On The Record Public TV Transcript, re; Krayeske Case

January 19, 2007

Show aired on Connecticut Public Television
Friday, January 12 at 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 14 at 10:30 a.m.

http://www.cptv.org
Guests: Atty. Norm Pattis, Christine Stuart of CTNewsjunkie.com

Steve Kotchko
My guests this week on newsmakers, let me say our round
table segment are, Christine Stuart of ctnewsjunkie.com and attorney Norman Pattis. And we want to talk about an odd event that bubbled up to surface only this week about a week after inauguration day.
Mr. Pattis, your client Ken Krayeske who is a freelance
journalist and also a political activist was arrested apparently for somehow getting involved with the Governor’s Parade route.
I know that eyewitness comments vary and his report varies
from what the police say, but, apparently for whatever
reason the police thought that he was going to be a
disturbance or create a disturbance in the Governor’s
Inaugural parade and his view of the story is he was just there to take photographs like many other media types.
Very hard question up front.
Do you think that your client, that the situation really is
a political arrest, rather than a simple breach of the peace?

Norman Pattis
I know that he didn’t violate the law and whether politics motivated it, I can’t say. I spoke to Representative Lawlor last night who has better investigative tools than I have access to.
His information is that a person close to the governor was present when Mr. Krayeske heckled the governor at a public appearance at the apple harvest festival about her unwillingness to debate Cliff Thornton, the Green party candidate. This man was apparently the fellow who briefed law enforcement officers on the day of the inauguration about potential threats. He had it out for him so the argument goes. So I think that he was targeted because he was vocal. But even when you read the police report, it is very, very hard to see a crime in there. I don’t think that he violated the law.

Steve Kotchko
Now Christine, you know Ken, and this is a situation where he is a blogger, he’s worked as journalist. He’s also worked as a campaign manager for the Green Party Candidate Mr. Thornton and the Gubernatorial race.
And, you operate an internet blog site as well.
Do you have — is this becoming more of an issue as to what
is journalist and who is not and, is it easier for someone
Like Ken Krayeske to jump from the political world back to
The journalism world, without getting in trouble or being
questioned or looked at funny by the police?

Christine Stuart
We all walk a fine line, I think, and I think that Ken was acting at the time as journalist. And whether you’re a blogger or a journalist, whether you publish something on the internet, I think that your ability to publish something should be protected.

Steve Kotchko
Let me -Mr Pattis ask you something here there is an article
or a column rather by Stan Simpson in the Hartford Courant
taking slightly the other side of the issue had and I’ll read from it.
It said do you know what the reaction would be if activist
Ken Krayeske who state police flagged as a potential
troublemaker lobbed an egg or two at Governor Jodi Rell
instead of snapping pictures of her?
Where the hell is the governor’s security would be the
comment. How about that?

Norman Pattis
It is a ridiculous comment by Mr. Simpson. If he felt the
need to join some perceived mainstream just to be different,
god bless him but he didn’t lob an egg. I have seen the
photographs that he took.

Steve Kotchko
I don’t think that Stan is saying that.
But I think what he’s saying and other people have asked this question too is, you know, you folks are on the cops because
they arrested ken but there are reports that claim that he was running into the parade route, he’s identified rightly or wrongly
in the past as a potential problem. And the state police are
arresting now and asking questions later, that’s the answer.

Norman Pattis
The Simpson fallacy is more or less, if Kotchko pulled a
gun and shot me in the course of this interview, where
were the cops and CPTV to protect me against a man.

Steve Kotchko
We have it on tape to protect you.

Norman Pattis
Not if I’m dead. I’m sure you can rewind it. But it won’t
bring me back to life.

Steve Kotchko
I probably wouldn’t be that good a shot.

Norman Pattis
But the point is Mr. Krayeske did not do those things and
his innocent conduct, that is taking the photograph was seen through a secret prism of suspicion that law enforcement
officers generated because of his protected activity.
In response to something that Miss Stewart said, it is the
same first amendment if you are a blogger or a journalist.
Journalists aren’t yet licensed by the government to protect
or perform their craft. Everyone has a first amendment right.
Mr. Krayeske was a vocal activist for Mr. Thornton.
He’s opinionated and outspoken on his blog.
That’s why he was given special treatment. None of the other photographers at that parade were arrested. Only he was.
There is a disputed fact at about whether he ran up to the
parade and behaved in an alarming manner.
If you look at the photographs he took there is not
anyone who is looking alarmed, not the governor, not the security people behind her, not anyone on the parade route.
So we simply say, that that’s a lie.
He did not behave in an alarming manner.
That’s the Hartford police spokesman speaking after the fact to justify what is in effect a political arrest, because of his activity.

Steve Kotchko
Christine, Let me ask you, when you heard about this, what
was your reaction?
Again, you’re an internet journalist.

Christine Stuart
Well, my reaction was that Ken was running up to take a
photo, like photographers do.
You know, he had apparently been getting a glare where he
previously was, and wanted to get a shot of the governor,
and you know, in order to do that in the news business,
sometimes you have to do it quickly.

Steve Kotchko
But I mean, did you have any fears that there was something going on more than just, you know, a breach of the peace disturbance type of a situation?

Christine Stuart
I did.
Actually I wrote a story about a protest of the Military
Commissions act, on the north steps of the capitol in October.
And at that protest, there were capitol police officers taking pictures of the protesters. And Ken Krayeske happened to be one of the protesters but I actually took a picture of the capitol police taking a picture of the protesters, which I have up on my website.
But, I mean, and I was like, what are you guys doing with
these photos?
Are you turning them over to the federal government?
And they said no, we just take photos to help — exactly.

Steve Kotchko
That raises bigger question that we mentioned in our headlines,
Mr. Pattis, do you think that there is some kind of political enemies
list that the state police hold, people that are viewed as threats to politicians, whether they are Governor Rell or lawmakers or anybody else?

Norman Pattis
I think there is a list they wouldn’t refer it to as an enemies list.
They would refer it to as a threat list.
And the question is how do you get on it?
If a person is uttering homicidal thoughts, well, you belong
on that list and I don’t think anyone disputes that.

Steve Kotchko
We live in a post 9/11 society so assuming if someone was
perceived to be a terrorist, you could be on the list.

Norman Pattis
Let’s talk about that though.
A post 9/11 society isn’t supposed to be — it is the same
Bill of Rights and I don’t think it has become reasonable under fourth Amendment standards to suddenly search people because of
their attitude or their activities.
The FBI amped up a great deal the list that it maintains
There is a violent gang and terrorist list that the FBI maintains and it is linked into something called the NCIC-National Crime Information Center.
If you’re stopped at a traffic light this weekend, or by a
Police officer, because you ran a traffic light, and he runs
your name and you’re on that list, the officer will be
informed that you’re a potential terrorist. And he’ll be instructed to call an 866 number, which I called yesterday to verify. And sure enough, somebody is sitting back there from the National Terrorism Center.
How do people get on that list?
We don’t know but we do know that an audit by the Justice
Department found that there was a 40% error rate of the
entry of people on that list. And some people are placed on it merely because they were present at anti-war rallies.
I think that’s chilling. In the case of Governor Rell, was Mr. Krayeske singled out because he vocally needled the governor about her unwillingness to debate Cliff Thornton?
I think that’s a real possibility.
And if that’s the case, then Ken Krayeske’s innocent behavior taking photos, rushing to take a photo was transformed into a suspicious act, warranting an arrest, simply because of what he did, and what he did wasn’t a crime.

Steve Kotchko
Christine, do you think the legislature is going to do anything because of this arrest?

Christine Stuart
I think that they are going to have public hearings on it.
I don’t know if they’re going to do anything, because I
think that we have the first amendment in place, and that
from what I have read, that — that should be enough.

Steve Kotchko
Do you think, or do you think something should be done?

Norman Pattis
I think the legislature will fish in a dry hole.
They’ll issue subpoenas and what not.
The public department of public safety and Mr. Boyle, and
these people will come in and say they do not maintain lists, which will be factually truthful. The state federal cooperation in monitoring terror threats leads to the federal government the responsibility of maintaining these lists. When subpoenas go to the FBI, they’ll probably be quashed on national security grounds or some other immunity theory. So I think the legislature will hold hearings and learn virtually nothing and will be told half- truths.

Steve Kotchko
We’re about out of time but if you have any questions or
Comments on anything you have seen or heard today, you can
e-mail us at otr@cptv.org and we’ll see you next week.

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