Originally published at: “New Hampshire Nine” Motion Hearing – Judge Kicks Audience from Court “Due to CO2” | Free Keene
Despite having even more people at previous hearings for the “New Hampshire Nine“, this week a robed woman at the Concord District Sham Court Church ordered all of the audience out after a CO2 meter alarmed during a hearing on the NH9’s motion to dismiss. During that time, an infamous bailiff named Peter Hamilton laid his hands on Terese Grinnell and there was much commotion. The robed woman could not understand how her kicking people out of the court was a violation of their right to witness the supposed “public” courtroom happenings, but eventually was persuaded to allow people back in and open the courtroom doors.
It was ridiculous. One bailiff claimed the CO2 detector had been placed in the court last week, while another claimed it was last August. A review of footage of the prior hearing in April does reveal the device was present, but it’s inconclusive as to whether it was on. Regardless, a quick web search shows that CO2 isn’t considered dangerous until 5,000 Parts-Per-Million (PPM). In this video, the bailiff appears to shut off the device when it alarms, then less than ten minutes later, he powers it back on and it reads around 958 PPM, so presumably it was set to alarm at 1,000 PPM. According to the WI DHS, the worst that would happen up to 2,000 PPM is complaints of drowsiness or poor air.
It seems pretty clear the device was installed specifically to give an excuse to repress the right of the people to observe particularly popular court cases. The situation was especially absurd given the robed woman – who is supposedly so concerned about CO2 – was wearing a mask over her face the entire time.
The hearing itself was fairly dull as the attorneys for eight of the nine, excluding Frank “Footloose” Staples, made their arguments that there was no disruption at the executive council meeting prior to the arrests of the peaceful activists. They played surveillance video provided by the prosecution, but the audience could not see it due to it being on a laptop. Footloose says he will release it when he’s provided a copy, as he is a pro-se defendant, so he should get all discovery in the case. He was the only defendant not participating in the motion to dismiss, as he says he wants his trial.
The defense attorneys’ argument is that given there was no disruption prior to the arrests of Footloose and Grinnell, the other arrests were essentially “fruit of the poisoned tree” and should all be thrown out. Before the hearing ended, prosecutors did drop the charges against one of the nine, admitting she should not have been arrested. The prosecutors are claiming there was disruptive behavior prior to the arrests, so the video is now in the robed woman’s hands and she will take it under advisement and issue a ruling later. Meanwhile, a status conference is scheduled in the case for October 7th at 11am. Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on the New Hampshire Nine.