26 June, 1995
I noticed people marching past the Safeway on Market. Interested, I followed the marchers, taking notes, remaining at a distance.
I was clearly not a part of the protest, standing to the side, on the sidewalk, as I had been directed by an SFPD officer. I had my notebook and pen out, taking notes on the happenings. I was not chanting, carrying a sign, I was at least twelve feet from the nearest protestor.
In the middle of Landers street, at approximately 9.45pm on June 26, 1995, Officer K. Martin approached me aggresively and ordered me into the street. I told him that I had been directed to stay on the sidewalk. He brandished his nightstick, stepped towards me, and repeated "Get on the street!"
His tone and behaviour denoted an imminent threat. I was obviously a bystander, a member of the press taking notes on the proceedings.
I followed his orders, moved backwards onto the street, and asked him for his badge number. He clearly heard me, turned his head to look over at another officer. I asked him again, "What is your badge number?" He looked at me and said nothing. I moved until I could read his name off his nametag, affixed to his right breast. The tag read "K. Martin."
I tried to strike up a dialogue with the police, but they were not listening to anyone in the crowd.
As a result of his forcing me into the protest, I was arrested, charged with at least one felony, strip searched, and detained for 19 hours.
While the charges were quickly dropped, I have learned that the arrest will remain permanently on my record. There were absolutely no grounds for charging me with felony attempted arson, inciting a riot and jaywalking. By no means was I in any way associated with these crimes.
Any trace of this fiasco should be removed from my record.I was falsely arrested. K. Martin, or whoever ordered him to do that to me, should be severely reprimanded.
Thank you for your time,
law | life |