Matt Akins: Wanted for Free Speech

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Eapen Thampy

Over at Keep Columbia Free, my friend Mark Flakne has a post up about how the Columbia, Missouri police department targeted Matt Akins, a mutual friend and activist in Columbia. Akins runs a small nonprofit organization, Citizens for Justice, that records the cops. From Akin’s Facebook page:

          This poster was prominently displayed in several locations throughout the Columbia Police Department during the Fall of 2011 while a group of Shepard Boulevard Elementry School students were given a tour of the department.
cfjweb.ssos.us was the original home of Citizens For Justice (now located at www.CFJComo.com). This site was never public, but had been being tracked by the CPD/CPOA(Columbia Police Officers’ Association) as they sent emails letting us know this (Scare tactic? Maybe).

The arrest being referred to occurred in May of 2010 and was one of the primary reasons I started Citizens For Justice.

I was LEGALLY carrying a concealed weapon on my person within the confines of my vehicle (as defined under Missouri’s Peaceable Journey Statute), but the arresting officer didn’t agree with me and went so far as to supplant evidence against me by loading a round into the chamber and reporting he had recovered it from me this way.
My car was impounded, I was booked for unlawful use of a weapon, and had to hire an attorney for the 6 month legal battle that would ensue.

After repeatedly asking for the footage of the arrest to show the officer engaging in misconduct, I was told that it either had been deleted, disappeared, or never existed AND MY CASE WAS DROPPED.

I believe that makes this a closed record(and therefore a HUGE violation of my civil rights), but I’m not an attorney so I could be wrong.
Either way, the poster was used to make me look like a wanted criminal to a bunch a elementry school kids and I couldn’t even get an answer as to who created it or put it up.

Thanks a lot CPD!

 

 

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16 Responses to “Matt Akins: Wanted for Free Speech”

  1. #1 |  whim | 

    Everyday, more and more of our fellow citizens come to realize that the police are the Largest Street Gang in America.

  2. #2 |  JLS | 

    Hmm, so now you don’t actually have to commit a crime in America to be locked up.

  3. #3 |  qwints | 

    “Hmm, so now you don’t actually have to commit a crime in America to be locked up.”

    You never did.

  4. #4 |  ClubMedSux | 

    This post just missed Joe Strummer’s 60th birthday by one day, but I’m reminded of his lyric from “Know Your Rights”: “You have the right to free speech… as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.”

  5. #5 |  Dante | 

    In politics, whatever party is in the White House gets to deliver the “State of the Union” speech and then the other party gets equal time to make a rebuttal.

    From now on, whenever the police go to schools and talk to kids, I’d like the following rebuttal to be presented:

    The greatest threat to your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is an encounter with the police. They steal, cheat, lie, assault, and even murder the very people they swore to serve and protect. Then they use the Blue Wall of Silence to cover it all up. They are not your friends, they are the worst people in America, the dregs of society. Avoid them like you would a poisonous snake.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  6. #6 |  el coronado | 

    Gibbon predicted all this most pithily a couple of hundred years ago.

    “Corruption, the most infallible symptom of Constitutional Liberty.” “Fanaticism eliminates the feeling of humanity.”

    It’s most wise to “avoid [cops] like you would a poisonous snake”, to be sure. But even that strategy is becoming ever-less effective. As Akins could tell us, cops have moved on to actively *hunting* those who aren’t their ‘friends’. What’ll they think of NEXT?? Y’all really might wanna look into the written oeuvre of JJ Luna someday.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Oh my God. Citizens for Justice.
    Probably one of those terr’ist organizations…

  8. #8 |  Bergman | 

    I’m sure any copwatching group has quite a bit of footage of officers flagrantly breaking the law. What would the reaction by police be if you put up PSA posters with the officer’s picture and a short list of what laws they’ve been caught violating on camera?

    Odds are you’ll be in jail on domestic terrorism, inciting riot and disturbing the peace charges so fast your head will spin. But a cop puts up a poster of a victim of police evidence tampering who was cleared? Just a hilarious joke in the squadroom.

  9. #9 |  John C. Randolph | 

    Probably one of those terr’ist organizations…

    Oh, I’m sure that justice is a truly terrifying idea to the minions of the political class.

    -jcr

  10. #10 |  AlgerHiss | 

    The Columbia city website is:

    http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/

  11. #11 |  Columbia, MO Police Department Targets Activist With Public Wanted Posters | Cop Block | 

    [...] Another source says, This poster was prominently displayed in several locations throughout the Columbia Police Department during the Fall of 2011 while a group of Shepard Boulevard Elementry School students were given a tour of the department. cfjweb.ssos.us was the original home of Citizens For Justice (now located at www.CFJComo.com). [...]

  12. #12 |  Columbia, MO Police Department Targets Activist With Public Wanted Posters | OccuWorld | 

    [...] Another source says, This poster was prominently displayed in several locations throughout the Columbia Police Department during the Fall of 2011 while a group of Shepard Boulevard Elementry School students were given a tour of the department. cfjweb.ssos.us was the original home of Citizens For Justice (now located at www.CFJComo.com). [...]

  13. #13 |  Columbia, MO Police Department Targets Activist With Public Wanted Posters | GrassrootsHeadlines.com | 

    [...] Another source says, This poster was prominently displayed in several locations throughout the Columbia Police Department during the Fall of 2011 while a group of Shepard Boulevard Elementry School students were given a tour of the department. cfjweb.ssos.us was the original home of Citizens For Justice (now located at www.CFJComo.com). [...]

  14. #14 |  jcalton | 

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/sep/12/activist-arrested-on-weapons-charge/

  15. #15 |  Law enforcement and prosecution roundup - Overlawyered | 

    [...] at The Agitator, William Peterson outlines doubts about prosecutions that include the pursuit of Victoria Sprouse on mortgage-fraud charges in North Carolina, abuse accusations relating to the Creative Frontiers school near Sacramento, and the conviction of [...]

  16. #16 |  Free speech roundup - Overlawyered | 

    [...] department’s halls display what looks very much like a “Wanted” poster of him [Eapen Thampy, Agitator] [...]

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