[Hpn] FYI So this is how we treat our veterans Mr. President!

wtinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Fri, 29 Jun 2001 07:05:51 -0400

From: Kent Paul Dolan xanthian@well.com

"The Bully and the Crazy Boy" gantlet dropped by Clovis,
      CA police department.
 Incident Report:
 Parties involved:
 Retired LCDR Kent Paul Dolan, Military ID 476-48-6712, henceforth
"homeless veteran".
 Clovis California police department Officer Montero, Badge # 5027
Clovis California police department Officer Fries, Badge # 5085
 Time and place of occurrance:
 0545 Pacific Daylight Time, Thursday, 28 June 2001,
Clovis California, Veterans Memorial Center, Veterans Memorial
Building, an outside fenced patio, open through an ungated access
to the sidewalk, on the south side of the building.

Narrative of incident:
 Officer Montero awakened the homeless veteran, who was sleeping
in a deeply recessed doorway at a place not visible from the road
by passing occupants in vehicles such as police cars, due to the
shielding of a low brick fence between the doorway and the road.
 When the homeless veteran told officer Montero that it would take
a minute for the (mildly disabled and just aroused) homeless
veteran to awaken fully and rise to his feet, Officer Montero
responded "I don't have a minute".  In the event, Officer Montero
had several, and used them to inform the homeless veteran that he
was "trespassing".  This seemed odd to the homeless veteran, as
the Veterans Memorial Building and Veterans memorial Center are
"places of public accomodation" within the usual meaning of the
law, open to and doing business with the general public.
 Officer Montero, while the homeless veteran folded and rolled his
sleeping bag and attached it to the homeless veteran's furniture
dolly, along with the homeless veteran's pillow and other personal
effects, went on to tell the homeless veteran that he was
"trespassing on private property".  Again this seemed odd to the
homeless veteran, as to all appearances the Veterans Memorial
Center is owned and operated by the City of Clovis California (and
there is a plaque on the Veterans Memorial Building near the
entranceway listing the directors of this Center which confirms
that impression), and thus public property, not private property.
 When asked by the homeless veteran what the objection was to a
homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk, Officer Montero replied
that Clovis didn't have homeless people, because the police
department didn't want the city to look, quote, "dirty", unquote.

The homeless veteran immediately objected that that homeless
veteran was not "dirty" but in fact recently and frequently
 Officer Montero then suggested, forcefully it seemed to the
homeless veteran, that the homeless veteran take his
(objectionable) homelessness elsewhere, suggesting a shelter in
Fresno, an adjacent town.  The homeless veteran responded that
said homeless veteran had recently visited that "shelter" and
that in the homeless veteran's opinion based on the evidence of
that visit, the "shelter" was an abode of Satanists, abusing the
homeless for pleasure.
Then Officers Montero and Fries repeatedly suggested that it
would be most appropriate for the homeless veteran to take his
homeless situation out of Clovis, and stated that the homeless
veteran would be the recipient of increased police attention
from the Clovis Police department if the homeless veteran
remained in Clovis, an obvious threat by the officers and by
implication by the police department and the City of Clovis
to violate the homeless veteran's civil rights under the "equal
protection" clause of the US Constitution's Bill of rights, as
well as U.S. Supreme Court case law prohibiting the police
department of Los Angeles California from harrassment of an
individual merely for being "different".
 When the homeless veteran suggested that the two officers were
well on their way to making Clovis California world famous to
its disadvantage via Usenet, Officer Montero replied that Clovis
would of course publish a rebuttal.  The homeless veteran then
informed the two officers that the publication would be and the
rebuttal should be addressed to Usenet newsgroups misc.misc and
talk.bizarre (Usenet newsgroups talk.politics.misc and
alt.society.homeless should have been listed, but were
inadvertantly omitted by the homeless veteran).
 While Officer Montero initially threatened the homeless veteran
with incarceration if the homeless veteran continued to be found
living rough within the Clovis city limits, the homeless veteran
was able quickly to inform Officer Montero how litte being offered
shelter, food, safety of person, and guarding of personal effects
would be perceived as punishment by a homeless person.  Officer
Montero then revised his threat (legally, his "assault") to one of
repeated ticketing for trespassing, with only eventually a
possibility of incarceration.
 Officer Fries seemed to disagree with this assesment of probable
future Clovis Police Department action, however, and reiterated to
the homeless veteran threats to "throw you in a cell".  In the
process of the two officers gathering the homeless veteran's
identification, Officer Fries, unprompted, also commited a grievous
and egregious violation of the homeless veteran's civil rights
under the US Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom from
official persecution, photographing the homeless veteran without
first inquiring whether that might be a violation of the homeless
veteran's (possibly Muslim) religious beliefs prohibiting being
depicted in a "graven image".
 All in all, it seems clear that Officers Montero and Fries have
thrown down the gantlet in challenge for a game of "The Bully and
the Crazy Boy", with the (also) profoundly mentally ill homeless
veteran in the role of the crazy boy, and the City of Clovis and
its Police Department taking on the role of the bully.
 It is worth remarking that Officer Montero was surprised to
learn that his dismissal of the homeless veteran's response
to a request for prior arrest history with "I was arrested
for attempted suicide" with "that's not an arrest", was
replied to by the homeless veteran with a careful legal and
etimological definition of "arrest".  [The homeless veteran
was in this years-earlier incident handcuffed at the elbows
behind his back, forced into the back of a police car,
driven off, locked in a jail holding cell, and brought before
a judge at the next regular business hours, an arrest in all
usual definitions of the term.]
The homeless veteran's use of the legal phrase "a place of public
accomodation" to describe the Clovis Memroial District's Veterans
Memorial Building was also offputting to Officer Montero, and in
general, Officer Montero did not appear overjoyed to find that the
homeless veteran was well aware of exact legal rights and not
willing to be bullied in violation of those rights.
 Officer Montero also had to be informed of the definition of the
term in common use in California and elsewhere, NIMBY (not in my
back yard) when the homeless veteran used that term to
characterize the Clovis approach to the (national) problem
of homeless Americans.
 This all suggests to the open mind a probable need for improved
training in the Clovis Police Department, both in terms of legal
training in important day to day issues of police duties, such
as what, exactly, constitutes an "arrest", and also in sensitivity
training about how best to handle the frequently encountered issues
of senior citizens, the disabled, the homeless, veterans, and the
mentally ill, and people in general trying to live their lives the
best they can without any exhibition of malice.
 Additionally, the City of Clovis could certainly use some awareness
of the propriety of abusing veterans on the grounds of the Veterans
Memorial Building, and the likely consequences of harrassing those
grown old and well vested in ways to return harm for harm with a
multiplier effect from the leverage of the tools the world provides,
when unnecessarily provoked.
                             Kent Paul Dolan
 [Readers wishing to do something useful with the above
information are encouraged to copy this message to
appropriate media, legal, and governmental entities at
different levels with individually crafted expressions
of opinion as to the events described.  The internet
should be a dandy way to winkle out the appropriate email
addresses and postal addresses.  That is how the game of
The Bully and the Crazy Boy is played.]
 [The above has omitted because they were accomplished by
innuendo rather than direct accusation the charges of
urinating in the bushes and defacating on the street which
the two officers made sure the homeless veteran knew were
being leveled at him.]