**UPDATE: Here's an Op-Ed piece from our local paper, and I think it is very reasonably and thoughtfully written. The judge will most likely drop the charges against the couple, and the offending Buncombe County deputy is being investigated for conflict of interests, as well as overstepping jurisdiction. Phew!
I just read a myspace post from a friend of mine that lives in my town, and I am furious. Apparently, the local county police have taken to breaking into people's homes with no warrant, arresting them for trumped up charges, and doing it in BROAD DAYLIGHT. This is in Asheville, NC.
This is from my friend, Oso:
Subject: fascism on Brevard road, watch news13 tonight 11pm 7/27
i had to repost this. this is our town and this is not acceptable.
tony plichta here...i talked to you earlier on today about my neighbors getting arrested this morning, july 25.
known activists, mark and debbie kuhn, were approached for the last couple weeks about an american flag they had hung upside down on their front porch.
the hanging of an american flag upside down is a sign of help/distress. from their point of view, this country IS in great distress.
earlier in the week they had been approached about taking it down from a visit from the local authorities, in which mark had refused, which resulted in them posting a picture of the president on the flag saying 'impeach'. (it actually said out now...i found out later).
a day or two later, a man in military uniform came by, asking for them to remove it again, once again with mark refusing.
so now today..
i was awoken by the sound of my neighbor debbie screaming for help so people would be aware.
the order of events is still somewhat unclear. when i came outside, the flag was no longer up, and mark was on one side of his car, with the cop on the other, mark trying to keep his distance....mind you this all taking place on mark and debbies property. when i arrived, i was being told that mark and debbie were refusing to give their IDs to the cop, cause well ....they were under the assumption didnt have to. mark stated to the officer that if hed get off of their property, he would comply with giving their information.
while this was happening, we were trying to get the officers badge number....with him telling me 'this didnt concern me'..
after hassling him for it, my roommate was able to get it. badge #82.
while this is happening mark and debbie are screaming telling everyone what was going on...
mark had complied with the cops to take the flag down...which had been done at some point before this all had started to happen. they(mark and deb) were telling us that the cops had broken into their house, which is very apparent with the broken door window to unlock the door(we have pictures). they had no warrant. the broken window, forced entry, without permission from the owners of the house. things were knocked down in the house which had suggested some sort of struggle...
deb had explained to me that the cop had attacked mark. mark had some sort of scrape on his nose.
so low and behold, more cops showed up after we had started asking questions, cause well...we love the constitution and our neighbors dearly.
with the neighborhood watching, another cop came over and had threatened them with a tazer gun to get down and that they were being arrested. if they didnt comply, they would be tazed. so they were cuffed and put into the car.
we (the neighborhood)...had asked them what they were being charged with, and a female cop had said 'we dont know'.
we also noticed that they were not read their miranda rights (THE 5TH), and asked why, with another cop stating 'we dont need to', as if they were already guilty in the eyes of the law.
we have witnesses.
after being hauled away, we contacted debs son, and he had gotten ahold of the sheriffs dept. they had told him that mark and deb were being arrested for ASSAULTING AN OFFICER. this never happened. if anything , mark was simply trying to protect his home and himself from the cop who had broke into the house.
we have contacted the media and lawyers, and are waiting for responses.
the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments were directly broken in front of our faces today. and it wasnt the asheville police, but buncombe county sheriffs dept. theres a new sheriff in town, and hes got some cleaning up to do.
feel free to write me back here, or call me on the house cell 828xxxxxxx. ill be more than happy to give you more info as we hear it....
and so heres the conclusion.
mark and deb were charged with two counts of assulting and officer, and one count of desecration of the flag.
after calling some of the media sources in town, we had some luck. asheville citizen-times was at the jail when they got released and interviewed them there. news 13 came by for a few hours and shot footage and talked to the construction workers who actually saw the cop kicking in the door and then smashing the glass with his fist. the mountain express came by and interviewed the neighborhood and mark and deb and got some good questions answered. overall, totally awesome. Attorney bruce elmore is taking the case for free, as well as the ACLU.
right now , the officer is trying to say that the reason the window got broken is cause mark slammed the door in his fist....seriously. and that is why they are trying to charge them with assault, cause the guy cut his hand when he fisted the glass.
so basically this what happened.
a cop showed up and told them that they had to take the flag down and that it was an NC statute they were breaking, which is only a misdemeanor. they did and as deb was putting the flag inside, the cop told mark that he was under arrest for not providing his ID. mark asked why and and went inside his house and DEADBOLT locked the door. mark walked away from the door as the cop started kicking in the door and then broke the glass with his hand. he then unlocked the bolt, opened the door, and followed mark into the kitchen. he then tryed to wrestle mark down at which point deb ran outside and started screaming in the street for help. mark got away from the cop and also ran outside, with the pig chasing him. its at this point that i ran outside with my roommates to see what was happening.
so then of course from reading from my above story, you get what happened next. we took a bunch of pictures, and spread the word. thanks to everyone for replying. when i have a more steady connection i will drop you a line personally.
mark and deb are taking this as far as they can. these people are amazing, and it just proves everything they have been saying all along.
this cop clearly broke the law. his name is SCARBOUROUGH, badge #82.
keep your eyes to the news in the next few days to weeks and see if we can get this out there and give people some knowledge.
repost and repost and repost.....
watch channel 13 news at 11pm tonite for the full story, or at least the medias version of it…
Here's a link to the local paper's article. The official word is that the flag desecration was the couple pinning pictures to the flag, not flying it upside down. So, putting pictures of Bush on the American flag is defiling it? You betcha. Straight from the fascists' mouths.
I don't know how the rest of you feel about this blatant disregard for our Constitutional Rights, but I am sad, angry, and overall completely disappointed in our local authorities. They MUST take action to rectify this situation. It is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. If you agree, please forward this to everyone you know. If it makes the national media (as questionable as that is) then it might make a difference.
Also, Bush has just said that anti-war attitudes are acts of sedition. Get your pageant wave ready for the final farewell of our rights and freedoms, people. This time is now, and it has been happening for years. Don't let the upcoming election fill you with hope; there is so much work to be done, and it starts with us. Now, use these Neo-Roman roads and spread the word. This could be you, or your neighbors.