Go ahead, charge me
September 2, 2009
Let your readers put themselves in my place: Whether “buzzed” as I describe my state that night, drunk as Sgt. Curry describes me, or drunk as a lord, that is no crime (“Cops’ and critic’s perspectives differ on incident at bar,” Aug. 31, 2009, The Aspen Times). I did not intend to drive and indeed had no car with me that night and was not being disorderly. And though saying what I said, namely “don’t let the door hit you in the ass” is undiplomatic, again it is no crime and may even be viewed as an exercise of my constitutional rights as a U.S. citizen.
When I was arbitrarily singled out by Officer Lemke, and asked to come outside, I think I can be forgiven for being fearful and reluctant. We have all heard stories about law enforcement abuse of power and I reckoned that I was safer inside with witnesses, whatever was about to transpire. I did what I think any reasonable citizen would have done in my place – I did not fight, though provoked in the extreme, I merely resisted by inaction and repeated my request for an explanation – though I may then have used expletives as I was being pummeled by the officers.
My suspicion is that I was merely in the wrong company at that point in the night- in fact, all the newspaper coverage focuses in large part on the earlier antagonistic interaction between Sgt. Curry and my friend.
It is ludicrous to waste the D.A’.s time to consider whether I could be charged for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. I asked what I had done wrong; I was never told – just told to leave, period. I was never arrested nor read my Miranda rights, just randomly detained and beaten.
In fact, I would welcome it if I were to be charged: Presumably in that event I would have a chance to have my case heard before a judge. That Sgt. Curry feels compelled to refer to me as “a child,” adding the requisite insult to the injuries already sustained, only serves to underline the paucity of compassion for the local citizenry and the utter lack of professionalism on the part of the Basalt police.
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