Over the last several days the video and story about Keene High’s “school resource officer” Joshua English attacking and tackling a student for allegedly vaping in the school’s bathroom, has gone viral. However, there’s more to the story than cop-attacks-teen, though this incident alone is bad enough. In case you haven’t heard about this incident, according to other students the young man who was viciously attacked by English was vaping in the bathroom and English confronted him. The student heroically refused to identify himself to the armed, intimidating, uniformed man and walked out of the bathroom. Moments later, English bursted out of the bathroom and tackled the peaceful student, subduing him with a shocking level of force.
Thankfully, another brave student pulled out their phone upon hearing a commotion from inside the bathroom and captured the entire tackling on video:
Understandably many are outraged at the officer’s use of force over a simple vaping incident, but that’s not really what caused English to fly into a violent rage. The young victim’s real crime was disobedience. The youth had the gall to act as though he were a free man, walking away from a threatening, potentially violent anti-nicotine nuisance and attempting to go about his day. English has his “authority” to worry about and can’t possibly be seen by others as someone who one could just walk away from without consequence, so he used violence to dominate the young man in front of a crowd of people.
Keene Police have been making headlines nationwide for proclaiming that English was fully within police guidelines for his use of force against the “subject” – yes, that’s actually how they refer to the rest of us non-gang members. Keene police chief Steve Russo exonerated English in a recent release, saying his agent had not violated any department guidelines or state statutes, but Russo said further that English was worried the young man was a potential trespasser, claiming to the Union Leader, “At that point, he didn’t even know he was a student”.
Keene Police Officer Joshua English
Perhaps English needs to have his memory tested. While it would certainly be hard to remember previously seeing one random male in a school with over one thousand students, how could English forget that he’d written the same young man a ticket for “possessing tobacco products” two weeks prior? The student’s father showed the proof of this claim to WHDH-TV in Boston.
While Keene Police are trying to make English look like a hero protecting the school from a potential intruder, the reality is much different. In KPD’s official release, they claim the Keene Police and the school district are, “committed to maintaining the safety and security of the students…which may regrettably include when necessary, the use of force to secure that safety.” There were no allegations the young victim was doing anything violent. He was allegedly vaping in the bathroom. No one was threatened by the young man. The only dangerous, violent threat in Keene High School that day was Keene Police’s Joshua English. Who is he?
Don’t expect the mainstream media to do a modicum of digging about English. Otherwise you might have already discovered English shot a man to death in Keene back in 2010. Free Keene blogger and former police officer Brad Jardis covered the story here when English was found to be within the state’s use-of-force guidelines in the shooting incident. In that case, the man who was shot by English was holding a knife to a woman’s throat, so our blogger Jardis agreed with the shooting as necessary. However, is it really the best decision to assign one of the only officers at KPD who has violently taken another human being’s life the duty of being the high school’s cop? (more…)
Brandon Pinney Awaits Trial in a “Fuck Cops” Handmade Shirt
After being found guilty last year in Keene District Court of “disorderly conduct” for telling state police to “fuck off”, NH-native Brandon Pinney appealed to a jury trial. I’m happy to announce that thanks to a hung jury, Brandon is victorious, as the state has decided to not retry the case. In an email, Brandon says:
Just letting you know that the deadline has passed for the state to retry me and the hung jury stands. While i am disappointed I was not fully exonerated i am glad and fortunate that in my case a jury of my peers was able to see that the situation did not unfold as the state presented it.
For the full initial district court trial video, you can check out this post. At the time, he heroically wore a “FUCK COPS” homemade t-shirt into court. Free speech includes the right to say unpleasant things to government officials. The district court judge, Edward Burke, was wrong to uphold the charge against him and it was good to see some jurors could see the situation clearly. This is a clear free speech issue, and in the long run the state would have lost in its own courts. Brandon stated further: (more…)
Pumpkin Fest 2014: Dozens of Staties Attack Three Innocent, Teen Students
Ryan McLellan and his friends never hurt anyone or destroyed any property on the night of Pumpkin Fest 2014. However, that didn’t stop dozens of state police from swarming and attacking the three young men as they attempted to go to the Campus Convenience store on the corner of the block where their dorm was located. Earlier in the day and night there were riots in the neighborhood, but by the early morning hours when Ryan and his friends were attacked, there was nothing happening.
Well, I shouldn’t say nothing. Their neighborhood was being occupied by a very large group of armed men who were in a mood to order around and kidnap anyone they darn well wanted. Here’s the original video I released at the time, which shows the arrests and surrounding scene in full. Just minutes prior to their attack, but before the huge throng of state police had been brought in, I had been in the exact same place as the young men. Though the cops who were there at the time prohibited me from crossing into Winchester St., (for no apparent reason other than arbitrary control), they did not tackle and arrest me, like was done to Ryan and his friends.
Sadly, despite his being a clear case of police abuse and having an attorney willing to take the case to trial and beyond, Ryan took the plea deal, having a nonsense “resisting arrest” charge conditionally nolle-prossed in return for his guilty plea to “disorderly conduct”. These are two of the police’s favorite charges to throw at someone who they don’t like, but has otherwise done nothing wrong.
They were going to the convenience store. It was past midnight and they were hungry. When told to “GO HOME!”, they seemed confused – after all, they had committed no crimes, and further, there were other normal people walking down Winchester St, so why were they allowed to walk somewhere but not Ryan and friends?
“My son has had 2 MRIs bad concussion lives with headaches everyday, dislocated his shoulder, sprained ankle and bruised the inside of his mouth from kneeling on his face.”
During sentencing, judge Edward J Burke fined him $1,000 suspended for two years on condition of good behavior, gave him 50 hours of community service, and lectured him as though he were somehow as bad as the people who had committed violence or property destruction, despite him never being accused of doing any such thing!
It was sad to watch. If you’re ever facing criminal charges, especially in the case of police abuse – please consider not taking the plea deal. Taking the plea only encourages more bad behavior from the police and “justice” system like this and ensures you’ll never be able to challenge what they did to you.
Finally, before you accuse me of being anti-police, remember it was my video I gave to Keene police that led to the capture and conviction of people who actually committed violent and property crime during the Pumpkin Fest riots. I am fine with the police going after real criminals, but not peaceful people like Ryan and his friends.
For years, Free Keene has provided the community service of a Keene police scanner feed, which was highly-listened during the Pumpkin Fest riots, with over 300 simultaneous streams being served that night.
Welcome (back) to Keene, KSC students! Many of you returning are already aware of Keene Cop Block. For those who are new, we’ve been and will continue to be out in the streets near the college, generally on Friday and Saturday nights. As usual, we’ll be recording police harassment of peaceful people and will be handing out plenty of know-your-rights cards.
Plus, we may have a K9 unit, Jazzy Girl with us, so please stop and pet her – she loves people.