August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rudy Preston: 'Coconino County Sheriff: 'I'm arresting you for talking'

Rudy arrested/Photo by Ethan Sing
Press Release
Coconino County Sheriff: "I'm arresting you for talking"
By Rudy Preston
Censored News

San Francisco Peaks, Snowbowel Road -- On Saturday August 13, 2011 I was engaged in a conversation with the operator of a rock crusher on Snowbowel Road. He and I know each other by name and face. He said "hi Rudy" as I approached. We engaged in dialogue about the nature of the work he was doing. I feel it is desecration, and he said it was just crushing rock. This went on for a little while and I think we have both enjoyed the debates we have had this summer. At least to the extent that he did not ask me to leave and the conversation stimulated both our minds.
Then Dale Haelund, comes speeding up and screeched to a halt and started waving a camera around and yelling "get out of the construction area." At that point I began to approach the vehicle to ask him where the construction area was and did he have the right to dictate where to be on public lands. I did not want to leave because the conversation with the rock crushing machine operator was going along nicely and I was not asked to leave by him.
Dale drove the vehicle directly at me nearly hitting me, but I did not move and he halted in front of me. Had he not stopped he would have hit me and then the rock crushing machine. I went to his window and told him to call the police or an authority to explain the "construction area" to me and also to stop taking my picture over and over again. Dale knew me by name and face. I learned his from the police report but have seen him before. I was now quite upset from the adrenaline of almost being run over so I told Dale to leave me alone and to get the police or something because I felt he was harassing me.
I stood beside Dale's vehicle with my hand up and Dale childishly wiggled his camera back and forth saying, "I got one, I got one." Officer O'Farrell with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office then approached us. He did not do anything but say hi to Dale and told me that I was in a construction zone. I asked him to please have Dale stop taking my picture, but he ignored my request. So I asked him where the construction zone was, because it is not marked. Officer O'Ferrell told me I have to be on the west side of the road. I complied with his request immediately while Dale got out of his truck and taunted me from behind the officer and took more pictures. After I crossed the street and stood where I was allowed Officer O'Ferrell moved up nose to nose with me as Dale taunted me. This felt quite threatening, especially since I complied with all orders that he gave me and was standing exactly where he told me I could stand.
Officer O'Farrell then told me that he felt threatened by my hand covering my face to block the pictures and pulled my arm down to my side. I put my hand down as I had no intention of threatening physical violence. I verbalize to the officer that I meant no violence or harm to him. But I continue to tell Dale to stop taking my picture and that Dale was harassing me and would the officer please make Dale stop harassing me. The office told me to "shut up".
I say to him, "let me turn my back to you so you understand I mean you no harm and so I don't have pictures taken." I just wanted Dale to leave me alone and to get fair treatment in the situation by the officer. Once my back was turned, officer O'Ferrell grabbed my arm and said to Dale, "you know if you tell me that you want to be a victim and you want to press charges, I can arrest him." Dale shouted his enthusiasm and then started to harass the people who witnessed the whole incident and were standing a few feet from me on the same (legal) side of the road.
In a situation like this I did not want to be hurt and I did not want to be perceived as resisting so I choose to remain limp. O'Ferrell and a Forest Service Law Enforcement employee who had just arrived stood over me while I was face down on the ground and cuffed me. I asked O'Ferrell what they arrested me for and he said, "I'm arresting you for talking."
I was incredulous, and demanded I be released immediately and that I wanted to press charges against Dale for both trying to hit me with his car and then for standing behind the officer inciting the incident.
The Sheriff's officer then grabbed me by my arms and attempted to drag my limp body, but decided not to drag me because of the outcry from the people watching. After he put me down, I was able to speak to the Forest Service Officer (name not known) and explained I was willing to forget the whole thing if Dale would do likewise, otherwise I insisted on pressing charges against Dale for driving his car at me. My dog was at home alone and I had no intentions of going to jail that day.
Officer O'Ferrell said, "you can press charges when you get out of jail."
My question for officer O'Ferrell is "Who do you protect, who do you serve?" Because your actions on Saturday were surely not in your duties as a police officer. I have every right to talk. You came to the scene and served your friends and protected nothing. In fact you violated the constitution. It did not go unnoticed by me as you sat outside the police car you put me in and joked with Dale Haelund and JR Murray, General Manager of Snowbowel, who had arrived just then. I watched as JR Murray triumphantly smiled and said "take him away."
After I bailed myself out and got a good nights sleep I pressed charges against Dale Haelund and filed a complaint against officer O' Farrell.
"Who do you protect? Who do you serve?"

Media Watch: Newspaper cheerleads for rape of Mother Earth

The road into New Town, North Dakota, on the land of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations (Fort Berthold, July 31, 2011.) Photo by Brenda Norrell/Censored News
Media Watch: Indian Country Today hits a new all time low
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

NEW TOWN, North Dakota -- The newspaper Indian Country Today didn't show up to cover the Protecting Mother Earth Gathering and now has an article cheerleading the rape of the earth and the ongoing devastation by the oil and gas industry.

Perhaps the newspaper would have been less likely to publish a press release, during the newspaper's downward spiral, if its reporters or editors had been present at the Gathering and listened to the people here, and witnessed the carnage by the oil and gas industry.

Perhaps if Indian Country Today had listened to Kandi Mossett tell of how her 23-year-old friend was killed by one of these trucks here, the newspaper would not have been so careless in what it posts for profit.

"We can't drink the oil," Kandi said, as the tears fell from her eyes, remembering her friend and others being driven off the road by these trucks.

Maybe if Indian Country Today had listened to Kandi, and the other Native youths, and elders here of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations, speak of how the land, water and air is being poisoned, how the truck diesel and pollution spills onto the land, the newspaper would not have been so irresponsible.

Perhaps if the newspaper's staff had listened to the elders here tell how greed for money is destroying the nation today, it would not have carelessly published an article cheering for the oil and gas industry and the elected politicians.

Perhaps if the newspaper's staff had heard the elders speak of how the Three Affiliated Nations at Fort Berthold, were devastated by colonizers during the smallpox genocide, the editors would have taken their responsibility more seriously to both show up for the Gathering of Indigenous Peoples from across the Americas, and then publish the facts.

Maybe if the staff of Indian Country Today had been there, choking on the dust and gagging from the gas flaring, the staff might not have rushed to support President Tex Hall's ongoing publicity campaign.

The minimum for a newspaper is to show up and report the facts.

For Indian Country Today to engage in a counter campaign to this Gathering, and carelessly support the destruction of the earth, while publicizing its favored politicians, is what this newspaper does best.

The newspaper hit an all time low.

Please continue to boycott this newspaper.
Please listen to the audio files from the Protecting Mother Earth Gathering, on the land of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara, of the Indigenous Environmental Network, July 28-31, recorded by Earthcycles and Censored News:


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