Their unlawfulness must have been so apparent that the officers cannot hide behind the defense of ignorance.

First Amendment rights are too well known for the arresting officers to defend themselves successfully by pleading ignorance regarding one’s rights of free speech and free press. The fig leaf they will try to hide behind is the parade permit. A parade permit in the City of Montgomery covers the sidewalks along the parade route. The arrest occurred on the sidewalk within the area designated by the parade permit.

The police officers’ defense will be that Mr. Childress refused to leave the parade area when asked to do so by the parade organizers. They will state in some fashion that it was their belief the parade organizers had the right and responsibility to control the parade area, and that they had no other option but to arrest Mr. Childress after he ignored repeated orders to leave the marked parade route. Plus, I am sure they will state in some manner that they never would have dreamed of interfering with Mr. Childress’ right to hand out his newspaper, The First Freedom, on the rest of the sidewalks of Montgomery.

Might this type of argument give the arresting officers qualified immunity? The courts will have to answer that question. But, in the vast majority of cases filed, the police are granted qualified immunity and the case is dismissed. If the case is tossed on qualified immunity grounds, an appeal is the only option left. The batting average on appeals is about one in ten for the loser in the lower court.

Mr. Childress may have grounds for a lawsuit against jail personnel if there is proof that he was detained longer than he should have been. To win, it will have to be proven that the jail staff acted “deliberately indifferent” to his due process right to timely release. This will be a tough row to hoe. Jerry Rainey was held in the Mobile County jail 58 days after he should have been released. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said the jail staff had qualified immunity because failure to timely release was due only to mistake, negligence and unfortunate lapses!

The lawsuit against the arresting officers should be filed within the next few days. A decision will have to be made before then on which court to file in. A section 1983 lawsuit can be brought in the State Circuit Court or in Federal District Court. We will be discussing with others from that area their opinion of which court may be best.

 

See earlier reports below this October 2011 update

City hall never had a case

By L. A. Cobb
Lawyer – Oxford, Alabama

On the 16th of September, the City of Montgomery threw in the towel. The phone rang as I set down to a dinner of tomato sandwiches and black coffee. I answered to find Jason Paulk on the other end. Mr. Paulk is the City Attorney that had been given the task of prosecuting Mr. Childress in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County on the disorderly conduct charges that he had been found guilty of in the municipal court.

Mr. Paulk informed me that he had read his copy of the trial transcript that I had sent and decided that “it would be better for all parties” to dismiss the charges against Mr. Childress. He indicated that he dismissed the charges during a status conference that was held the previous day before Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick. Judge Hardwick was to hear the case that was scheduled for jury trial on the 26th of September.

I thanked Mr. Paulk for his call, hung up and went back to finishing my meal, glad that the criminal saga was over. From the first, I had been nearly certain that Mr. Childress would prevail on the criminal charges against him. My confidence was not total because DNA and the prison time given a couple of friends has shown me that many innocent people are behind bars due to corrupt prosecutors and their police stooges.

The transcript of his municipal trial that Mr. Childress had made by a private court reporter made the difference in this case. The two police officers that arrested Mr. Childress testified at the municipal trial that the reason they arrested Mr. Childress was because he disobeyed their orders to quit handing out The First Freedom in the parade zone. This testimony was nailed down by the transcript and proved to be crucial in the criminal appeal.

Mr. Paulk, during our first discussion of this case, said that he had spoken with the arresting officers who assured him that they had good grounds for arresting Mr. Childress. He didn’t elaborate on what the good grounds were, but I wasn’t surprised that their story had wandered from the truth. One of the biggest shocks I received when I started the practice of law, was that many police officers will lie on the witness stand in order to convict the defendant. Like so many jurors tend to be, I was naïve enough to believe that a man in uniform, under oath, would tell the truth. A liar is a liar no matter how well you dress him or what position you entrust him with.

Mr. Paulk, after reviewing the transcript evidence, did what all ethical prosecutors will do, dismissed the charges for lack of evidence.

Now that the criminal conviction has been set aside, Mr. Childress has the dilemma of how to proceed with the civil case. Under Alabama law, police officers have a license to kill, so it is impossible to sue them for arresting and dragging you to jail in chains for failure to obey their unconstitutional orders. Therefore, the police officers and their enablers cannot be sued for the violation of Mr. Childress’ right of free speech and press as guaranteed under the Alabama Constitution.

This leaves only a lawsuit for violation of U. S. Constitutional rights. And a lawsuit for violation of U. S. Constitutional rights can be brought against police officers only through the 14th Amendment and/or its offspring 42 U.S.C. § 1983. As all readers of The First Freedom know, the Yankees imposed that 14th Amendment while the South was under deconstruction. The 14th Amendment has been used by the federal courts like a stake through the heart of Dixie to ensure that the South does not rise again and that the dream of liberty our founding and confederate fathers died for stays only a dream. But sometimes, the enemy’s weapon in your own hands can become a deadly weapon on your behalf.

 

See earlier reports below this September 2011 update

Charges dropped

Anyone planning to attend that hearing at Montgomery on September 26, forget it. They’ve dropped the charges, no fine, no probation. Now we go after those two cops who need a little lesson in law.

 

See earlier reports below this August 2011 update

This paper is under attack

Strange things are happening in the Montgomery municipal court.

By Lee Roy Cobb

alcobb@cableone.net

On Thursday, July 21st, Mr. Childress called me to get an update on his appeal. Having received nothing from the courts on the ongoing appeal, I promised Mr. Childress that I would call Montgomery and email him an update.

I called Buster Russell, the prosecutor in the municipal case against Mr. Childress. Mr. Russell informed me that he didn’t handle appeals and that I would need to speak with Kim Fehl in the City of Montgomery Legal Department, who is the City Attorney. After a short, pleasant conversation, she transferred my call to Jason Paulk, who has been assigned the appeal.

I first approached Mr. Paulk about the possibility of going directly to the Alabama Supreme Court with the Appeal. The Alabama Criminal Rules of Procedure allow an appeal from municipal court to bypass a trial in the circuit court and go directly to the appellate court. The bypass requires a dispute of law, not facts, and that the parties have to agree to forego a trial in Circuit Court.

Mr. Paulk seemed to be unaware of this rule, so I had to read the rule to him. He next argued that the facts were in dispute. But when I informed him the testimonies of the arresting officer and Mr. Childress were identical and that I had the transcript as proof, he switched gears.

Mr. Paulk then dropped the bombshell that it was too late to do a direct appeal, because the appeal has been assigned to Circuit Court Judge Johnny Hardwick, who appointed Mary Alexander-Oliver as Mr. Childress’s attorney. Furthermore, he said that discovery was nearly completed, and the trial would begin on September 26, 2011.

When I asked Mr. Paulk why another lawyer was appointed to represent Mr. Childress, since I was the trial lawyer in municipal court and that I had filed the notice of appeal. He only replied that judge Hardwick appointed Ms. Alexander-Oliver.

I had to call the Alabama State Bar to ascertain Ms. Alexander-Oliver’s phone number. A message left on her answering service is as close as I have come to corresponding with her to date. Maybe over the next few days, answers will be given after Ms. Alexander-Oliver is located. Either way, I plan to be in Montgomery Circuit Court on the 26th of September.

No problem, see you there

By Olaf Childress

editor@firstfreedom.net

How lucky can one get? Surrounded by those who’ve decided The First Freedom must march with the times, here we are in the midst of a huge opportunity to reaffirm our First Amendment free speech rights.

The case at hand decides whether a cop who’s sworn to uphold the law but doesn’t know it can order someone to stop offering newspapers peacefully and unobtrusively in public because their contents aren’t in sync with the opinions of a few readers having willingly accepted them. No “touchy” decision here, but a basic one. While I didn’t ask for this, it’s a story.

 

See earlier reports below this July 2011 update

First Amendment on trial

By Lee Roy Cobb

alcobb@cableone.net

ALABAMA LAW states that an appeal from a conviction in municipal court must be filed within fourteen days with the clerk by posting a new bond in an amount fixed by the municipal judge, anywhere between zero and one thousand dollars.

Mr. Childress, convicted of disorderly conduct on the 19th of May, had until the close of business on the 2nd of June to appeal. With this date in mind, I waited expecting a written order from the court that spelled out the conviction, sentence and the amount of his appeal bond. After twelve (12) days hearing nothing from the court, I sent a written notice of appeal to the municipal clerk, paying the post office for one-day mail so as to be assured there was a record of timely appeal. I had learned my lesson the hard way many years before when a clerk at the post office convinced me to save money by sending an appeal by three-day rather than the required one-day service. Just as the clerk now promised, my appeal got there next day, but the Alabama court claimed it was “untimely” because it “didn’t arrive by one (1) day service”!

The appeal came into the clerk’s office on the first day of June, one day before the deadline. Fully expecting that we would learn the amount and deadline for posting the appeal bond, the court having received notice of appeal, boy was I wrong! On the 8th of June while traveling down Interstate 20 between law offices I received a call on my cell phone from a clerk at the municipal court whose name I didn’t catch. The call went something like this.

Clerk: I called to inform you that your appeal has been denied as untimely.

Me: How can the appeal be untimely when you received it within the fourteen (14) day period as required by law?

Clerk: We received the written notice of appeal on time, but Mr. Childress did not post his appeal bond within the fourteen (14) day period as required.

Me: The judge has not set an amount of that bond, so how can Mr. Childress post a bond that remains undetermined?

Clerk: You are used to practicing in bankruptcy court [I have an active bankruptcy practice in Northeast Alabama, but how the clerk knew this she did not say], and we don’t do things the same way here in Montgomery. I once did bankruptcy work and know how you are used to doing these things.

Me: If the judge has not set the bond, how can we post that bond?

Clerk: You should have known that the bond would be in the five hundred dollar range by the crime he was convicted of [no explanation as to how I should have known this].

Me: I can overnight you a check from my trust account in that amount if it will solve this problem.

Clerk: Lawyers are not allowed to post appeal bonds. Mr. Childress would have to come to Montgomery and fill out a bunch of paperwork and post his bond in cash.

Me: We will make some arrangements to get the bond posted by tomorrow.

Clerk: I’ll have to check (with someone) to see if this is permissible. I will call you back.

Later that day, Wednesday the 8th of June, I received a message on my phone from the clerk that it was too late to post a bond and the appeal was denied as untimely. I then placed a call to Buster Russell, the prosecutor in the case against Mr. Childress. His secretary stated that he was not in, but I could leave him a voice message. I left a message on his phone briefly spelling out the predicament I was in and requesting that he return my call. Having received nothing from him, I called his office again the following Monday and this time got him on the phone. He was very gracious and stated up front that it was his opinion that the appeal was timely. I asked what he thought about me calling the case judge directly regarding the bond problem. He wondered whether I knew the judge personally and, when I replied no, suggested it would be best if I wrote the judge a letter on the matter (this is called “home cooking” in law; if you “know” the judge it is easier and more possible to get things done in your favor).

I dropped a letter to the judge in the mail that same day and two (2) days later got a phone call from a very pleasant lady who identified herself as Valerie Carter (the court website identifies her as Senior Magistrate, Magistrate Division). She said the judge had received my letter and agreed to let the appeal continue upon the posting of a three hundred ($300.00) bond. I asked her if I could send a trust check for the bond and she wasn’t sure, but could I hold on while she checked that matter? I held the phone for several minutes but, when she didn’t return, hung up so that I could continue the ongoing meeting I had with clients. About an hour later and after several tries, we connected again and this time the tone of her voice was much more reserved. She said the reason she had left me hanging on the phone earlier was because the judge was leaving and she had to chase him down the sidewalk, also that the judge did not want lawyers posting appeal bonds. When I told her this was a pro bono case and that I did not mind posting the bond, she said, “you know what, I didn’t get the judge to sign an order and I had better get it signed before we go any further. I will call you back.”

This happened on a Wednesday evening and the following Wednesday evening Ms. Carter called and said the judge had set the bond at five hundred ($500.00) dollars (no explanation for that increase) and the only way she knew of posting it was by cash or through a bonding company, but it had to be before 5:00 pm on the 27th of June. I asked her how a bonding company could do this if Mr. Childress had to fill out a bunch of paperwork as learned on my first call from the court. She didn’t know why I was told this; Mr. Childress had already completed such paperwork on his release from jail. I thanked her and this completed my contacts with the court to date.

Mr. Childress has since posted bond and I’m preparing to ask the appellate court if a parade permit trumps his constitutional rights in the City of Montgomery.

Bama shows two faces just like the rest of them

This loveliest of States is but little more consistent than most others. Try as we might, no one owns any patent on virtue.

By Olaf Childress

editor@firstfreedom.net

July 1, 2011 – Brutally arrested and as brutally jailed when giving out samples of this newspaper in an orderly manner to willing recipients, then fined $500 plus $217 “court costs” (is this what the utilities run?) for “disorderly conduct” – supposedly mine, not those five Montgomery cops plus two SWATskis who roughed me up – the judge concluded by saying, “We’re not going to lock you up this time.” While attorney Lee Roy Cobb gobbled his late breakfast down at Burger King before debriefing us on where it goes from here, Irene grinned and handed over one of those Parker Bros. GET OUT OF JAIL FREE cards. Some humor, but it helps.

The New World orderlies are throwing ever more glaring inconsistencies at us, to split our ranks right down the middle; and, given free rein by their media partners, they think it’s a done deal. Bad-mouthing the Sons of Confederate Veterans is not where we’re coming from, as that’s a noble organization honoring our great grandsires and a righteous cause. If a couple of SCV leaders – perhaps scared the Montgomery Advertiser might “link” their reenactment of the Jefferson Davis Inaugural to this “Nazi rag” – do the “Trent Lott Crawl” and ask those cops to send us away, that’s no reason for fighting amongst ourselves. We intend to expose the City of Montgomery’s malfeasance of the law, not get upset with patriots who’ve forgotten who they are and started apologizing.

A number of SCV members from across the land, initially surprised and outraged at this turn of events, after some deliberation agree: we must not allow others to divide us into factions over “a problem” that’s really an opportunity to straighten out a few of these misunderstandings about our rights and the orderly conduct expected of cops delegated to serve all of us lawfully.

On June 23, Attorney Cobb assured me he had filed our appeal within the 14 days Montgomery Municipal Judge Hayes had allowed, but wasn’t at first clear on what kind of appearance bond they wanted. He finally learned the judge’s decision as to price: $500 cash before 5:00 pm Monday. Pay a bonding agent 10% to handle it, or put that $50 into just about how much gas to go there? Driving all morning I arrived right after lunch and was shuffled from one clerk to another for two hours. Municipal Court Assistant Clerk John Walker filled out my “Notice of Appeal to Circuit Court” after asking if a trial without jury would suffice. I said no: a jury trial.

“Please sit in that chair,” Mr. Walker said. “I don’t like it when people look over my shoulder while I’m writing.” Within a few minutes he had the form ready for my signature.

“Please excuse me now,” I said, “but we journalists have to get our facts straight by reading things like this thoroughly. Hmm. Why did you check the non-jury box after I had plainly stated jury?”

“O, did I check the wrong box? Here, let me black that out and initial the change.”

A photocopy of that plus receipt for my $500 handed over, I motored south on I-65, dropping off back issues of this newspaper stamped free take one at most service stations along the way.

Thanks to all those who’ve stood by me on this, and especially you participants in that parade offering to bear witness at the upcoming trial. Let us keep things cordial among ourselves and deny the mediacracy any hope for walking their agenda through our split ranks. Deo vindice!

Now, here SCV officer Leonard Wilson adds into evidence the following glaring inconsistency as proof that Montgomery is an infighting city of divided personalities and conflicting loyalties:

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12, 1990

NEWSBRIEFS

STATE                                   

Montgomery to pay prayer protester

MONTGOMERY (AP) — The city of Montgomery will pay $8,000 to a college student who claimed he was illegally arrested for protesting a prayer by two city officials prior to a high school football game.

Jeffrey Shannon, 24, a student at Auburn University at Montgomery, was the only student arrested after the Aug. 24, 1989, protest at Cramton Bowl. Five other students were ejected from the game.

Shannon and the others shouted and set off air horns during a pre-game prayer by Mayor Emory Folmar and Montgomery County Commission Chairman William F. Joseph Jr., who were challenging a U. S. Supreme Court ban on prayer at public sporting events.

Shannon was charged with harassment after he scuffled with police officers, but a municipal judge found him innocent after viewing a video tape of the incident filmed by a local television station.

“This is not an admission of liability,” city attorney George Azar said. “This case was settled to avoid court costs.”

Shannon claimed in his lawsuit that police Cpl. Charles James attacked him from behind without warning and grabbed the student on his throat, twisted his arm and ripped his shirt across his chest.

Shannon also alleged that James and the other arresting officer, Billy G. Doss, gave false testimony about the scuffle in an attempt to convict him.

“This case should serve as a message that police officers or any public official should not lie under oath to ensure a conviction, said Montgomery attorney David Schoen, who represented Shannon. “If the city is going to permit that type of behavior, it will have to pay, and it is going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money.”

Shannon and 18 others were involved in an earlier lawsuit filed on behalf of the Civil Liberties Union of Alabama against Folmar and Joseph. It was dismissed last year after both officials agreed to refrain from public prayer before high school football games.

Folmar vowed not to use any public money to defend himself in that suit, but public funds will be used to pay the $8,000 settlement to Shannon.

*  *  *  *

End of quote. Here we have the same devilishly-clever pattern that, just like the SCV leader who caused my arrest at their parade, I once fell for myself. I’m speaking of what happened exactly 94 months ago by our tracking (see page 3), when the Ten Commandments Monument was removed on orders from an African federal judge in Montgomery. It had been set up for a fall all along, and I still have no idea whether Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy S. Moore was complicit or simply duped. Somebody with more chutzpah than Moore appears capable of had got that big granite stone sculpted at great expense and placed in the Alabama high court’s rotunda to the almost unanimous cheers of Alabamians.

Circuit judge Roy S. Moore of Gadsden had leapt to that Chief Justice seat shortly after becoming a hero for defying federal orders to remove a small plaque citing the Ten Commandments from his courtroom. It became international news. I was there, camping out with others on the Alabama Supreme Court plaza protesting that decree for the monument’s removal.

The media covered everything in those ten days of occupation by protesters except what The First Freedom noted; namely, that two Jews-turned-Christian-evangelist had secured “the permit” and taken charge, that Stars of David were prominently worn by numerous participants, that busloads of Negro jive singers were brought there for a Saturday night of clapping and swaying and that the monument had clearly been set up to take that fall in the ZOG’s conspiracy against Christianity.

Infighting since 1865

Let us White patriots not help the dead-serious, determined and dangerous enemy further sabotage these Jewnighted States. He sends his money, media and mercenaries against better informed dissidents, ignoring only such ones as fail to show up when called out.

By Olaf Childress
editor@firstfreedom.net

This was my first face-to-face meeting with the bearded man who had volunteered his services as defense counsel. Although never having received a summons telling me to appear in that packed courtroom at 8:00 AM, which required getting dressed at 2:30 AM way down here in Silverhill near the Gulf Coast, having ferreted out such information all by myself and, paranoid as I am, expecting I’d be called up first in their hopes of a no-show, yours truly was there on time and, sure enough, the judge after sitting down asked, “Is Olaf Childress here?”

So, from the hindmost row in that big courtroom, we came forward ahead of over one hundred others.

Lee Roy Cobb as my attorney – himself the Oxford, Alabama, SCV commander – had correctly predicted the verdict: guilty. Pointing out to me a court recorder, he had hired her to be there and get it all down pat, saying these municipal money-collecting operations go unnoticed except just as the mediacracy reports the show, leaving scant hope for an appeal to a higher court.

And so on May 19 at our capital city’s municipal court, a Montgomery, Alabama, judge and prosecutor team up with some misdirected SCV and police officers who accuse me of disorderly conduct for having handed out copies of this newspaper in a most orderly manner to willing recipients. I testified thus:

It was my understanding that the Sons of Confederate Veterans parade where this paper’s staff passed out a sesquicentennial “civil war” edition was open to the public.

We did not imagine the parade permit issued to a certain SCV official outranked the Constitution. Perhaps he feared letting the “mainstream” media “link” that parade to such “anti-Semitic propaganda,” as he called the objectionable materials, saying he had not read them before condemning same.

● Pro-Truth ever, The First Freedom’s “propaganda” honored the SCV’s mission in that February 2011 issue, recalling its proud past for keeping alive the memories of our brave soldiers who fought against the Northern invasion. Admittedly, this is not your standard, politically-correct news source but a totally different viewpoint, as I explained, rankling not only the so-called mainstream media but police departments and courts as well; yet…

Having asked me to expand on my claim as to its pro-Truth rather than anti-Semitic content, the judge cut me short right there.

“Mr. Childress, we’re not going to lock you up this time, but the fine will be $500. Your attorney has 14 days during which to file an appeal.”

Our little group debriefed over coffee down the street at Burger King, Attorney Cobb explaining the next step at circuit court and how it will go from there. As a professed former gambler now become a Christian, he’s holding his options close to his chest. But, if he will pass it along when that transcript arrives (this as we go to press), I’ll post those arguments online.

First Amendment: how high its guarantee?

GUILTY! After a brief trial and deliberation of some three seconds by Municipal Court Judge Hayes of Montgomery, Alabama, the latter found Olaf Childress guilty of the charge of Disorderly Conduct.

By Lee Roy Cobb
alcobb@cableone.net

The verdict was no surprise. I had prophesied to Mr. Childress before trial that he would be found guilty and sure enough he was. This doesn’t make me a prophet, because the prediction was a near certainty based upon the quality of the defense team (me). And based upon the fact that the conviction rate in Municipal Court is about 110% when the convictions for contempt of Court are factored in. In any criminal trial, if you think of yourself as the deadfendant, rather than defendant, you’ll seldom have to change your opinion.

Mr. Childress may have arrived at Municipal Court DOA, but he left there much better armed and equipped for the resurrection of his case on appeal. The testimony of the arresting officer couldn’t have been any better. He testified that some unknown official from the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) asked him to handle the problem that Mr. Childress was causing by distributing The First Freedom, and admitted not having seen Mr. Childress do anything but hand out copies of the paper to those who accepted that offer. He made the arrest after Mr. Childress ignored his request to leave the parade area.

The City Prosecutor called a second officer who testified that he heard the arresting officer give five separate orders for Mr. Childress to leave the parade area. This was five times the orders that the arresting officer testified that he gave or Mr. Childress testified he heard, raising the distinct probability that the second officer has a problem with his hearing, memory and/or his veracity. Whatever the problem, his testimony added nothing to the trial. A lawful order has to be obeyed the first time given and an unlawful order never has to be obeyed – repeated five or fifty times.

The third prosecution witness, Tom V. Strain, Jr., couldn’t have proven a better witness for us if I had written the script for him. Mr. Strain, an officer with the SCV on the State and national levels, testified that The First Freedom was just anti-Zionist propaganda, and that its distribution at the parade site was upsetting to him and the other national and State SCV officers. He also testified that he was the one who sicced the police onto Mr. Childress.

His testimony firmly establishes that the content of speech, not the conduct of the speaker, was the root cause of the arrest. A better foundation for an appeal and a civil rights lawsuit could not have been laid. Unbeknown to Mr. Strain, he placed the lawsuit noose around the necks of those arresting officers, the national and State SCV organizations and his own neck. The U. S. Supreme Court has found that anyone who assists the police in the violation of a constitutional right may be added as a party to the resulting lawsuit.

I am ashamed as a longtime member of the SCV that our leaders would attack a seventy-eight-year-old man in their vain attempt to impress our enemies. Mr. Strain and other SCV officials hobnobbed with the national and international press in preparation for that day’s reenactment of the inauguration of President Davis. They thought that their attack on an ally would impress their newfound friends in the press. I hope they read the Associated Press article that trashed the reenactment event. This is what happens when you elevate closet Confederates to a position of leadership. They talk about the Cause behind closed doors and then in public try to hide behind the monotonous heritage-not-hate mantra.

An appeal will be filed within the next few days. The case will be decided on the issue of whether a parade permit may be used to restrict freedom of speech or of the press. The answer to this question is not as clear as many think. The courts see our Constitution’s guarantees more as privileges than absolute rights. Several cases have shown that the government may determine what is a reasonable time and place to exercise First Amendment rights. Whether or not rights are lost along a parade route should be decided in this case. I look forward to the long fight ahead.

Montgomery Police: just following illegal orders

By Olaf Childress
editor@firstfreedom.net

 

“Saturday, February 19, 2011 8:07 PM

“Subject: Arrest in Montgomery

 “Olaf, I and Mr. Al Cobb, an attorney and fellow Confederate from Anniston, Alabama, witnessed your arrest. He says you may have grounds for a lawsuit. We learned – if you don’t know already – that the SCV commander with the parade permit was who called for your arrest. I don’t know all the details but it sounds like a violation of First Amendment rights. I’ll be a witness if you need one.”  – “Cape”

“This is Jeb Lessley, from Birmingham, and I just got off the call-in line for ‘The Political Cesspool’ radio program. I spoke to Bill Rolan for quite some time about the reenactment. I also made mention of the fact that you were passing out sample copies at the event. I then related this situation that I found myself in. I was walking along the parade line checking out the equipment of the soldiers. Just then one noticed the copy of The First Freedom that you had given me; he could not express strongly enough that, A: the SCV was not connected to the publication, B: they had asked you not to pass the samples out at the rally and, C: it was a filthy Nazi rag. So I took the opportunity to remind this individual that the SCV is labeled as a hate group on the SPLC website. I then inquired, ‘Are you a hate group?’ He answered, ‘NO, NO, we are a heritage group!’ I then stated: ‘Well if those people will lie about you, they may be lying about this paper and other things as well!’ I then promptly walked off and handed that copy to someone else, then went and got a few more copies from the lady in the satin period dress and passed them out! Ha! Anyway, Mr. Rolan stated that he supported your publication and allowed me to do a ‘plug.’ He gave great accolades to yourself and the periodical then stated that he would like for you to come on the show! How’s that for a kicker?

“Jeb”

I don’t wish to press charges against a few misguided members of the SCV who may have forgotten that the 1819 Alabama Constitution, just like the USC, guarantees freedom of speech and movement in public places, as it’s a great and enduring patriotic organization dedicated to the memory of our brave sires who fought and died for the preservation of constitutional government.

The Southern Puberty Lechery Center and today’s Jewish mediacracy, infiltrating and influencing such heritage groups, have maybe five percent of their members under the ZOG’s control, perhaps half of them knowingly and the rest well-meaning but unwittingly leading such organizations to do Communism’s agenda: the White man’s demise.

Several of my acquaintance witnessed Police Corporal Chavez, who announced the arrest, and five other Montgomery PD officers plus a pair of SWAT commandoes, buckle the handcuffs and leg-irons on me tightly, shoving my face against that brick wall. Chavez hoisted my wrists up behind so high he almost broke this 78-year-old’s arms. I was just trying to see who all had gathered, recognizing several subscribers among others held back by those police. I reminded Chavez he’s sworn to uphold the constitution, to which he replied, yes, I am so bound. Did you read it before swearing that oath, especially the First Amendment? No answer; he stepped away and joined the crowd control cops, while other officers hustled me toward a patrol wagon. They took from my pockets a small penknife used for opening newspaper bundles, a wallet containing $450 and my cellphone.

It remains a mystery to me whether that man filming all this was a government agent or one of us; he held up a copy of The First Freedom beside his camera as they were about to shove me into the back seat of Patrolman Cottrell’s sedan, asking if I were “with” this paper; I answered yes, and it’s my right to pass out copies of it in a public place to willing recipients. Quickly an officer advanced to the camera, cutting off its further view and saying he couldn’t take any more pictures.

After struggling with my shackled long legs to get out of the cramped space in back of his patrol wagon with him pulling on one foot, Officer Cottrell marched me up a ramp into this room and said “Sit on that bench.” I did not. His demeanor remained pretty much in keeping with a big sign on the wall above it welcoming new arrivals: “This facility has a boot camp atmosphere as a retraining facility where inmates get along with well-schooled officers because they realize that such mind conditioning is for their own good,” or something like that. A wall of iron bars separating myself by three feet from where Cottrell stood filling out paperwork, he repeated: “I said sit.” I studied his handsome, Negro face, heavy short build and paunch. He turned to the task at hand, not too swift at bookkeeping. “What’s your name?” Getting no response to that or anything else: This your billfold? Where do you live? How old are you?, etc. He called upstairs twice for instructions, then stashed the papers away, pressed his badge to a monitor and the bars between us unlocked. He entered and barked, “You are to sit on that bench!” When I didn’t move, he grabbed my manacled wrists, forcing me onto it, then locked the handcuffs to a welded loop and departed. When Cottrell returned, he pushed me into an elevator that brought us up to where the jailhouse begins, most of that ground floor housing the municipal court’s offices.

There the treatment began. A dozen or so cops, all Black including two women, frisked me, taking pen, notepad and loose change, turned the pockets inside out, said leave them that way and put your hands on that glass where you’ll answer questions. I stood mute. They circled about, coming and going, sipping coffee, laughing and joking in such accustomed easy manners as many of today’s conditioned Whites can’t match or even mention.

Possibly a little piqued seeing me stay poised and them getting nowhere fast, two big husky Negroes removed the shackles, grabbed my shoulders and forced me down a hallway into this 10x12-foot room, bare to the walls of any contents, where I was to spend the day.

“Now you gonna take off your clothes and put on this uniform,” said the bigger one, tossing a black PJ on the dry part of that floor while his partner ordered a mop fetched by a super-max trustee who raked some of the water covering the other area (I’ve no idea where it had come from) into the floor drain. I made no move to comply, so the two mumbled together, then forcibly removed my clothes, departing with them and slamming that room’s metal door as they went. Its 18x36 inch unbreakable but scratchable plastic window accommodated many black faces one after another peering in at me, banging on that door loudly while yelling, “You okay?!” or some such trivia.

Next came the Montgomery PD’s desk sergeant, for whom the door opened, a pair of officers standing behind her.

“You gonna hafta put on that uniform and git you picture took so we can move ya to a different cell, ’cause somebody wants to bail ya out,” she said.

“Just return my clothes,” I replied, “and their contents. I’ve got sufficient billfold cash to go my bail.”

“We din’t see no billfold.”

“What?! Then I demand immediately to file a complaint against officer Cottrell, in whose possession I last saw it. And get me my clothes; it’s embarrassing standing here before a lady undressed.”

“I’ll look for ya billfold,” she promised, and one of those big cops banged the door closed loudly behind her.

She never returned. Noticing how cold the concrete was and not wanting to get sick, I stepped onto that garment they had tossed on the floor.

Odd noises started – a series of them, at intervals – banging, banging from beyond my enclosure on one side, always followed by what sounded like female screeches far off in the opposite direction. Could the PD not put the quietus on whoever was doing that? No, each time those cops walked past this crypt they banged several times on its door themselves, big eyes peering in at me through etched cobwebs, yelling or trying to stare me down, without any reply except my returning their gaze however long they wished to stand there looking stupid.

A later visitor, one of the mostly-White Montgomery Correctional officers, a Sgt. D. K. Burns, appeared to be in charge of a separate set of municipal employees in the same building. When she dropped by for the second time suggesting that I put on the black uniform and say something besides “bring my clothes and billfold,” telling me I’d remain in that empty room until then, standing there in my skivvies I looked her hard in the eyes and ordered loudly: “Lady, get me my clothes in here.”

Turning to her husky Negro accomplice, “Let’s go,” she said, and they went. Much later, a Montgomery PD jail hand brought my street clothes and escorted me out to where she was waiting, all smiles, a whole new demeanor this well-schooled officer.

“Come on, let’s photograph, fingerprint and get you out of here,” Sgt. Burns said, clapping her hand behind me as we moved down a corridor to the facilities. She joked about my continuing silence even as I put my arm likewise around her backside just for the hell of it, some fifty almost all Black inmates staring out at that sight from their double bunks behind a wall of steel bars.

Burns put my fingers on a computerized plate (they don’t use ink anymore) for the prints, then made frontal and profile shots, taking her own sweet time.

“78 years old? You don’t look it. I come from Indiana. C’mon, give me a big smile for this picture. You’re not really mad at me; it’s plain you’re a Southern gentleman. Know the difference between a Yankee and a Damnyankee? The Yankee comes for a visit and goes back home, a Damnyankee stays,” etc., etc.

Back to the front desk for checkout, I signed three unread forms with an X, Sgt. Burns shoving them under the glass to that police clerk with a knowing nod. The latter pushed out my ballpoint, the shirt-pocket papers, cards and an envelope containing coins they’d taken.

“That’s it? Where’s my billfold?!”

“We din’t find no billfold.”

“Come show me where you last saw it,” said Burns, faking innocence.

I did, then demanded she direct me to whoever processes complaints against that police department’s conduct. We entered the municipal court’s administrative office where Sgt. Burns asked for my belongings. There I recovered my cellphone, knife and billfold with its $450 contents. She had known all along I had the bail money!

It was good to be out of that room, visit a toilet and get some food.

No, I’ve nothing against the SCV, only that constitutionally-illiterate MPD bunch which kept me locked up from 10 am until 5 pm in a 10x12 concrete hole stripped to my briefs and refusing to let me go my bail.

I’m to appear in Montgomery Municipal Court on March 16, at 8 am, charged with disorderly conduct. Yeah, that’s right, me.