denniscomments

political and social commentary about the flat earthers and other ridiculous subjects

The Police State is Upon Us

The following occurred before I retired. Mr. Goetz knew me. His sister dated my son. His ex wife cut my hair. I supported his father in a Sheriff’s race. He knew and had known for four decades that I was a practicing lawyer. There was no logical reason to have required me to show an ID, but because of bureaucratic rules, ignorance and lack of thought, he deprived an incarcerated suspect of his right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment. But, I was the one punished and whose license the Sheriff’s office tried to have suspended, because I pointed out the obvious and because, even in “liberal Boulder,” dissent is not tolerated, especially by the non-elite class class of Northern Colorado.


They couldn’t arrest me this time, so they tried to silence my by putting my license in jeopardy. To understand this letter, please refer to my Gonzo posting of a year ago Called “A Kinder, Gentler America,” chronicling my experience as an inmate at the Boulder County Jail. The jailers have reprised police state rule with rudeness coincidental with unbridled power in a nation of fear which allows the State to run rampant over the citizens under the guise of protection. You must determine whether blindly following rules is more important than the Constitutional Right of an accused?
Here is a Complaint Filed Against Me This Week by Boulder County Sheriff’s office. I hope some of you will express your outrage to them
One of the hot topics among my older colleagues in Academia is, “the dumbing down of American students.” I know it seems arrogant, but most of have noticed this trend over the last four decades. As an educator, it is very disturbing. As a citizen, it is outrageous to see student debt racked up to the degree now occurring to produce functional literates devoid of analytical powers, perceptive powers and common sense. It also demonstrates the idea of form over substance. I say this as introduction to my new missive about incompetence and the lack of people to make a decision. It has bearing on why government doesn’t work and why we are proceeding to hell in a hand basket. The following isn’t so much about me as a commentary on our society and how it is run. Many of you expressed sympathy when I wrote about my incarceration at Boulder County Jail. I didn’t want sympathy, I wanted outrage that a citizen in this country could be treated in such a manner.
In reading and thinking about this, I remind you that Lawyer and Sociologist Max Weber once observed that civilizations decline when form takes precedence over substance. We see a lot of this in our everyday lives. The following is but one example. I am trying to decide if it is stupidity or form over substance.
In the past year sheriff’s officers have broken an arrestee’s leg and threatened to break the other, have had a prisoner die, and have numerous other complaints that seem to fall on deaf ears. Why. Some of it is lack of caring and some of it is just plain defeatism or sense of powerlessness. In any event, let me relate my tale of trivia and explain why I think it is important.
I was contacted by the wife of a prisoner possibly represent her husband, a local prisoner in Boulder County Jail. He was part of a group of Hispanics arrested before Christmas on drug charges. They were indicted by a grand jury for racketeering and the person I was to have seen had an obscene bond set at one half of a million dollars, quite high for an undocumented worker. It turned out that the sales upon which the racketeering charges were based were at the ½ oz. level of cocaine. Considering that the last possession case for a gringo involved a pound, and involved a six month sentence, I was curious. I agreed to go interview him at the jail, which I generally won’t due because of prior treatment there.
Please bear in mind that I have been in practice of law in Boulder for four decades, most of which has been in the area of criminal defense. I am listed under lawyers in the phone book, I am in the computer system of the jail, which was readily available, I am listed with the Colorado Supreme Court as being an active lawyer, readily available also on the internet. I was on the committee to study the need for a new jail and thwarted the efforts of the Sheriff to build one. The deputy that allowed me entrance to the jail graduated from high school with my son, who also dated the deputy’s sister.
When I arrived at the jail, I provided my driver’s license and a Supreme Court Registration card upon approaching the receptionists desk, located behind a secure glass wall. I told her I wanted to see a prisoner, naming him. The prisoner had been in jail for a few weeks in lieu of a half million dollar bond, was from Mexico, was indicted by a grand jury of several counts of selling ½ oz. of cocaine, resulting in a racketeering charge. This is highly unusual and the last coke case I handled involving a pound of the stuff resulted in a 6 month’s prison sentence.
The receptionist told me that my bar registration card had expired, and she could not let me in to see the client. I tried to explain how to check my status, but it fell on deaf ears. It did not appear to matter what the reality was, in form, the card was expired. She made a decision based upon form, affecting a Constitutinal right of a defendant without any regard for anything except her exercise of power over a lawyer. I explained that the rule was silly and there were ways to confirm my status, but she was recalcitrant. When others came into the building, I raised my voice so that I could be overheard and bear witness to the fact that the receptionist was denying a Constitutional right to a person. Finally, in frustration, is asked to see a supervisor.
The supervisor immediately started interrogating me regarding the expired card. He did not ask the receptionist if she checked on the computer, or any such question. Instead, he immediately focused upon my card. At that point, I assumed that he would also deny access and at least wanted my objection to be noted. I was no more argumentative than I have been infront of a jury and spoke loudly enough for the audience to hear. When being accused of arguing, I sarcastically stated that that is what I was trained to do. Remember, I knew this person and his father. I supported his father when he ran for Sheriff.
I was let in to see the client and left. I then received the following on official Boulder Sheriff’s letterhead stationery. That said, I will try to explain myself in this next article.
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office
JOE PELLE Date: February 5, 2013
sheliff
Louise Smith
1560 Broadway Suit 1800 Denver, Colorado, 80202
Ref: Case #13-1501, Conduct Complaint on Attorney Dennis Blewitt, Bar #4557.
Friday, February 1, 2013 at 14:40, Attorney Dennis Blewitt signed in to see inmate Chaparro-Salcido, Juan Carlos at the Boulder County Jail. Mr Blewitt presented his driver’s license and a 2008 bar card.
As soon as I informed him that I needed to see his 2012 bar card he became loud and belligerent. Several times he stated that he was an attorney and did not need to show me a 2012 bar card; the 2008 was good enough. When I tried to tell him that the 2008 was expired, he again stated that he was an attorney and didn’t need a bar card. At one point, he told me he did not have a 2012 bar card because he did not want to pay for it. As I was trying to make him understand my position, he cut me off by saying he was going to call Sheriff Joe Pelle about me/the treatment he was receiving. Several times during his conversation with me, he stated in a loud voice that we were refusing his client access to his attorney.
After about five minutes, Mr. Blewitt demanded to talk to my supervisor. I asked Commander Goetz to come to reception to talk to Mr. Blewitt, as he was very angry with me as I had not yet let him into the jail.
Mr. Blewitt repeatedly interrupted Commander Goetz as he tried to explain our position. It took several tries for Commander Goetz to get Mr. Blewitt to let him finish what he was saying. At one point, in a loud belligerent voice, Mr. Blewitt interrupted Commander Goetz again, and stated that we were denying the inmate access to his attorney. At this point Commander Goetz told Mr. Blewitt that he would be denied access if he did not let him finish what he was saying. Mr. Blewitt quickly stated “I am an attorney, arguings what I do”. At this point, Commander Goetz explained the rules and that we will let him in this time but, he needed to bring 2012 bar card the next time he came in.
After Commander Goetz explained this the attorney asked in a loud belligerent voice if we were refusing to let him see his client. Commander Goetz assured Mr. Blewitt that he would be allowed in this time but, he needed to bring his current bar card the next time, or he would not be allowed into the jail.
RECEIVED
FEB 0 7 2013
A ECU JT1ON
COUNSEL
RECEIVJ/ FEB
R{3UL;\1K?N CC) U H S EL\
Tht.
ftP’. Boulder County Sheriff’s Office
JOE PELLE
Sheriff
On 02/04/2013, I called the Attorney Registration Office, explained what had happened on Friday. I was informed that all attorneys are to present their current bar card every time they go to a jail. Rosemary (my contact) advised me to file a complaint with the Attorney Regulation Office as this attorney’s conduct needed to be addressed. After conferring with Commander Goetz on this, I filed an attorney conduct complaint, by phone, on attorney Dennis Bewitt.
Respectfully,
Isabelle Renate Clark
Law Enforcement Technician Boulder County Jail
Boulder, County, 80301
Now it should be noted now that the Sheriff Goetz graduated from high school with my son, Blake, who dated his sister. He knew damn well I was an attorney. If he had forgotten, who I am, and that I am an attorney, he should be tested for early onslaught Alzheimer’ or other dementia conditions. In any event, Officer Goetz graciously allowed me in to see the potential client, which, for some strange reason, didn’t hire me.
There are several reasons for concern from this letter. First, I was never contacted by any member of the Sheriff’s office or asked to render an apology for conduct unbecoming a slave or inferior being . I have been active in politics for years and have supported the Boulder County Sheriff during this time. If the exhibited arrogance is any example of his leadership, he needs to be displaced. He is training clerks to arrogantly interrogate people, most of whom are Hispanic, behind a protective glass wall, dictating orders to them. If the proper amount of, as Southerners would put it, “shuffling,” then corrective action in the form of ignoring, denial, or obtuse refusal to listen to any reason becomes the conduct of the empowered clerk. She did not use any sense or any tools available to her such as the computer, whose keyboard supported her fingers at that time.
I have been in the computer system for years, I had identification to show who I was. The current bar card only showed that I had paid my current dues and did not alter the fact that I was and still am an attorney. Additionally, the prisoner was just arrested and was supposedly presumed innocent. Yet, they treated him like a convicted Alfonse Capone. I have no doubt that the Sheriff’s department has to believe all people are criminals and bad-guys in order to keep justifying their budgets. However, the simple fact of the matter is that most people are good. Most people aren’t dangerous. Most people incarcerated are screw-ups, not criminals. Yet we have small towns ordering armored personnel carriers such a Longmont did, or drone aircraft as did Grand Junction. Why this equipment? They are afraid of the rank and file public because they know they are bullies and that sooner or later the public is going to get fed up with their high handed ways.
In the meantime, the citizens allow the police agencies to spy on us, entrap us, push us around, instill us with fear, and promote a totalitarian environment in which they can control the people rather than serve them. They are not our masters. They aren’t superior. They aren’t above answering to the citizens. The sending of a letter to an agency which can take away someone’s livelihood is unconscionable and shows how abusive the power of these bureaucrats are. Civilized and cultured people discuss problems and communicate. Civilized people don’t just sit there, calculating how to make a person’s life miserable or how to end his career. If the clerk thought I was too loud, she could have expressed that to me, instead of insisting that I needed a current card to see a prisoner, particularly when such demand is made only as an exercise of power.
Not only does it show that they could care less about the citizenry, it is also an example of form over substance. I don’t know if it was arrogance, stupidity, or lack of training which prohibited the clerk from checking on the computer right in front of her. I do know that her real or feigned ignorance was annoying.
Remember, upon my discharge from the hospital with pneumonia and subsequent arrest, I was placed in solitary confinement when a jail nurse demanded that I sigh a blanket medical release and put me in “isolation” until I “co-operated.” A general release was not necessary, but just a specific one to confirm that I was indeed just released from the hospital. She committed a dangerous act, against the ethics of a nurse to refuse my medication, endangering the health of a citizen, accused of the heinous crime of not carrying proof of insurance. The jailers were enjoying my pain then and this is but another example of how the Courts and District Attorneys have encouraged bullying, dishonesty and totalitarian behavior. This has to stop. Procedure cannot be allowed to supplant common sense. Public officials, paid by us, are supposed to be helpful, not bullies.
Later, the clerk, after discussing the matter with my son’s former classmate, called the Colorado Bar Registration office to register a complaint. One of the consequences of contacting this agency is that they have the power to take away one’s livelihood. They have mastered the art of Bureaucratic Empire Building to the point of exercising plenary power in the system When the clerk called, the receptionist, rather than inquiring whether or not the Sheriff’s employee had made any inquiry about my status, or suggesting she request an apology from me, suggested she file a complaint against me. The registration clerk solicited a filing and advised the caller to file a complaint, not considering that she was essentially approving the denial of 6th amendment rights to a person. A little training or change in philosophy could have averted an expensive and time consuming charade with the fitness counsel.
The committee gave the Sheriff’s clerk legal advice, gave her a case number and encouraged her to write the above report.
I supposed that this is making a mountain out of a molehill, but it is indicative of why Government isn’t working. It is the culture of fear and the unwillingness to apply common sense. Employees don’t understand the underlying basis of any rule, just how to use the rule to thwart the people. They are trained to be obstructionist, not helpful. They are given power to get even, not to further the goals and interests of a society. Hopefully, you will consider my thoughts.

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