Richmond, VA: Account of post-copwatch arrest

An account from Richmond Anarchist Jeremy Hawthorne regarding his detention and arrest last night on the charges of Felony Destruction of State Property. Jeremy is a member of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective and Richmond Copwatch. (FromAnarchistNews.org & denverabc.wordpress.com)

After a long and relatively uneventful night of doing Copwatch for first fridays on Broad Street, S and I were ready to make the trek back to the Wingnut to review the footage acquired over the course of the night. It had been an evening of very large groups of very bored pigs, standing in groups of up to ten up and down Broad St., most likely very upset that there were no younger folks of color to push around to pass the time on a Friday night. After a humorous impromptu interview with the 4th precinct commander, Mike Strawder, S and I had made it back to our bikes, parked in front of the New York Pizza restaurant.

S had unlocked his bike, and as I bent to unlock my bike, I felt handcuffs close over my left wrist as another pair of hands closed around my right arm. I looked up, and there were at least 15 VCU and Richmond police officers surrounding S and I, and I was promptly told that I was under arrest and that I had a felony warrant out on my head, though they were not, at that moment, very forthcoming about what I the warrant was for. S jumped to his feet and immediately had his camera trained on the officers and myself, and watched as they moved me to an alley “where no one could see me”. My pockets were searched, my knife confiscated, and my bag taken from me as two undercover agents kept their video cameras trained on me throughout the ordeal.

Soon, a VCU paddywagon pulled up, and I was shuffled away to the VCU police station, under the impression that I would be going to jail for whatever it was they thought it necessary to charge me with. After my arrival, a detective and a police officer sat me down in a waiting room, took my picture a few times, and shot the shit with other passing officers while a large, sloth-like pig played a game of Bejeweled on an office computer across the room, intermittently taking long sips from what was probably the largest Big Gulp I had ever seen. After a few minutes of wishing that I could take a nap, or at least know my reason for being there, I was carted even deeper into the bowels of the VCU cop shop, and finally was able to shed some light on the current predicament. The detective informed me that on August 23rd someone matching my description (someone with tattoos, a hat, and a bike….. in Richmond, during Best Friends Day) had slashed an undetermined amount of tires belonging to, I’m guessing, VCU. Though confused about the situation, I spoke to the magistrate via some technological doohickey, and was told that I would be taken to processing, and then released on a $5000 unsecured bond. I was also told that my bike, hat, and knife would be held as evidence until the investigation was over with. The officers involved used their wily charms to try and talk about the Wingnut and Copwatch, and allowed me to call S to come and pick up my bag.

After a short ordeal with fingerprinting, signing documents, and getting even more pictures taken at the processing station, I found myself right back out onto the streets of Richmond, dazed and slightly weirded out by the strange turn of events that had taken place over the course of the night. My court date is on Tuesday the 6th, at 9 A.M., so you can be sure that there will be plenty of updates regarding the case as it progresses. If anyone might happen to have contact with a decent (and cheap) lawyer in town who is friendly towards Anarchists, you can contact the house at 804-303-5449, or through the website at http://www.wingnutrva.org

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