(VIDEO) HPD Assaults members of The Houston Free Thinkers

Written by Derrick Broze

(HFT) On Friday January 27th the Houston Free Thinkers held one of their usual benefit shows at the Compound off 2305 Wheeler in Houston, Texas. Every 3 weeks these events are held to raise money for local charities or like minded small businesses. This particular event was called HFT for the Community! And was a completely free event put together as a Thank You to all those who have helped HFT out in it’s nearly 2 year existence.

The party was packed with hundreds of people over 20 bands and DJ’s, kegs, jello shots, food provided by Food Not Bombs Houston, and lots of friends. Around 10:15 the Houston Police Department arrived for a noise complaint. Veon McReynolds, owner of The Compound and myself, met with the officers around the backside closest to the street. About 5-10 officers were present for this noise complaint.

We attempted to work with the officers to resolve the issue but they seemed to content with nothing less than the entire party shutting down. Several officers began looking around the private property of the compound. I inquired if they had a warrant to be doing so, and was immediately asked if I had identification. I informed the officer I was not operating a motor vehicle and therefore was not carrying ID, but offered my full name and birth date and made it clear to the officers I was not failing to identify myself. The same officer asked me to come with him to his car, and I asked if I was being detained.

Upon being told I was not being detained I told him I would remain where I was. He then grabbed me by the arm and attempted to pull me to his car. I stepped back and asked why I was being assaulted. I informed the officer that I respected him but was not going anywhere. He then grabbed me and dragged me out the back to the street and pushed me to the backside of the car.  At this point Micah Jackson came out and interviewed me about what was going on. We have two angles of this incident. You can see the license plate of the vehicle I was taken into in the first video.



After I was shoved into the car the crowd become upset at seeing someone from the community taken away without being told why, essentially kidnapping a citizen off private property. When the crowd began to exercise their first amendment and express their discontent for the situation the police chose to escalate it. As more police cruisers arrived one officer chose to grab Micah Jackson from behind and say to him, “Your freedom ends tonight!”

As he swung Mr. Jackson around other officers joined in and slammed him to the back of the police car I was being held in. I watched his face slam on the window. The officers then handcuffed him and put him in the back of another car telling him he was being charged with resisting arrest. He inquired as to what the offense was, and he was also told he was attempting to incite a riot. Immediately after this the same officer brandishes a shotgun and cocks it at a peaceful, albeit upset, crowd. We have two camera angles of this as well.



I was taken away, and after the DA did not take inciting a riot charges I was charged with failure to obey a lawful order, although I was never told what the order was I failed to obey. Mr. Jackson was released shortly after, and the party continued for a bit. But the atmosphere had changed.

This is not the kind of interaction the Houston Free Thinkers are seeking from law enforcement or the city, but we have often interacted with officers overstepping their bounds and restricting freedom. This is not new, however the behavior displayed by these officers, while not new itself, was something the Houston Free Thinkers had not personally encountered yet.

We seek to work with law enforcement that will stand by their oath to the constitution and not follow unlawful orders and stamp the peoples freedoms away. We are calling upon Mayor Annise Parker, HPD Police Chief, Charles McClelland and the officers who were present, especially the officer brandishing the shotgun, to meet with us. We wish to hold a public forum at city hall for the Houston Free Thinkers and citizens from around the city to work on ways to avoid further situations like this.

Only as a united, free people can we thrive, and this includes the law enforcement.



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