Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Monstrous Concessions

Stan Simpson’s column today is already provoking a lot of outrage and talk around here today, and for good reason. Here’s the most relevant excerpt:
Inviting as it may be, I'm not joining the piling-on party. When it comes to securing the safety of the state's highest elected official, you err on the side of caution. No, Krayeske should not have been arrested, and yes, the charges should be dropped. But please don't suggest that the guy should not have been detained for a while, at least until the point police were assured he had no bad intentions. Certainly, they had a right to inspect the nylon bag he carried while running along the parade route to make certain there was nothing more dangerous than a digital camera.
[...]
I don't think Krayeske was considered a "threat" in the physical sense, but someone who may be inclined to try to publicly embarrass the governor on her big day.

His incident got a mention in Tuesday's New York Times. Just imagine the news coverage if someone really did slip by security and harm the 60-year-old grandma in her first elected term.

The headline: "Where Was Rell's Security?" (Simpson)

Security and safety are gods in America today--and they have been for a long time, even since before 9/11. We want safer cars, safer schools, safer food, safer air, safer everything, and we're willing to make monstrous concessions in order to get them. This is another.

What Stan is suggesting seems so reasonable. Yes, detain him. Search him. He could have been a threat. He might have embarrassed or hurt the governor. The security of the state's chief executive is paramount. He was a known activist, he didn't like the governor. His bag should have been searched, at the very least. It would have been okay to hold him until the police were "reassured."

We can rationalize this, and smother it with the numbing and comforting "what ifs" that Simpson provides, but a cold truth remains: Ken Krayeske was arrested because he said the wrong things to the wrong people, and in the wrong way.
Hartford Det. Jeff Antuna wrote in his report that Krayeske drew his attention by rapidly riding up to the parade route near Bushnell Park, dumping his bike and running to a position in front of Rell.

"I immediately recognized the accused as Kenneth Krayeske from the photograph provided by the state police," Antuna wrote. (Pazniokas)

The state police had his photo because of verbal confrontations between himself and the governor's staff, regarding his candidate's exclusion from the gubernatorial debates. This, in Simpson's words, "unsettled" the state police, and so they provided his photograph to Hartford's police, and the chain of events was set in motion.

A man was arrested and detained for hours because of what he said and what he wrote. He was made known to police because his tone of voice "unsettled" the state police. He never threatened the governor.

This is not okay.

People can rationalize just about anything, from strangers rifling through a woman's purse at the entrance to a ball game to "free speech zones" for protesters at political events to the arrest and detention of innocent men if they believe it will make things safer. If you find that fog clouding your judgement, if you start to think that giving up a little freedom for security now and then is fine, if you begin to forget that our entire country is one great big free speech zone, remember what happened to Ken.

Then imagine it happening to you.

Sources
Pazniokas, Mark. "Activist Arrested At Inauguration Parade." Hartford Courant 6 January, 2007.

Simpson, Stan. "Protecting Rell Serves Public, Too." Hartford Courant 10 January, 2007.

47 comments:

Fuzzy Turtle said...

harm the 60-year-old grandma in her first elected term. This guy is a sterotyping putz. Rell isn't baking cookies and babysitting, she's enforcing a policy of culture and corruption in the state.

Stan Simpson - WAKE UP! Grandma does not equal NICE. Having a uterus and bearing children who have children do not make you sweet.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Stan and I bet most in the state would too.

Genghis Conn said...

Anonymous 9:59,

Why? Why is this okay?

Anonymous said...

Because the lunatic left just doesn't get it. Never will.

Genghis Conn said...

What does that mean?

Seriously. That makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

I don't find it all that helpful to have this discussion by projecting my own personal outrage, fears, or philosophies into the mix -- or my own version of what happened. It's too important to get the facts straight, for the implications go far beyond one arrest. So I will persist with the facts as we know them to date, and respond to the premise of Stan's piece as reported here.

First, in Colin McEnroe's WTIC interview on Tuesday 1/9 with Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle yesterday, (scroll down right hand column for podcast http://wtic.com/) Boyle stated that photos of the people on the so-called activist list for the inaugural were obtained from drivers' license files or previous conviction records. He stated that the police did not go out and take photos of these activists -- but he said that they might if the person was feared to be potentially violent. He clearly stated that they did not believe Krayeske represented a violent threat.

That would appear to be confirmed by the police report, which does not indicate that they did a pat-down of Ken Krayeske on the spot. In Rep. Lawlor's press conference on Monday, he also stated that it was his information that no pat-down occurred.

If the police thought Krayeske was out to harm our governor, and they did not pat him down but just cuffed him, then Stan should be all over them for gross negligence. Suicide bombers could rig a way to set off a device without using their hands, so handcuffing would be inadequate as a way of determining whether a suspected threat was a threat.

You can't use surveillance techniques for a terrorist era and police followup for a keystone kops era. If you're using terrorist tracking tools to find political activists so you can suspend democracy and the Connecticut constitution during the hours of the inaugurual activities -- that would be an abuse of the tool and a breach of the public trust, not to mention a probably violation of private citizens' rights.

Either the guy's a threat and all police actions are consistent with the belief -- or he's not, and your actions are consistent with THAT assessment.

But admitting that police did not regard him as a threat and arresting him anyhow? That would seem to me to make all other statements about fear, about security, about protection pretty much not CIA -- but CYA.

Ironically, the picture Krayeske took of Governor Rell is awesome, one of the most attractive I've ever seen of her. They each gave the other something to remember.
*GP*

Gabe said...

Have we come to the point where it is insane to think that you shouldn't be arrested for your words and ideas?

Foundig fathers, bill of rights, welcome to the "lunatic left"...

ctkeith said...

Bravo GC, Bravo,


I think you're finally realizing that those who say "Everything changed on 9/11" are really Osamas best freinds.

disgruntled_republican said...

Fuzzy, I wouldn't expect anything less from you.

Anon 959;

I don't get what you are saying either. GC, CGG, Gabe and I had this very conversation yesterday through email. I agree with Simpson to an extent. Where he says When it comes to securing the safety of the state's highest elected official, you err on the side of caution. No, Krayeske should not have been arrested, and yes, the charges should be dropped. But please don't suggest that the guy should not have been detained for a while, at least until the point police were assured he had no bad intentions. Certainly, they had a right to inspect the nylon bag he carried while running along the parade route to make certain there was nothing more dangerous than a digital camera.

On this, I 100% agree with him but it ends there. Ken did nothing wrong; nothing illegal. Why was he held on bond until the wee hours of the morning? So he couldn't protest at the Governor's ball? (Assuming he was going to.) Please, it is America; we do allow that to happen, PEACEFULLY. He had no weapons, no ill intentions, you let him go. Or has Connecticut left the union and not told its citizens?

ctkeith said...

DR,

Your comment explains perfectly why you're Disgruntled and not Authentic.

I Believe the police had the right to approach and speak to Ken. Any cop with a half a brain who wasn't under orders to arrest him would have let him go about his business after that.

disgruntled_republican said...

ctkeith -

I think that was a compliment, so thanks.

bluecoat said...

DG: I am proud of you; too often Republicans won't accept criticize the Rell administration regardless of Rell's direct involvement.

And suppose there was a real threat looming --- how many cops had there attention diverted to detain Ken when they could have been doing real security and shamus work?

meteskyjr said...

All this huffing and puffing over one guy arrested and detained improperly. I'm surprised Stan Simpson didn't devote his column to the fact that this is something that happens to the poor and disenfranchised in this state every day of the week. Why doesn't Mike Lawlor hold a press conference about that? Why doesn't Colin McEnroe devote a radio show to that?

wtfdnucsubsailor said...

I can agree that the Hartford Police had the right, if not the duty, to stop and question a person who came dashing up to a point in the parade and jumped into the street - if that is what occurred. Some say that is not what occurred. However, after determing that he only had a camera and other reporter accessories, KK should have been permitted to continue on his way,not detained and questioned and then released after the Ball. The actions hint of a police state and are unacceptable. We must learn how to balance security and freedom of speech, assembly, protest, etc. I hope the investigation and fall out from this incident are positive lessons in this regard.

CaptCT said...

Doesn't it bother anyone that the police filed a false report?

According to an eyewitness, Krayeske didn't approach the Governor in a threatening way. He was standing there taking pictures.

If the police report said that Krayeske was on a watch list, and was within 20 yards of the Governor, so we searched him, I'd be OK with that. But that's not what the police report says, and their report is refuted by an eyewitness.

The cops seemed to have lied to justify an arrest. So, the only guys who may have broken the law in this case were the COPS! And shouldn't they be focusing on REAL terrorist threats? And REAL crimes?

FrankS said...

Writing without the benefit of facts is often a mistake and always ignorant.

Giving full faith and credit to Ken Krayeske's State Police profile, if Gov. Rell had passed him without incident, as reported by a witness, before being approached by the CSP and HPD then Stan Simpson's column and all the other safety/security arguements supporting the police claims here fail.

One could imagine all different scenarios to support or contest the actions of the police in these cases, John Hinkley's shooting of Pres. Reagan is a clear recent example of a distrubed individual getting close.

I think John Rowland had it right to break tradition, the parade and ball are costly pomp events of a different era.

CaptCT said...

@ meteskyjr

You're right. If you find a case where this happens, let's give it the attention it deserves.

It just so happens that Ken has a blog, and can tell people what happened. Most people can't.

My nephew was unjustly arrested for assault, based on false testimony by a cop and it took many months, a full trial, and lots of lawyer bills for him to be found not guilty. Cops lied on the wtiness stand and in their police reports. Happens all the time. Not just in inner cities, but in the suburbs too, where my nephew was arrested.

When things like this do happen, it's important to say something about it. Write letters. Post on the blogs. Speak up. That's the beauty of the Internet. But when it DOES HAPPEN, you have to hold these clowns accountable.

It's not OK to falsify a police report.

bluecoat said...

Somebody help me!;) InDeath Penalty Showdown there is this : Waterbury State's Attorney John Connelly - whose office prosecuted five of the seven men now sitting on the state's death row - said he will comply with the subpoena to testify. He said he believes prosecutorial discretion is protected by substantial legal precedent. He said prosecutors serve under the state government's executive branch, and should not be subject to review or second-guessing by the judicial branch.

"To me this is a separation of powers issue," he said.
The Criminal Justice Commission that somhehow versees the prosecutor has two Judges on it. It's my initial thought that was some kind of blending of powers and wrong

bluecoat said...

and Drop The Charges, Apologize syas the New London Day.

Mr. Reality said...

So if this were a liberal Democrat Governor and someone was spewing hate (in the name of free speech of course) on a hard core right blog and this arrest happened to him, all you people would defend this guy? I don't buy it for a second. That's where this argument loses all credibility.

This is not about free speech, this is about the context of one's speech.

Gabe said...

Mr. Reality - Absolutely. Its the reason you see the ACLU defend the right of the KKK to hold rallies. If something is wrong, it doesn't matter if the government that lets it happens agrees with you on universal healthcare or gay marriage.

That said, there is a difference between "Lets get together and protest the ball" and "Lets get together and commit some act of violence." The first is protected by the 1st Ammendment, the second is not.

If there is evidence of Ken Krayeske doing anything more than the former (which, incidently, is not "spewing hate," its dissent), I haven't seen it. If you have, share it!

ctkeith said...

Mr. Reality,

This morning on Fox News, anchor Gretchen Carlson called Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) a “hostile enemy” of the United States because he has demanded that Congress vote on whether to approve funding for escalation in Iraq.

Should the Mass. State police arrest all fox news reporters who show up to cover Ted Kennedy or just Gretchen Carlson next time she steps foot in Mass.?

What she said on air was far more belligerent than anything Ken wrote.

bluecoat said...

Kar l Rove's legacy and tactics lives on in CT - but guys it don't work; it's broke; fix-it!!!

Anonymous said...

You guys would all be singing a different tune if a anti-abortion protester was stalking Chris Dodd.

The double standard of the left continues.

I am personally glad they detained Ken. No need to arrest him or put anything on his permanent record, but he could have easily been a threat to the Governor. (You guys know him and know he is not a threat, but the police did not).

bluecoat said...

Oh pleas, the police had his picture and they new exactly who he was and what he is. He's a political threat to the governor. Either that or the CT State POlice really do have no "intelligence" capabilities as many of us beleive.

Gabe said...

Anon - I don't know why this is so difficult to comprehend, but, one last time, stalking is illegal. Political protest is constitutionally protected. So is taking pictures as a photojournalist.

If an anti-abortion activist was arrested taking pictures of Chris Dodd in a parade while he was taking pictures and hadn't done anything to warrant being arrested, I would have written the same post. I feel comfortable that so would GC and CGG as well.

Its not actually hypocracy to believe in Constitutionally protected freedoms no matter who that are applied to.

Shadow said...

The ignorance of Stan Simpson's column is most obvious where he says Ken wasn't a physical threat, "but someone who may be inclined to try to publicly embarrass the governor on her big day".

Being "embarassed" is not a threat to your personal security. If the standard is to start arresting people anytime they embarass a politician, then you've already scrapped the first amendment. It's amazing that there are people who have spent their lives in this democracy that have become so detached and spoiled that they not only take its most basic freedoms for granted, but actually argue against those freedoms.

Mr. Reality said...

I don't believe that people on this board would be defending this guy if he were a right wing nut. I'm sorry I just don't believe it.

Also to say this guy is a journalist is a bit of a stretch...he writes on a blog. Let's not make him out to be Walter Cronkite!

Gabe said...

Thats the beauty of free speech - you are free to impugn people's integrety without a shred of evidence!

Anonymous said...

It's overreactrion to be sure. This is a severe case of overreaction and anyone who sees it otherwise should be shot!

bluecoat said...

Oh, and before I go to lunch. The guy was obviously in the area for a while with his bicycle and knapsack. Why, didn't they check him out earlier? This is indefensible - something Republicans seem quite good at defending!!!!

Gabe said...

Oh and he takes pictures and then sells them to news organizations, you know, the definition of freelance photojournalist.

Just because I write for a blog doesn't mean that I have given up my occupation of, er, student.

cgg said...

Mr. Reality google Ken's name. He's a longtime professional freelance journalist. If the police hadn't been monitoring his comments on blogs we wouldn't even be talking about blogging in relation to this story.

Joe Sixpack said...

Do any of you recall the arrest of four LaRouche "singers" in Hartford who heckled Lieberman at the spanish market? Three of whom were held for the weekend? Bloggers who are all over this issue now that one of their precious own pseudo-journalists was held as a threat to the Governor almost UNIVERSALLY thought the arrest of the Larouche "whack-os" was great - and weren't they only protesting? The level of hypocracy on this issue is un-freaking-believable from this community.

Anonymous said...

Ken can't reconcile his "in your face" political activism with a claim to be a legitimate journalist - If Tom Brokaw got into the face of President Bush, finger wagging and yelling, he would be dragged away by the secret service (if he was lucky). And if Katie Coric sped up to a presidential motorcade on her mountain bike, jumped off it and ran toward the President, she would most likely (and hopefully) be shot.

Shadow said...

Mr. Reality, if it was a right-wing nut, I'd be just as outraged. That the thing about the Constitution, it protects individual liberties REGARDLESS of politics.

The fact that independents like Genghis and myself have been leading a lot of the criticism here should be a clue that this isn't just some Republican vs. Democrat battle, but about a serious injustice that all Americans should be outraged about.

Gabe said...

Joe 6-pack:

They were not just protesting, they were throwing pieces of paper on people, on private property, were asked to stop, refused, and then were arrested (from the Courant, no link anymore):

Police arrested three protesters from Brookline, Mass., Myles Robinson, 23, Hans Wendlandt, 22, and Michael Kirsch, 25; as well as Jonathan Stewart, 22, of Oakland, Calif.

Wendlandt, Kirsch and Stewart kept throwing the paper at people, Deputy Chief Lopez said. When asked to stop, they refused and resisted arrest. They were charged with interfering with police, breach of peace and resisting arrest. Robinson was charged with breach of peace.


Ken Krayeske wasn't even protesting, he was taking pictures.

Anon - What if Ken Krayeske was standing on the street next to the parade route taking pictures? Should he be shot too?

cgg said...

Joe Sixpack, the LaRouche supporters were never arrested. They were removed from an event that they were disrupting. Once removed from the theater they continued to sing and demonstrate outside until well after the event was over. No one denied them their right to speak. I also saw some of the same faces protesting in DC last week.

I would point out that they got into the debate without a problem, and in addition to not being arrested they weren't removed because of a possibility that they might protest. Ken was arrested simply for being Ken. *Huge* difference.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

cgg said...
Joe Sixpack, the LaRouche supporters were never arrested. They were removed from an event that they were disrupting


You & Joe are talking about two totally separate incidents.

His post regards an earlier Hartford incident, you're speaking of the New London debate.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

cgg said...
Joe Sixpack, the LaRouche supporters were never arrested. They were removed from an event that they were disrupting


You & Joe are talking about two totally separate incidents.

His post regards an earlier Hartford incident, you're speaking of the New London debate.

Matt said...

Mr. Reality, a great many Dems (myself among them) have very little flattering to say about the Greens. Remember, a lot of Democrats blame the Green Party for George W. Bush's presidency. Krayeske's political affiliation has nothing to do with why people are defending him.

Gabe said...

The other incident was actually after the debate incident - it took place the Friday before the election, November 3rd.

ctkeith said...

Joe Sixpack,

Read This from the Hartford Courant:

Police arrested three protesters from Brookline, Mass., Myles Robinson, 23, Hans Wendlandt, 22, and Michael Kirsch, 25; as well as Jonathan Stewart, 22, of Oakland, Calif.

Wendlandt, Kirsch and Stewart kept throwing the paper at people, Deputy Chief Lopez said. When asked to stop, they refused and resisted arrest. They were charged with interfering with police, breach of peace and resisting arrest. Robinson was charged with breach of peace.

-----------------------------------
Do you see ANY similarities in these two incidents?

It seems to me the Police even "asked" these clowns to stop before arresting them.

The police who handled this incident should be praised for their professionalism.

cgg said...

Sorry. When Joe talked about bloggers being all over it, I assume he meant the incident at the debate.

Anonymous said...

FLASHBACK TO GOP CONVENTION in NYC - 2004: a little context for those of you who think it's all about the person and not about the tactics --
"These protesters, while certainly noisy, had obeyed police instructions down the entire length of the street," he wrote. "Now they were being treated as if they had gotten wildly out of control, but they hadn't ... At some point the police would just start picking people out of the crowd and arresting them. From what I saw, there was often no rhyme or reason behind who they picked to arrest."

Indeed, some people were arrested on the mere suspicion that they might be protesters. Ever since thousands of protesters on bicycles snarled traffic last Friday, bike riders have reported being singled out by the cops. On Wednesday, Kenneth Scott Kohanowski, a lawyer, was riding home on Fifth Avenue from his office to his neighborhood in Chelsea when he was arrested for reasons still unclear to him.

"I stopped and asked the officer why we couldn't go down Fifth Avenue," he wrote in an e-mail. "He told me to keep on moving and I insisted on knowing why I couldn't proceed toward my apartment. At that point, he shoved me ... then threw me against a magazine kiosk. A dozen other officers then jumped on top of me. They then arrested me and booked me for disorderly conduct ... I have never been arrested before. The police in this city are out of control with the RNC in town." September 3, 2004: http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2004/09/03/protest/index_np.html
*GP*

Shadow said...

So to summarize...

LaRouche supporters protest and disrupt debate with singing: no one arrested

LaRouche supporters throwing paper at people on private property, and refusing to stop when asked by police: rightfully arrested

Ken Krayseke stands on a sidewalk and takes a photograph of a parade: arrested and held on $75,000 bail

If you can't tell which of those three is an injustice, I feel sorry for you.

CT Bob said...

I shot a ton of video of those LaRouchies, before and after them being arrested, and you should know that the Hartford PD gave them a LOT of chances to NOT be arrested before they got cuffed. You wouldn't believe how aggressively threatening those morons were acting.

It was actually surprising that AFTER the arrests, the police still allowed me to approach and question Sen. Lieberman. It's a credit to their tolerance that they backed off when they saw I wasn't a direct threat to the Senator.

But it's possible Lieberman hadn't provided the cops with my photo, for which I'm grateful. Which is why the governor shouldn't target political critics for the "list".

There's a world of difference between going to an event with the express purpose of getting arrested for publicity like the LaRouchies, and going to an event to take some photos along with other members of the media. Ken is a level-headed journalist, and I'm sure the last thing he or any journalist ever wants is to BECOME the story.