Archive for the ‘court house’ Category

“forsake those robes and kneel in the dust”

December 18, 2006

Brian David Mitchell, the alleged kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart, screams at the judge in court for a competency hearing Monday, Dec. 18, 2006, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, Pool)


Alabama lies

October 29, 2006

So this lady gets my attention and says, “Can you gimme some money? I’m starvin!” I looked at her, then looked at the van parked about 50 yards away from this woman. I pointed to the van, and told the woman that the people in the van were giving out free lunches, in case this woman was simply unaware of why all of the other people who hang out all day at Linn Park were crowded around the van. I even walked over to the van and fetched a bag of food for her.

“Naw man, I mean I need some money,” she said.

“So I guess you’re not really ‘starving’ then,” I told her. “Because people who are actually starving would gladly accept a sandwich, a bag of chips and a cold bottle of water.”

White Plains court house

October 27, 2006

As a freelance photographer, Ben Hider carries his camera with him just about everywhere, and so it was on Friday, as he was heading to the train station in White Plains he stopped to snap some beauty shots on the flags in front of the court house. That’s when his trouble began.

Ben Hider, Photographer: “Three police officers ran at me, immediately, telling me to stop where I was.”

And that’s exactly what Ben Hider did. He even showed the court officers the pictures he took and offered to delete them. Moments later they escorted him inside the courthouse for two hours of questioning.

Ben Hider, Photographer: “Emptied my pockets, searched me, frisked me, started telling me about the recent terrorist threats in America over the past five years and ‘haven’t I been watching the news?'”

The 27-year-old is a graduate of SUNY Purchase. He’s lived in the states for eight years and he has a green card, but he says his British citizenship only raised the officers’ suspicion.

David Bookstaver, Office of Court Administration: “Yes, they went too far. Picture taking in itself is not suspicious behavior, detaining someone for two hours for taking pictures was wrong and we’ve apologized to Mr. Hider for what happened.”

The New York State Supreme Court Officers Association strongly disagrees with that assessment and instead blames the office of court administration.

John McKillop, the union president, told us: “There is no policy anywhere in the unified court system, in New York City or Westchester, dealing with this and officers are left to fend for themselves.”

The court officers union president explained to us that in a previous and similar situation, the court officers were berated by an administrative judge for not detaining an individual.

That’s why they want a policy explanation and that’s why today a memo was issued offering very clear specifics on what to do with people taking pictures in public places.

I would like to read the memo.

Lynne Stewart

October 17, 2006

Amid the protests and turmoil, many were turned away from the courtroom, including an NPR correspondent, Margot Adler, who flashed her press pass and explained indignantly that she had “covered this case for two years.” No dice. Behind her stood New York State Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman, sleek in a black pantsuit and heels, also showing her credentials and asking to sit in as an observer. She wasn’t allowed in either.

It seems like they could have had it in a larger room.

now this is interesting…