New Criminal Complaint Will Be Filed Against Londonderry Police For New Year's Eve Harassment
December 31, 2010
By Jane Dunn Special Follow-Up Piece
Londonderry, NH---A botched raid on a home by Londonderry Police Officers on New Year's Eve raises the prospect of new charges being filed against officers for harassment, intimidation, threats of arrest and physical violence and potential Fourth Amendment violations made by an officer against a neighboring home owner.
"The Londonderry Police were conducting some action against a house, they had 8 to 10 cruisers at the seen of what looked like a military raid on a building, said Janet Robinson, a witness to the incident. "There was an officer with a K-9 and many officers carrying flashlights peering into windows and walking through the woods.
Apparently, a man from a neighboring house, who had nothing to do with what was taking place at the resident police were investigating was retrieving his mail from his mail box accompanied by his dog when police began harassing the man.
"I saw a well dressed man with his dog walking up his driveway, the man was minding his own business and seemed unaffected by what police were doing. I saw him go to his mailbox, get his mail and begin to walk back up his long driveway," said Robinson. "The officer with the K-9 started yelling at the man, I mean real loud, screaming actually asking if he was 'the neighbor.' From the window where I was watching I could hear and see almost everything. The man just sort of froze and didn't say anything, yet again the officer screamed at the man the same question. The man said that this was his house and pointed to the large very nice house, he then turned and began to walk back up his drive way when the officer with the dog and two other officers began following him," Robinson said.
According to Robinson's account, one of the other officers with the K-9 officer yelled at the man asking if he had a leash for his dog. The man responded that he didn't need a leash by law if his dog was on his property, which he was, according to witnesses.
"Yeah, this other younger officer was kind of a jerk, I mean he started yelling at the older man about his dog not having a leash. I heard the man answer that he and his dog were of his private property and that by the law he did not require to have his dog leashed. The man then stated to the police that he felt he was being harassed by police," Robinson said.
According to another witness account the officer then said that he would arrest the man but did not state for what charge. When the homeowner asked the police officer what his name was; the officer failed or refused to provide his name, in violation of NH State Law.
"I'm not sure why they were doing what they were doing to this poor man. He is a gentleman and was on his own property minding his own business, the police were clearly harassing this man," said a neighbor who witnessed the incident but asked that she not be identified in this article, because she is afraid of the Londonderry Police.
"I heard the same police officer yell to the man that he would come on his property and physical restrain the man by force if he did not go in his house. At that point the man stated to police that he would now be calling his lawyer, that the Londonderry Police Department was already under investigation by the NH Attorney Generals Office for numerous criminal violations committed against him (the homeowner) including severe violations of his Fourth Amendment rights and civil rights violations. The man then stated to the officer that if police came on his property that they had better have a Search Warrant," the woman said. "He was right, the police here are not all bad, but there are some issues with bad officers, like the officer who beat-up his wife and is still on the force, I mean what is that all about, it really scary" she said.
The woman is referring to Officer Jason Archambault, arrested in Manchester last January for domestic violence and apparently the incident was covered-up by Chief William Hart.
At that point the man went into his home and called his lawyer and then called the Londonderry Police dispatch to let them know what was going on. The man's lawyer stated that the Londonderry Police were again blatantly violating his civil rights and that he (the lawyer) would file a harassment, threatening and civil rights violation complaint against the Londonderry Police with the Attorney Generals Office on Monday.
"Under the circumstances, the way I see this as a civil rights attorney is that the Londonderry Police have targeted this man for harassment and have now crossed the line into a federal violation of law regarding this man's civil rights," said the man's attorney. "The man is in fear for his life as a result of continued psychological harassment and of more physical violence being perpetrated against him by the Londonderry Police Department, believing that the police can do what ever they like, that is why the US Federal Authorities need to step in at this point. Federal District Court Judge Joseph Laplante will be contacted again about this specific incident, said the man's attorney.
There is substantial evidence that the Londonderry Police Department's officers are poorly trained, most of the officers have no more than a high school diploma and some military service at best. The Londonderry Police handle citizens disrespectfully and without regard for their constitutional personal rights, they violate people's civil rights and operate as if they were in Iraq in a war zone, rather than in a small town with little violent crime. This is an extremely scary scenario when you have young men with a badge and a gun who are poorly trained, pumped up and know very little or nothing about the law or of constitutional rights.
"This town is bizarre, it's like a NAZI police state. The town has no money yet they build the Londonderry Police Department their own private shooting range, like these guys need to learn to shoot better in a town with very little violence. The money would have been far better spent on sensitivity training for officers, something the Londonderry Police need far far more than improving their shooting skills. Perhaps an ethics class for Bill Hart would be in order as well," said Robinson.