Sunday, September 14, 2008

Police Complaint

TO: Mayor's office, Police Chief
From: Bill Huston
Subject: Disturbing the Peace complaint
Date: Sept 14 2008

On Friday night at about 8:30, I was enjoying life,
peacefully playing my guitar at Confluence park,
when two (unidentified) Binghamton City Police
officers on bicycles disturbed my peaceful enjoyment
of the park, and threatened me with arrest without

First they hit me with some kind of sonic weapon,
at close range, and while I was in a confined space,
It emitted a deafening siren. It very much disturbed my
peace, and frightened me.

Next, they told me that "the parks close at 9pm" and
told me I would be ticketed and/or arrested if I
remained after this.

And while I understand trespass requires notice,
I do not recognize the right of any civil authority to restrict
my access to the public parks, which
constitute the commons.

After losing my residence on Catherine St.
to a NY City landlord one year ago, and after having
been denied my lawful right to a jury trial by Justice
Robert Murphy during my eviction proceedings,
I have been a displaced person since then,
relying on the hospitality of friends.

As (essentially) a homeless person, I
assert my right to live, play my guitar, and
sleep outdoors (at least while the weather is nice!),
as long as I am not disturbing anyone.

And while the offer of a bed in a shelter should always
be welcomed, there should be no obligation to accept

People should be free to sleep outdoors, in the forrests,
parks, and along the banks of rivers, as humans have
done for 400,000 years, without harassment by the
civil authority, who ostensibly are there to PROTECT
the citizens, not unnecessarily harass them.

If we are paying attention, we can see that
there is increased state-sponsored violence
occuring in the United States against ordinary,
non-violent citizens.

It also seems our system of "justice" is really
based on violence (retribution), and is largely
class-based. All state violence seems permissible
if it flows down the socio-economic ladder.

e.g., In eviction proceedings, the courts and the sheriff
seem to almost always represent the interests of the
landlords, and not the tenants.

Yet we all must acknowledge our part in such

I would ask Mayor Ryan and the Chief Zikuski
to please inform the City Police of the rights
of citizens to peacefully exist in public and to
use the commons,

Please remind them these rights include homeless
displaced, and poor persons, and to not use their weapons
-- including sound weapons, and the weapon of arrest and
detainment -- with great discretion, and to treat
all citizens with utmost courtesy.

... especially if all they are doing is playing
their guitar, or sleeping, in a public park.

Kindest Regards and Gratitude,
Bill Huston

Bill Huston
Binghamton NY
607-321-7846 c

email: WilliamAHuston at gmail

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