Richard Brodhead: Misunderstanding the Presumption of Innocence
Connecticut Law Students Behaving Badly

The Big Lie In Hartford

Lie often and boldly and you just might be deemed to be telling the truth. Isn't that what Orwell taught? Daryl Roberts of the Hartford Police Department appears to have read his Orwell.

Roberts, the chief of the city's police department, testified yesterday before the Connecticut Legislature about the arrest of a client of mine, Ken Krayeske. Krayeske was arrested as he took pictures of the governor during her inaugural parade. One Press Account

Just why he was arrested has become a topic of much discussion in the state. Legislative hearings have taken place before we've even had our first pre-trial.

Three lay eyewitnesses have come forward to say that they saw the arrest. Mr. Krayeske stood taking photographs when he was taken into custody.

A police report by the arresting officer notes that Krayeske was targeted by the state police as a potential threat, as were, apparently, other people designated as activitists. Roberts testified that Krayeske was not targeted for that reason. Who to believe, the arresting officer or the bureaucrat playing spin doctor?

Eyewitnesses say Krayeske was doing no more than taking pictures. The chief testified that the man "breached the parade route." The spin doctor is out of control.

Eyewitnesses say Krayeske was taking photographs when he was arrested. The chief isn't sure whether the man had a camera.

The case is a frightening prism through which to consider civil liberties. One lawmaker at the hearing thought it unfortunate that law enforcement was questioned at all. Had the arrests occurred immediately after 9-11, the lawmaker mused, we'd be congratulating the officer. Perhaps that lawmaker would have. I count him a casualty to the war on terror.

I wish Chief Roberts had competent and admissible testimony to offer in the Krayeske case. Something tells me he'd be singing soprano shortly after his cross-examination began.