Dover Delaware, 2012

On October 6, 2012 in Dover Delaware this blogger was confronted with claims of a lynching, an attempted lynching and a cover up that were not immediately credible ... Here is my weblog as I struggle to place in some kind of order all the information coming in since then. Although the topics in this blog have grown beyond the original case, still ongoing and unsolved to the minds of many, the focus is the same. Equal protection under the law.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

When Thugs Lie

Bloggers note: I had taken this post down on Sunday December 8, 2012 for a re-write. Not only is this the second version of why Dr. Issa was arrested from DSU officials  this version below is also refuted by a video. The person who shot the video has confirmed that this YouTube accurately reflects the unedited video from his cell phone that day. In addition, Chief Downs was evasive as to his current Council on Police Training certification. Chief may be in inactive status after leaving DSP . Chief Downes was subpoena'd to appear with his current COPT certification as was patrol man Buchwald. Buchwald immediately answered in the affirmative when questioned about his COPT certification presently and when Dr. Issa was arrested. Downes was arguably evasive and may not have been COPT certified on March 1, 2012 as an active law enforcement officer.

Back up by popular demand, as is.

March 1, 2012. DSU Professor Dr. Issa and his students decide to gather at the Martin Luther King Student Center to protest what they perceive as an attack on their Historically Black College/University. The plan is to rally at the student center and walk to the administration building to attend a public meeting of the board of trustees.

  A phone call is made to the Delaware ACLU, and Dr. Issa and his students receive advice indicating that they can lawfully exercise their first amendment rights.

   It is important to note that one of the stated purposes of the Martin Luther King Student Center is to provide a place for students to engage in organizational activities. A confrontation meeting is such an activity.

  Dr. Issa meets members of his class outside the student center. Other students join them.  A guest speaker is supplied for any students in Dr. Issa's class who don't wish to participate in the organizational activity. Trouble begins when one Franklin Meredith confronts Dr. Issa. Mr. Meredith is not a police officer or even a security guard. He's the 'event coordinator' meaning that he handles ticket master sales.

Note patrolman Buchwald is observing, Buchwald testified in court that he thought Mr. Meredith 'ran' the student center. He's mistaken. 

Dr. Issa obviously didn't take kindly to being challenged by the ticket master guy. Soon after this exchange, Campus Public Safety Chief Harry Downes arrives. Here's where the trouble starts.

  Chief Downes testified that he placed his right hand on Dr. Issa's shoulder in a calming manner, identified himself and invited Dr. Issa to his office to 'discuss the situation'. What situation? People exercising their right to peaceably assemble? At the place designated for students to gather and conduct organizational activities?

  Chief Downes then testified that Dr. Issa said "Fuck You" and struck him in the chest with a forearm blow. Patrolman Buchwald said it was an elbow strike. Both agreed that there was no probable cause to arrest Dr. Issa before THEY put their hands on him.

   So now Dr. Issa is under arrest for disorderly conduct, 'offensive touching' and while being walked out with one arm in a hammerlock and the other twisted by Chief Downes, Dr. Issa becomes dizzy and falls to the ground. Now he's charged with resisting arrest as well. Even though he requested medical assistance, and EMS determined that his blood pressure was over 200, he's resisting! The emergency room admits him to the hospital.  Got that?

 Now check the video of the arrest:

 The real issue? Dr. Issa had been speaking out against what he thought was the destruction of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. As well, when a racist flyer depicting a lynching came to the campus in February 2012, Dr. Issa began investigating the origins of the flyer and teaching about lynching. This did not set well with some professors and certain of the administration.

 After his arrest the ACLU made this statement to Antonio Prado of the Dover Post:

ACLU Executive Director Kathleen MacRae said.

“At the time Dr. Issa was arrested students were gathering for the purpose of walking to the DSU Board of Trustees meeting to express their views on issues of importance to them,” she said. “DSU was not entitled to require a permit for that activity, any more than a town would have been under the circumstances.”

  So Dr. Issa is now facing criminal charges for disorderly conduct, offensive touching, and resisting arrest. Let's examine this. First Disorderly Conduct:

  Delaware State Code defines disorderly conduct thusly -

A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when:
(1) The person intentionally causes public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to any other person, or creates a risk thereof by:
a. Engaging in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or
b. Making an unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture or display, or addressing abusive language to any person present; or
c. Disturbing any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority; or
d. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or
e. Congregating with other persons in a public place and refusing to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or
f. Creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition which serves no legitimate purpose; or
g. Congregating with other persons in a public place while wearing masks, hoods or other garments rendering their faces unrecognizable, for the purpose of and in a manner likely to imminently subject any person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States of America.
(2) The person engages with at least 1 other person in a course of disorderly conduct as defined in paragraph (1) of this section which is likely to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, and refuses or knowingly fails to obey an order to disperse made by a peace officer to the participants.
Disorderly conduct is an unclassified misdemeanor.

 Who engaged in fighting or in violent tumultuous or threatening behavior?  According to the video it's Chief Downs. There was no order to disperse, Chief was in plainclothes and clearly approached Dr. Issa from behind and grabbed his arm. There's your offensive touching, by Chief Downes! You can clearly see that when Dr. Issa realizes that Patrolman Buchwald has grabbed his arm he cooperates. Until he falls down and requires medical attention.

Delaware State University Public Safety Chief Harry Downes
When he worked for the Delaware State Police.

 So why is Dr. Issa fired from his job and facing jail time, embroiled in the most drawn out disorderly conduct trial I've ever heard of? Because thugs lie.

 This is an affront to the first amendment rights of all Americans. Whether or not you agree with Dr. Issa's world view we can all agree that the right to assemble and speak freely is sacrosanct.

 In fact in 2010 the equestrian team protested by riding horses in front of the administration building. The all white equestrian team. No permit for the demonstration was sought, and the administration building definitely doesn't have horseback riding center as one of it's stated purposes. But they weren't black students protesting what they saw as an attack on their Historically Black College or University. So that demonstration was okey-dokey.

 When do we lose our civil rights? When thugs lie and we don't call them on it. I call BULLSHIT on Chief Downes. Either that video of the arrest is a fake or he is. My money is on the video and I'll be the first to admit it if proven wrong. Because I get angry when thugs lie.

Dr. Issa remains steadfast in his desire to fight this bogus case, get restored to his job as a professor, and investigate the hanging of black men in Dover from trees. He needs help, please consider a donation of any amount to his legal defense fund. The trial just began on December 4, is now in recess with no continuation date.

  So much for a speedy trial. Meanwhile, we have two people who assaulted Henry J. Fordham with a shank running around loose because that's not a crime the police feel like pursuing. But the system is trying to prosecute the hell out of Dr. Issa. When thugs lie.



  1. I am glad you pointed that out Doug (Downs' COPT Certification), because when I saw the video I was wondering if he even has arrest powers as the Security Chief!

  2. I would have assumed that Chief Downes would have been certified and would have brought his certificate with him as the subpoena specified. He doesn't have to be an active law enforcement officer to assist in an arrest, however, being inactive might somewhat mitigate the charge of 'offensive touching on a police officer' if the man's an administrator lending a hand to an officer. Perhaps.

  3. As well, given that Patrolman Buchwald testified that the students were protesting so loudly that he had trouble hearing. The students got loud when Chief started grabbing Dr. Issa's arm, a detail he left out saying that he first touched Dr. Issa by placing his hand on Dr. Issa's shoulder in a calming manner. That's solidly refuted by the video. I've spoken to the student who shot the vid, students states that it's genuine and matches raw video he recorded that day.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Thanks David, Have forwarded your comment to Dr. Issa and will bring it up with him during our afternoon conference today. The conduct of the state in court was pretty shocking. Head Bailiff allowed the University Attorney to cross the bar and walk right up to the prosecutor's table in open court, judge said nothing. Thankfully Dr. Issa's attorney entered an objection into the record. That was just one jaw dropper.... this is pretty bad and due to the political situation it may take grass roots public outcry to get anything done.

  6. Doug have witnesses' information regarding the lynchings been recorded? (i.e. people who have overheard the confessions, Johnny Clark's brother statement, the resident who called 911 on Sep. 21, people who saw the white men vacate their apartment, etc.) I would like to interview these people. I have an international following and I am sure I can create some noise.