Stanley Arrested on Bogus Warrant
by Ari Armstrong
[The following material originally appeared on the web page of Colorado Liberty.]
by Ari Armstrong
The side of the car of every Denver Police officer reads, "To serve and protect." Given Denver's harassment of Libertarian U.S. Senate Candidate Rick Stanley, the question becomes, whom do they serve, and what do they protect? Sometimes it seems to be neither Denver citizens nor their Constitutional rights.
On February 23, Rick Stanley led a Bill of Rights rally at the Denver capitol. Stanley, joined other Libertarians Mark Holden, Ralph Shnelvar, David Bryant, and Ron Bain in discussing the history and meaning of America's most fundamental recognition of individual rights. During the course of his talk, Stanley mentioned Denver had issued a warrant for his arrest the day before based on an incorrectly listed court date. Stanley was previously arrested for openly carrying a loaded handgun to protest Denver's Unconstitutional disarmament ordinance.
Following his talk, Denver police arrested Stanley again. Stanley's lawyer, Paul Grant, said, "I'm disappointed to see that the Denver Police are again violating Rick's rights. I hope it's a clerical error, but it looks like harassment."
Here's the basic time-line of events.
On December 15, 2001, Rick Stanley led a rally near Denver's capitol at which he strapped a loaded handgun to his hip. He notified the police in advance of his plan and carried the firearm as an act of civil disobedience. Stanley spent around 28 hours in jail.
The next day, Stanley appeared in court at which a subsequent court date was set for January 30, 2002.
On January 23, Stanley's lawyer Paul Grant reached an agreement with Denver to reschedule the court date for March 5.
Somehow, Denver listed a different court date for Rick Stanley on February 20. Neither Stanley nor his lawyer was contacted with regards to this date.
Obviously, Stanley failed to appear in court on February 20, because it was the incorrect date and he was never notified of it. The next day, February 21, Denver issued a warrant for Stanley's arrest, which he received late on February 22. Judge Robert L. Patterson signed the warrant.
On February 23 Stanley attended the rally and was arrested. The following three documents attest to the accuracy of this time-line. Especially relevant is the "Setting Form" from the Denver County Court which clearly states the court date is March 5, 2002. Stanley presented these documents to the police officers who arrested him. Fortunately, some modicum of common sense prevailed and the police released Rick from jail within an hour.
Stanley's theory is that Denver is harassing him because city representatives are afraid their disarmament ordinance might be ruled unconstitutional (according to either the federal or state constitutions, both of which clearly protect an individual's right to bear arms). Denver has confiscated upwards of hundreds of vehicles and firearms based on its ordinance, and Stanley believes the city may have to pay back all the victims of its confiscation program, in addition to being subjected to civil rights lawsuits.
Information about Stanley's prior arrest is provided at http://www.lpcolorado.org/cl/2001/12billofrights.html.
The following photographs show Stanley and the Denver courthouse, Pam Stanley, and Rick getting arrested as his supporter David Bryant looks on.
Following is Stanley's press release on the matter.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2002
Stanley for U.S. Senate, 2002
Stanley Arrested for Apparent Administrative Foul-up
[DENVER,CO - 6:30PM] A victim of an apparent administrative foul-up, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, Rick Stanley, was arrested by members of the Denver Police Department at approximately 1:30 this afternoon, during a Bill of Rights rally at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.
Arresting officers stated they were acting on a bench warrant issued February 20, 2002, for Mr. Stanley's failure to appear at a scheduled court hearing in connection to his prior arrest on a Denver Municipal Code Violation. Just prior to being taken into custody Mr. Stanley produced documents showing his next scheduled appearance to be on March 5, 2002. In response, the arresting officers stated they must obey the court's orders and bring him in.
Rick was taken into custody and released after about an hour of captivity at the Denver County Jail. When reached later for comment Mr. Stanley stated, "I was glad to have another opportunity to educate the Denver Police about the Constitution -- I told the Desk Sergeant I was willing to teach a class about the Constitution. While I was in the booking room I did talk to a couple dozen police officers. All of whom, have sworn to defend the Constitution, but none of whom seemed to understand it very well."
Mr. Stanley went on to say, "One thing I understand about the Constitution is that it protects the right to keep and bear arms. The Denver Municipal Code under which I was originally arrested is unconstitutional and will be overturned." Stanley, along with another supporter were arrested for openly carrying a gun in violation of Denver Revised Municipal Code 38-117.5(b) on December 15, 2001, during a rally celebrating the Anniversary of the Bill of Rights.
When reached for comment Saturday afternoon, Stanley's attorney Mr. Paul Grant, stated that he was, "...disappointed, but not surprised to see that the Denver Police Department is again violating Rick Stanley's rights. I hope they'll do more than just apologize. I hope they'll pay Rick for the loss of liberty he suffered today. I also hope the 3 arresting officers will attend Rick's trial to show that they support his rights. If they don't, one might be concerned this was not an accident, but harassment."
"Personally, I am concerned by the Denver P.D.'s apparent lack of appropriate prioritization of resources in relation to this arrest." said, Michelle Konieczny, who is Mr. Stanley's Senate campaign media director.
"This clerical error could have been cleared up with a simple phone call to Rick's offices, or by reading the court documents. Instead, they chose to waste taxpayer dollars and send out officers to arrest him."
"They say we have terrorists among us, and yet they are spending their time and our money arresting a future Senator who is trying to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are busying themselves arresting honest citizens who are trying to protect their loved ones. Frankly, I'm wondering why they weren't busy trying to catch the guy flashing kids on the West side of town."
Ms. Konieczny went on to question how the judge "...could have missed the orders he signed in January while in court last Wednesday. Didn't the judge review the case file before signing the warrant?" she pondered.
Rick Stanley, is currently seeking the Libertarian Party of Colorado's nomination in May as their U.S. Senate candidate in this year's election. More information about Rick's campaign can be found on his web site located at http://www.stanley2002.org. For information about the Libertarian Party of Colorado please visit http://www.lp.org.