Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Harassment of Medical Marijuana Initiative activist

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 1:21 AM

If there is anything especially ironic about this, it is the fact that a fellow gathering signatures for a proposed special election dealing with Fayetteville's human rights ordinance has been at the same location in recent days. What follows is the complaint that Tom Brown has filed.

Affidavit of Facts

September 11, 2014
I, Rev. Tom Brown, affirm under penalty of perjury that the following statement is true and complete to the best of my ability as indicated by my signature below on the date indicated.


Narrative of the Event:

On May 9, 2014, I — Rev. Tom Brown — was gathering signatures on the Medical Marijuana Initiative authorized by the Arkansas State Attorney General. I was located at the Arkansas State Department of Revenue office parking lot located on Razorback Road in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I had been doing this electioneering for about a month at that location. I had previously been visited by Fayetteville City Police officers several times who said that they were answering alleged complaints that I was acting illegally. All those visits were resolved without any harassment or intimidation by the investigating officers with a finding that my activity was legal and otherwise authorized by law.

On the morning of May 9, 2014, a lady exited the main door of the Dept. Revenue office and I greeted her with my usual greeting. I begin with a question and she replied:

Q “Have you signed the medical marijuana initiative yet?
A “No.
Q “Would you like to sign the medical marijuana initiative?
A “No.

Q “Did you know that our City Attorney Kit Williams used the marijuana for his wife’s chemotherapy and she recovered from her cancer?

A “My husband is with the DEA and we are here to clean up trash like that.


Q “Oh Lordy, please tell your husband to come down and visit with me, I would like to speak to him.

At that point the lady left the parking lot in her car.

Sometime later, a man — picture attached that was captured from the Fayetteville City Police recording of subsequent events and provided to me under FOI by the Fayetteville City Prosecutor’s office — appeared in the parking lot and came over to me. He identified himself as David Younce, of the DEA. He indicated that he was stationed here in Fayetteville, that he was there in response to my speaking to his wife, and that he wanted me to follow him. As the signage at the office indicated that the area in question is under 24 hour video surveillance, I refused his order to move to a location that was not being so observed.

Younce then indicated that my gathering signatures was illegal and that if I did not stop gathering signatures that I would be arrested. I invited him to arrest me there and then.

Younce then moved to another area of the parking lot and got out his cell phone. Apparently, according to Fayetteville City Police records — copies attached — he called the city police and filed a complaint that I was “causing a disturbance”. According to the record that call was made from (479) 435-3809.
The police report indicates that:
“Dispatch Narrative: Beard, LSW khaki pants, plaid shirt, sombrero hat..hdg Harassing people and getting verbally abusive towards them..hdg He is holding a marijuana petition for people to sign..hdg No C1S seen, Unk C2..hdg Unk veh info..hdg Posb veh may be a lit blu ford fiesta…hdg Male is posb mental..hdg He is being very confrontational..hdg Caller is keeping an eye on the male..hdg”

Sometime later — 13:17:36 according to the police record as attached — a city police officer in his patrol car arrived and parked in the lot. The officer activated his recording apparatus and David Younce crossed the parking lot in front of the officer’s car to greet the city police officer. They seemed to be good friends.

After speaking to David Younce, Fayetteville City Police officer John Henry Warren, badge number 188, approached me and asked what I was doing. I responded that I was gathering signatures on the Medical Marijuana Initiative and had been doing so for about a month at that time. I told him that he was one of several officers that had responded to complaints about that and a record of such reports was available to him at the police department.

Warren then asked if I was there to get a driver’s license, pay my car tags, or otherwise conduct business with the Revenue office.

I responded that I had recently paid my car tag fees, but that had occurred several days before.
Warren then told me that since I was not at that location for Revenue Department purposes that I was trespassing and subject to arrest if I failed to immediately leave that location. I responded that I was legally engaged in electioneering, that I refused his demand to leave, and that he should proceed to arrest me if he thought that legal. I advised him that I would sue him personally if he attempted to further interfere with me gathering signatures, that I was legally engaged under the federal Voters Rights Protection act and that he was criminally and civilly liable for violations of my rights under that federal law and state of Arkansas laws.

Warren then left the parking lot and went into the Revenue office. A short time later he reappeared from the office, again approached me, and told me that the manager of the Revenue office had told him that I could only be at that location if I was conducting official Revenue office business. He then told me that he would arrest me if I did not leave.

All this time Younce — the DEA agent — was present observing his friend Warren engage with me. On several occasions I turned to speak to Younce indicating that his wife had labeled our City Attorney Kit Williams as the “trash” she said that he was in Fayetteville to clean up and he should feel free to get that on the record with Warren. I also several times asked Warren if he agreed that Kit Williams was “trash” that he and Younce should clean up. Warren refused to answer those questions.

After Warren’s final threat to arrest me, I held up my hands together at the wrists and invited Warren to proceed to handcuff me for arrest. He and Younce then left the area.

Later in the day I visited with the Revenue Office manager and she told me that Warren had appeared in her office and told her that he thought that the fact that I was not engaged in obtaining a driver’s license or otherwise performing Revenue Office duties, meant that I was present illegally. She reported that she told him that was not true, that folks with various initiatives had been collecting signatures there over many years, and that as far as she was concerned I was acting legally. All of the employee’s at the office that I had occasion to visit with over the time I was gathering signatures had indicated the same thing, that others had previously gathered signatures on various initiatives there, and that was a legal activity at that location.

On May 12, 2014 I appeared at the Fayetteville City Police Department office to request a copy of the Incident Report for this occurrence. I obtained a copy of that report — attached — and went to the Fayetteville City Prosecutors office to file an FOI for the body mike recording of the incident. Subsequently I obtained a copy of the recording. It is barely audible and after listening to it once I have prepared this complaint. I also captured a picture of Younce from the beginning of that recording and that picture is attached to this complaint.

After obtaining the records attached, I called the DEA office in the federal building in Fayetteville, Arkansas and asked to speak to the officer in charge. Someone who claimed that they are named “Tommy Flowers” responded to my call. I asked how I should go about filing a complaint about Younce’s violations of my rights under the federal Voter Rights Act by the activity recorded above. He refused to allow me to file a complaint with his office or to make any official record of the call or any complaint I would want to make. He told me to visit with the DEA’s website to file a complaint. Subsequently I visited that website but was unable to find any means or method of filing a complaint. I am sending copies of this complaint now to the DEA, federal and state officials, and the FBI.


Complaint - Officer Warren

The medical marijuana initiative that I was gathering signatures on had been authorized by the Arkansas State Attorney General sometime in November 2013. The ongoing story of that had been reported statewide in print, radio and TV sources repeatedly. There was no question in public awareness that this was legally occurring.

Prior to the events of May 9, 2014 Officer Warren had visited Farmers Market on the Fayetteville Square where I maintain a table on Saturdays offering religious materials as I am a minister of First Church of the Magi Inc. a religious non-profit corporation of the State of Arkansas. He was aware of my activities, the initiative, and the fact the in 2012 over 49% of voters in the November election had voted in favor of providing for production of and medical use of marijuana. In Washington County and Fayetteville the vote in favor was over 60%. Warren’s actions on May 9, 2014 occurred in a situation where he consciously chose to attempt to harass and intimidate me into stopping gathering signatures on a ballot initiative that current polls indicate is supported by 60-70% of Arkansas voters statewide.

Warren’s actions were taken knowingly and maliciously, with the evident purpose of stopping me and others from exercising legal rights to enact laws under the Initiative process provided for in Arkansas state legislation. In the midst of his acts, he deliberately, knowingly and maliciously lied by telling me that my presence at the Revenue Office were in violation of law and would subject me to arrest. His actions have served to discourage voters from engaging in legal activities to make laws. His actions have served to bring discredit and disrepute on the police department of the City of Fayetteville and have caused evidence to support civil rights judicial relief against the police department and the City of Fayetteville. All these acts are violations of state and federal law for which Officer Warren should be held to strict account.

Complaint - DEA Agent Younce

Younce’s wife’s comments to the effect that she and her husband — an officer with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency stationed in Fayetteville — are here to clean up “trash” like our City Attorney, and his conduct as subsequently demonstrated, show a knowing, deliberate, and malicious attempt to intimidate me and prevent me from engaging in legal electioneering activity protected under the federal Voters Rights Act.
In addition, labeling our City Attorney and his wife as “the trash we are here to clean up” demonstrates a deliberate, malicious and callous disregard for community standards both local, statewide and federal. It should be noted that Kit Williams is scion to one of the founding families of Washington County, Arkansas; that he is an elected official who has held office without challenge for many years; that as City Attorney he is an expert in the laws and law enforcement of the State of Arkansas, Washington County and the City of Fayetteville.

It should also be noted that Emily Williams, Kits’ wife, had the misfortune to come down with some cancer in years prior to these events. As indicated by published reports — one is attached — Kit learned that the chemotherapy that his wife was undergoing was destroying her ability to continue to eat and nourish herself in the midst of her battle with the cancer. Friends provided them with marijuana in an attempt to alleviate her pain and suffering, the marijuana worked, and as a result of that marijuana use Emily continues in remission from her cancer today.

It should also be noted that on July 4, 2012, Kit Williams, Emily, and a host of friends appeared on the local Channel 29/49 Fox News in a long and thorough report to testify to her cancer suffering and her use of marijuana to relieve that suffering. They sought to inform Washington County residents privy to that broadcast, that we should support the medical marijuana initiative that appeared on the ballot in November of 2012. We did so in overwhelming numbers.

In light of the documentation submitted with this complaint, it is inconceivable that DEA agent Younce acted other than deliberately, knowingly and maliciously by labeling our City Attorney as the “trash” agent Younce and his wife are stationed in Fayetteville to clean up.

It is inconceivable that agent Younce acted other than deliberately, knowingly and maliciously in attempting to intimidate and harass Complainant who was engaged in legal electioneering activities under federal and Arkansas State law.

That action has brought the federal government in general and the Drug Enforcement Agency in particular into disrepute and has endangered ongoing investigations by sowing disparagement and discouragement on civilians and law enforcement agents both state and local that the Drug Enforcement Agency requires for appropriate investigations and prosecutions of dangerous drug law violations.

Such actions are beneath contempt and must be dealt with severely in order to prevent any subsequent bleed over onto legitimate law enforcement activities.


Complaint - “Tommy Flowers”

As noted above, the alleged manager of the local Fayetteville DEA office refused to take a complaint about the illegal and malicious actions of agent Younce, or to allow a complaint to be mailed to his office. “Flowers” then attempted to discourage and intimidate Complainant into not filing any complaint and falsely referred Complainant to the DEA website for filing a complaint. By doing so “Flowers” deliberately, knowingly, and maliciously violated federal and state law providing for accountability of law enforcement officers for the performance of their duties.

It is inconceivable that “Flowers” acted as reported without knowing that Emily Williams suffered from cancer, that her survival was supported by her use of marijuana, that such use was publically revealed in print, radio and television coverage and that the vast majority of Washington County residents knew of and supported that use of marijuana.

It is inconceivable that “Flowers” acted in ignorance of the need and advisability of a federal agency acting in support of local and state law enforcement agents and agencies.

It is inconceivable that “Flowers” acted, as reported above, in any other then deliberate intention to discourage voters from changing laws whose enforcement personally profit him thru his possession and use of drug forfeiture funds, civil and criminal fines and his ongoing salary and benefits package as an alleged DEA agent.
These actions have brought the federal government in general and the Drug Enforcement Agency in particular into disrepute and have endangered ongoing investigations by sowing disparagement and discouragement on civilians and law enforcement agents both state and local that the Drug Enforcement Agency requires and depends on for appropriate investigations and prosecutions of dangerous drug law violations.


Complaint - Violation of Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 USC sec. 2000 bb, cc et al of 1993

Complainant notes further that all the complained about actions cited above are in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 as I - Rev. Tom Brown - am a minister of Our Church Inc., First Church of the Magi Inc., and United Cannabis Ministries, and that advocacy for legalization of marijuana, peyote and other entheogenic plants and substances are fundamental to my establishment and exercise of religion. Therefore my actions to obtain signatures on the medical marijuana petition are in furtherance of my establishment and exercise of religion and are publically known to be so.

It should be also noted that I was arrested by DEA agents from the Fayetteville, Arkansas office in 1994 while growing marijuana and peyote plants on the property owned by Our Church at Antioch community, Washington County Arkansas. Further I was tried and convicted of violation of federal law — still on appeal — sentenced to 121 months in federal prison — subsequently reduced to 61 months by change in federal marijuana laws — and that the persons complained about know of those actions as they occurred in the same vicinity and jurisdiction as the complained about actions occurred in May of 2014.

Therefore it is further inconceivable that the persons complained about acted without knowledge of such events, and that their actions are deliberate, knowing and malicious acts in violation of my rights under the First Amendment to the federal constitution as well as RFRA.


Resolution

Complainant comes to demand that the violations of state and federal laws perpetrated by the named officers — and any others who prior to or subsequently would seek to engage in and support such actions — be addressed and that appropriate remedial measures be taken by the persons and agencies named to see that such deliberate, knowing and malicious violations of law cease and desist.

rsdrake@cox.net

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