[Above video is of the incident for which Matt E was charged guilty by a trial on October 23rd.]
Backstory before beginning of video:
In short, the two police officers in the video have been calling Matt E (aka MC Bypolar the Toxic Cherub) by name and harassing him in a very unprofessional manner (a standard to which they are supposed to be held to because of their job), making threats for awhile. The police hate him because he is a core founder of Seattle Copwatch which exists to end police violence by filming the police, letting people know their rights etc. Matt E has been particularly good at this and not in a way that is ‘polite’ to the police, calling them out directly for their role in maintaining slavery (since police were started as slave patrols and still serve that function today if you understand that the prison system is a reformatting of the slave plantation). In the weeks leading up to this Matt E had been doing a lot of very successful copwatching in downtown Seattle. So these two police officers have a particularly strong relationship with the crowd of people, since the crowd is always hanging out at Westlake park selling and using drugs and the new “community policing” model encourages officers to “build relationships”.The police told the crowd to be aware of Matt E, that him being around there would bring down heat on them. So after the police told the crowd that having Matt E down there would bring down heat on them, they all readied whatever weapons they had (including chains, skateboards and more) and started to surround Matt E. This is the side of “community based policing” that not many are talking about. Instead of putting a check against police power it augments it. He soon drew his knife and started backing up. The beginning of the video is him walking backwards into Pacific Place mall to be safer in the public, lighted view. The rest of the video explains itself.
police power it augments it. He soon drew his knife and started backing up. The beginning of the video is him walking backwards into Pacific Place mall to be safer in the public, lighted view. The rest of the video explains itself.
(See below the updates for background story, what you can do, and contacts. Please save and share shortlink to follow story stoplegallynching.wordpress.com)
UPDATE ( PST Sat Oct 25): MATT E IS FREE!! …At least until the hearing for that completely fabricated felony harassment charge on Tuesday October 28th at 230pm at King County Jail, courtroom 1. There we hope to see the false charge dropped, being as there is no evidence of Matt E making a death threat to anyone and it miraculously appeared by order of Judge Steve Rosen after the first $25,000 bail was posted, all just to keep his feeling of power as a (white) judge over black freedom. Next court appearance will be Cameron’s contempt hearing on Monday in the morning at King County Jail, exact time TBA.
UPDATE (7:03pm PST Sat Oct 25): Bail has been posted and Matt E should be out between 8 and 1030pm, gather in front of King County Jail on 5th and James to greet.
UPDATE (5:02pm PST Sat Oct 25): At today’s “investigation hearing” at the King County Jail Courtroom 1 Matt E had Judge Rosen’s newest charge against him of felony harassment reviewed by Judge Donna Tucker. Judge Donna Tucker explained at the beginning of the process that they were not able to take any testimony into account, only information directly from the affidavit delivered by Judge Rosen could be taken into account. When Matt E was brought out in front of the Judge the entire gallery, which was completely full without any room left on the benches for sitting, stood up to express our solidarity. There were only two people in the gallery who did not stand and were apparently not there to support Matt E. Some 40 to 50 people in all. The prosecution asked for $100,000 bail, arguing that Matt E has a criminal history which includes drug charges, assault and harassment. The prosecution also used Matt E’s charges of escaping a lynch mob (i.e. resisting arrest and possession of an illegal weapon) in order to further convince the judge that he is a flight risk and so to set the bail at his suggestion of $100,000. Someone in the gallery shouted “THOSE CHARGES ARE FOR TRYING TO ESCAPE A LYNCH MOB.” Matt E’s defense pointed out that all of the charges that the prosecution mentioned took place when he was a juvenile, that he has lived in Seattle over 25 years and so is not a flight risk, and that he is primary caregiver for his elderly grandmother. The Judge’s final determination was to set bail at $25,000, saying that the charge of felony harassment was based on threatening to kill someone (no circumstances or evidence were mentioned) and so they still wanted something of a substantial bail amount. Once bail was set and Matt E left the room the entire gallery, minus 2 people, left the room. Matt E’s next court date for Judge Rosen’s charge against him will be held in the same place, Tuesday October 28th at 230pm. Keep in mind Cameron will in fact have another contempt hearing on Monday October 27th (sometime in the morning 9am+) where Judge Rosen will give them another chance to apologize. Cameron has expressed that they will continue to be in contempt of court and if Judge Rosen decides to continue to give another 30 days in jail for each time they argue their point, they will continue to argue and Judge Steve Rosen can choose to be known as the Judge who put someone away for life for arguing in court if he so chooses. Next BIG DATE that will be SUPER IMPORTANT is Matt E’s sentencing hearing where his time incarcerated for the initial charges of escaping a lynch mob will be set: November 13th at 9am (location TBA). Please write a letter to Judge Rosen demanding the minimal possible sentence for Matt E’s charges if you can do that kind of work effectively. Another update coming tonight.
UPDATE (3:45pm PST Fri Oct 24): For Matt E, the entire bail of $25,000 was posted and we thought he would be released by sometime tonight, until his SENTENCING HEARING on November 13th at 9am (location TBA). However, after bail was posted Judge Rosen apparently decided to give another charge, felony harassment, presumably because Judge Rosen didn’t think the bail would have been posted and wanted to make certain that Matt E would stay locked up. We will find out tomorrow SATURDAY OCTOBER 25th at 1230pm at the investigative hearing in the same building, either courtroom 1 or 2, King County Jail. PLEASE COME TO THIS AND BE PREPARED FOR CONTEMPT HEARING MONDAY IF JUDGE ROSEN DECIDES TO CHARGE CAM (continue reading).
Chris and Cameron were each sentenced to 30 days in jail for contempt of court, the maximum possible sentence. Judge Steve Rosen (up for election, by the way) said the reason for giving the maximum sentence for contempt, which he says he has never done before was because they were part of and responsible for inciting, quote “the biggest disturbance I have ever seen in a court room” and that is was “the most egregious case of contempt possible.” Judge Rosen claimed this was necessary “to protect the fairness of Mr. Erickson’s trial.” Cameron may be facing another case of contempt today for refusing to take back their behavior and words yesterday, and for telling the judge their reasoning for their conduct in court yesterday.
The primary reason Cameron gave was that the way the trial was conducted was in defense of a public lynching–which are a daily occurrence in the US, still–that Matt E was only attempting to escape, effectively making Judge Rosen and the entire court an official advocate for white supremacy and racism. Cameron also made reference to Darren Wilson and Michal Brown (#Ferguson). I wish I had audio or direct quotes of Cameron’s speech to the Judge to share right now, but for now you will have to imagine and deal with my paraphrase. Judge Rosen had Cameron removed from the courtroom by marshals because Cameron “could not control [themself].” The hearing then concluded with Judge Rosen saying that Cameron was “voluntarily absent,” although they were in fact dragged away by court marshals, and the determination was to give them 30 days, as Chris was given before, with Judge Rosen saying he might assign another contempt charge although he was “disinclined” he would think about it. If Judge Rosen does decide to assign another contempt charge, Cameron will have court in the same place, King County Jail arraignment court, on Monday Oct 27.
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UPDATE (9:10am PST Fri Oct 24): Chris and Cameron have court at 10:05am TODAY Friday at the King County Jail court on 5th and James. Arraignment for contempt charges, courtroom 2. Update on Matt E coming soon.
SEATTLE JUDGE AND JURY FIND BLACK MALE GUILTY OF ESCAPING A LYNCH MOB
(Please forward immediately)
This whole trial has been super FUCKED UP. My friend was targeted to be killed by some officers of the Seattle Police Department because of his role in Seattle Copwatch. SPD doesn’t like him because of that, since he has done a good job of interrupting their harassment and violence against homeless, poor, black, brown and native people on many occasions in Seattle over the past several years and made certain that people know their rights with the police.
The SPD officers’ method of trying to have him killed, or *at least* extremely injured, was to allowing a large group of armed street kids that those particular officers have a strong relationship with to surround him with clear intentions of violence. Those officers were present from the beginning of the situation and have a history of calling him by name and making threats against him. The officers sat along with the group and were doing nothing as the group surrounded him with weapons drawn (skateboards, chains, and other implements). When it was absolutely clear that the officers were not there to help but to enable the situation, he eventually drew a knife and went into a defensive posture telling them to all leave him alone. At that point the officers attacked and kidnapped him. I know all of this because he told me in detail as soon as he got out of jail and I have been working with him on copwatch for years.
During the situation he had flashes of being murdered by lynch mobs in the same more historic fashion of KKK racism in the US. There is also video evidence from Pacific Place mall that confirms his story of being surrounded by the armed group and the officers standing idly by until he drew a weapon to saved his own life. This was shown in trial. One of the officers, the one telling the *more* blatant lies about how the situation happened, was very clearly red in the face and would not even look at the jury. My friend’s complaint the (first) all white jury was not a jury of his peers was dismissed by the judge. Nonetheless another jury had to be selected because the judge said something he should not have that could create prejudice in the jury, so another one had to be selected. The second jury, the prosecution immediately eliminated the only black person from the jury pool and then the activist lady and then the person who spoke about self defense. Despite all of this, the jury today found him guilty of resisting arrest and possession of an illegal weapon (even though the knife was not actually illegal, the prosecutor tried to say it was spring loaded when he was clearly flicking it open, a common style of knife that many people carry). If this sounds hard to believe for you, keep in mind this is the same Seattle Police Department that has been found to be extremely corrupt and racist, even by official reports of the US Department of Justice. Also keep in mind this is the USA. George Zimmerman gets acquitted for murdering a young unarmed black teenager because he supposedly felt his life was threatened; “legitimate self-defense.” My friend, who also happens to be black, tries to defend himself against a mob of armed people with clear intention to severely harm or murder him, in a manner where he is not even seeking to injure them but to get them to leave him alone (i.e. backing away and brandishing the knife against their advances), and he is kidnapped by the police, incarcerated and charged with heavy criminal offenses that carry serious time.
Emotions were high in the court room afterwards, people were not completely silent about the blatant racism of the court system that is continuing to enable the mass murder and incarceration of black people. Two people other than the defendant, also very close friends of mine, were found in contempt of court for their lack of silence in the face of this. We need EVERYONE POSSIBLE TO COME OUT TOMORROW to the ARRAIGNMENT HEARINGS IN THE MORNING. It is important to show popular support and have lots of media to bring attention to this collective case during the arraignments.
How to Support:
1) Come to as many of the court dates as you can possibly make it to and encourage others to come with you to witness the process and stand in solidarity with Matt E and against government sanctioned lynching attempts. VERY IMPORTANT date for mass mobilization will be the sentencing hearing for Matt E’s crime of escaping a public lynching (or in the court’s vocabulary ‘possession of an illegal weapon’ and ‘resisting arrest’). PACK THE ENTIRE COURT HOUSE NOVEMBER 13TH AT 9AM PST (location to be announced).
2) TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW! Share on social media, talk to your friends and family and strangers about it…TRANSLATE this story into whatever other languages you might know and share it with people in that community, using the video of Matt’s arrest after escaping the lynching
3) Donate $ for legal/bail fund/$ for the books and continuing projects against legal lynching and police brutality. All $ that is not eaten by this case will continue to go to projects such as copwatch and to assist others facing similar situations.
4) Visit (see contacts)
5) Write a letter to Judge Steve Rosen about why Matt E should be sentenced with as little time as possible at sentencing and/or completely dismissed of all charges. If you can not resist the urge to call him a fascist please do not write him.
6) Give bad Yelp reviews to the Seattle Municipal Court and King County Jail
7) Resist fascism
Contacts for case:
Keep up on this blog post. Until some dedicated site is made it will be continuously updated with current info on the case, so please save this link: stoplegallynching.wordpress.com
Also, public Facebook event for info and updates (you don’t need an account to view the info but if you do have one you can invite all of your friends, as long as they are not pro-fascism or racism)
#Seattle #Copwatch #MattFacesTheFascists #Racism #BlackLivesMatter #Ferguson