Chief Muir's Response: Not Much Accountability or Genuine Responsiveness Yet

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Ok, I admit it. When I wrote this post I hadn't read Chief Muir's letter (sometimes we need a break from all of this) but relied on Mom's report of it. The July 4th vibe got the best of me and I wanted to interpret it through rose-colored glasses. I already knew that I was going to have to keep on my toes and document my socks off. But it's becoming more and more clear that in a situation like this, it's important that our evidence is actually documented and doesn't just end up in the back of someone's file cabinet. I have to say that so far that seems to be the official desire.

I'll be interested to learn what departments are legally required to act on. For instance, if I don't file official reports, is there a lower standard of accountability? It seems like all possible has been done to point me in other directions than filing actual reports, so it seems that I should definitely file them.

Since we reported our neighbor Alain assaulting my mom things have settled down remarkably. That momentary loss of control on his part ended up sort of being a blessing to us.

So: here we go!

from   Kyeann Sayer
date    Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 5:09 AM
subject    Addressing MPD Issues/Criminal Claims

Dear Chief Muir,

This is in response to your June 29 letter (I typed in the text below). I will also send you a hard copy since you don't respond to email communications from me.

I'm glad that you have shifted from advising me that you will not tolerate my opinions about my treatment by the department to expressing an interest in receiving my claims. Since June 26 the change in the neighborhood has been remarkable -- someone seems to be sending a new message about what sort of behavior is acceptable. It seems that the overall tone of accountability has shifted and individuals no longer feel that they can harass and intimidate us with impunity, which of course is a welcome change.

My concern is not only that my desire to relay information about criminal activity and provide evidence was ignored, but also that a concerted effort seems to have been made to delegitimize my concerns and prevent me from submitting evidence of them to your department.

Sergeant Richardson seemed to have had the singular goal of heading me off before I could provide documentation of criminal activity. He sought to frame my issue as isolated to my unfounded concerns about harassment from my neighbors, while I repeatedly emphasized that I needed the department to send a clear message in the community in general that hate and organized crime directed at my mother and me was unacceptable. He continually instructed me to just relax and enjoy my neighborhood as I implored him to look at the overall law enforcement atmosphere that seemed to condone harassment of us. Ironically, my mother was then assaulted by the neighbor that I initially complained to you about, illustrating that Sergeant Richardson's intervention/conversations with his household did nothing to diminish their impression that it was acceptable to harass us. If he had intervened appropriately to begin with, it is doubtful that my mother would have been assaulted.

Additionally, I find it alarming that your initial response to my understandable concerns about the Department's handling of this issue was to threaten that you would not tolerate my exercise of free speech.

I have some points of clarification. Please explain:
  • Why neither you nor Sergeant Richardson never explained the procedures for filing police or hate crimes despite my repeated requests for guidance.
  • Why you did not explain the procedure for filing an Employee Complaint Form. I clearly believed I was receiving one-sided treatment from Sergeant Richardson, and his mishandling and adamant refusal to take my claims seriously allowed for a continuation of the atmosphere of permissiveness that enabled mother's assault by Alain Goodman.
  • You claim that a general prohibition on contacting the neighbors in any way is not "bizarre." What legal or department procedural policy allows a police officer to instruct a citizen not to communicate in any way with her neighbors -- without indicating which neighbors or citing specific complaints from any of them?  I provided ample documentation of harassment from neighbors to Sergeant Richardson -- has he instructed them not to contact us? Have they provided any evidence or documentation of our supposed harassment of them? My understanding is that I need to file a restraining order against anyone whom I don't wish to contact me, and that I need to have documentation to do so. It seems discriminatory to take their concerns seriously, but not ours -- especially when we are the ones who initiated contact with your department. Please clarify.
  • What was the outcome of *****'s June 26 report of Alain Goodman's assault? Is he prohibited from approaching her? Does she need to apply for a restraining order?
Again, I appreciate your willingness to receive our information. In the absence of clear direction on how to proceed, ****** and I will file individual police reports for scores of incidents over the past few years. We will also provide you and a designated investigator with categorized narrative descriptions of what has occurred so that you are not simply inundated with random reports. Please let me know if you have any other ideas for making sure our reports remain part of our overall hate/organized crime claims and don't slip through the cracks.

It is important to me that you designate another person in the department who will be responsible for reviewing the information in addition to yourself. Again, your initial response and lack of basic instructions about procedures for citizens to file reports indicates to me that it is necessary to widen the net of responsibility for reviewing and acting upon my claims.

I will send you copies of the sixhoursaweek.com blog posts related to the Missoula PD to ensure that the department has a record of them (of course I keep copies of them in case the blog is for some reason hacked into). However, my blog was not created for the purpose of communicating with you or your department. It is in many cases very general and only very partially conveys the criminal activity we have endured in Missoula County. Reading my blog should not serve as a substitute for direct communication with me regarding these matters, and should in no way serve to constitute your full understanding of what we have endured. I will continue to chronicle my relations with the department over these issues, however.

Again, to clarify, I contacted you in a letter about harassment from the Goodmans. Sergeant Richardson responded and I provided documentation of my responses to verbal assaults, harassment and entrapment attempts in the neighborhood. Sergeant Richardon's provided a "blame the victim" response,  stigmatizing my efforts to document the neighborhood harassment. That led to these blog posts below.

I look forward to receiving your responses and moving forward together to combat corruption and hate crime in Missoula.

Kyeann Sayer


June 29, 2009

Dear Ms. Sayer,

I received your e-mail in response to my concerns about your allegations of misconduct by members of this department. I understand your concern that we don't appreciate what the real problem is and that you are simply looking to know who you can give your extensive evidence to.

Please feel free to provide me with copies of any written statements and documented evidence of criminal activity which you have in your possession. Another investigator or I will review all that information and provide you with notice of  our findings and recommendations, if any. I might add that I took the time to review the archives of your blog to familiarize myself better with the situation you believe you find yourself in, so you do not need to provide me with copies of those posts unless you are planning to take down your blog site.

For your information, there is nothing "bizarre" about a police officer giving notice to cease contacts with neigbors and is in fact quite common. The notice is based on a request by any party who feels they are being harassed by another.

At your convenience, you may deliver copies of the above documentation/evidence to me or phone me with a time to have someone from the MPD pick it up. Again my office is open to you at any time with reasonable notice for discussion of your concerns.

Respectfully yours,

Mark Muir

Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kyeann published on July 8, 2009 6:10 AM.

Jeffrey Doud's Legal Malpractice -- Buisness as Usual in Montana? was the previous entry in this blog.

My Opinions about Timothy Geiszler's Legal Tactics have been Censored is the next entry in this blog.

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