Results tagged “Missoula County” from Six Hours A Week: Adventures in American Exile

I sent the email below and then thought it best to follow up with specifics. At least the recipients at the city and county can't pretend they haven't been somewhat filled in.

Am I handling this badly? Wrong? I guess there's no Emily Post Guide to convincing law enforcement and county prosecutors to care about crimes against you. I would feel worse about my handling of it if someone had taken the time to explain to me exactly how to best submit evidence of multiple, interwoven crimes and I was ignoring them.

All along it has seemed as though everyone was holding his or her breath, waiting for one of us to die, for one of the entrapment schemes to work, or for us to be labeled crazy for saying out loud that all of this was happening. As long as any of that was in store, none of the specific crimes would matter because we would be discredited and not in a position to pursue them. 

We'll see how long that trend continues. Can they really get away with ignoring claims like those below? They're only a teeny tiny piece of the tip of the ice burg.

from       Kyeann Sayer
date        Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 7:12 AM
subject    Specific Examples of Criminal Activity

Let me provide some examples in the hope that it will clarify my dilemma of how best to provide evidence.

In an email exchange, a Missoula resident named David Merrill threatened what amounts to extortion -- if my mother did not pay him a certain amount, he indicated that he would circumvent legal channels and sic the police department on us. This is a violation of many laws (including those governing email communications locally). We believe that he was threatening the extortion as part of a larger scheme to foreclose on my mother's property. I could simply submit a police report with evidence of his threat and so it would be treated as a single issue. It seems, however, as though it would make looking into all of this simpler if someone had a file labeled something like "Conspiracy to Damage/Foreclose on Property X" and Mr. Merrill's individual extortion attempt could go there. From an investigative perspective, it seems like it makes sense to have the overall context along with the report of the individual attempt.

Also, the day before an important court appearance, my mom suffered carbon monoxide poisoning because her car had been tampered with. Not only was the exhaust system somehow blocked, but a part was pulled out of the engine so that it was burning and smoking. When she took it to the mechanic, he said that it could have exploded if we drove much further. We have pictures of it, the receipt from the mechanic, and an idea of who could have done it. It seems that all of this information would be very helpful to investigators.

A gentleman named Ty Cranmore threatened to use a Sheriff's Department employee as a hired goon when we wouldn't return a piece of property that my mother had purchased from his employer and that he had damaged. We believe he intentionally damaged property, and think his threats bordered on extortion. He used hate speech in our home, apparently to contribute to the overall atmosphere of intimidation. We would like to know why Mr. Cranmore was so confident in his feeling of entitlement to damage our property and then receive local government back-up.

We have dealt with an overall stalking and harassment situation. We have dozens of incidents to report, and many associated suspicious license plates. Investigators who are truly interested in the why and how have a lot to go on. Again, we could report these all as individual instances or provide them succinctly to a genuinely curious party who would like to follow up thoroughly. The latter seems more efficient.

I have a hard time believing that the city and county of Missoula would not want to follow up on issues like these. I hope you will start treating us like citizens to help and protect.

Kyeann Sayer


from    Kyeann Sayer
date    Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 6:50 AM
subject    Re: Request for Liaison
mailed-by    gmail.com

Mr. Van Valkenburg,

Are you not interested in pursuing criminal activity in the county? I have evidence of harm to persons and property including fraud and criminal conspiracy -- as well as attempts to do physical harm to my mother and me. Many of these crimes appear to have been hate-based. It seems odd that you would make a predetermination that you are not interested in pursuing such serious matters.

We have such extensive documentation and material evidence that I would like a consistent and clear means of providing it to your office and the police department so that we are all spared a great deal of energy and effort. I would like to help your office operate efficiently, so that tax payer dollars are not wasted unnecessarily through sloppy communication and duplication of efforts.

Since you will not identify a liaison, please let me know how you would like to learn about the criminal activity we have endured in Missoula County.

I am sure you don't want to send the message that you are not interested in receiving information about and pursuing criminal activity by preemptively ensuring that your office is not aware of it. So far, that is what your communication suggests. Many of the  people involved in doing us harm are prominent community members and it seems as though they have felt protected by individuals in the police and sheriff's department (I have evidence of this); I'm sure you don't want to lend the appearance of obstructing our efforts in order to protect them.

I look forward to working with your office to ensure that justice is served in Missoula County. Again, please let me know how best to so.

Kyeann Sayer
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On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Fred VanValkenburg <fvanvalk@co.missoula.mt.us> wrote:
Dear Ms. Sayer,
 
You are not getting a liaison in the County Attorney's office. We have no business with you to discuss.
 
Fred Van Valkenburg
Missoula County Attorney  

>>> Kyeann Sayer <kyeann@gmail.com> 7/8/2009 04:07 AM >>>
All,

Since Mr. Van Valkenberg sent me the pasted text of an email he claims to have sent on June 29 (I never received it), I have not heard from him. I am eager to have a liaison in the county attorney's office in order to streamline communication.

Thank you,

Kyeann Sayer


from Kyeann Sayer <kyeann@gmail.com>
to Fred VanValkenburg <fvanvalk@co.missoula.mt.us>
date Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 9:15 PM
subject Re: Threatening Behavior from Alain Goodman This Morning


Mr Van Valkenburg,

I never received a June 29 email and don't see it below.

My mother and I have endured much criminal activity in Missoula County and believe that your office should seriously consider our claims. Please let me know with whom I should confer about this. I will be forwarding information to the police department, but also think it's important to have a liaison in your office.

Thank you,

Kyeann Sayer
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
jefferson.jpgSee the email exchange with the Chief of Police below. (The image to the left represents his efforts to squelch the exercise of First Amendment rights -- it was the best one I could find. I am not comparing myself with Thomas Jefferson, for those who still like to spin the need to write about all of this as megalomania. I'll take suggestions if there's a better one out there.)

Sorry to be repetitive in this post. When obvious facts/concerns are being completely ignored, it's hard to know what to do other than find a variety of ways to state them.

This is such a surreal Catch 22. The message we're getting is: "We have found no evidence of wrongdoing against you. At the same time, we have ignored your multiple requests to provide the appropriate information, so we don't have any evidence. Therefore, we conclude that no wrongdoing has occurred."

Seriously? I made clear all along with Sergeant Richardson that contacting the Department was a first step, and that I wanted to work with them in an ongoing way and provide information. I requested repeatedly how to do that. Hello? No one there even knows exactly what we believe should be investigated. How can they make conclusions that nothing illegal has occurred when they haven't heard from us exactly what has occurred?

Mom was harassed again this morning due to the Department's failure to properly address one aspect of our situation... And I get accusations about treading on libel and making false accusations. Free speech exists so that citizens like me can speak out about ridiculous situations like this. I am dumbfounded by the "libel" approach.

I'm sorry -- I can't get over the continued lack of acknowledgment that we have begged to find out how to provide them with the evidence they need to properly investigate. Or any expression of desire to receive relevant information from us. Wow.

Was I not clear in message after message that the PD has only a tiny fraction of the relevant information and we just want to know how to provide it to someone who is not intent on blaming us? I don't know how many more ways to say it. Why does the department need to frame it in terms of deciding whether or not there is criminal activity at the outset, rather than making an informed determination based on the evidence we provide?

Doesn't anyone at the City realize how weird it looks that they so don't want any information? 

I guess we just provide all of the evidence and documentation without guidance on how they would like to receive it? We wanted to make their jobs easier. Ignoring non-evidence is apparently very easy -- ignoring actual evidence will be more difficult, I think.

(Also -- interesting that Chief Muir gave his "professional opinion" about libel and not one of the City Attorneys copied on the message... I guess I was meant to be scared into quieting down by someone who is not professionally obligated to provide legitimate "professional opinion" on legal matters?)


Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 4:57 PM
Re: Threatening Behavior from Alain Goodman This Morning

Chief Muir,

The issue is not that I have provided the evidence and no credible public employee has "found" anything within it -- the issue is that no one seems to want to receive evidence and documentation from us. Are you not understanding that I have extensive evidence of criminal activity that I would like to provide? I have asked perhaps six times now how I may succinctly and helpfully provide information so that proper investigations may take place. I have to wonder why the department does not what the information. Can you please clarify that issue?

The claim about libel is frankly absurd. The email exchange with Sergeant Richardson quite adequately backs up my interpretation of his response -- I am absolutely allowed to express my opinion about his completely one-sided response to our concerns. We are protecting ourselves through blogging because we have not received protection from your department. Threats about libel will not prevent me from continuing to pursue my rights -- including my right to free speech.

I have made multiple 911 calls about stalking and harassing behavior since September and told at least four officers on the scene that we have been dealing with stalking and harassment. No follow up was made. On February 5, Officer Chris Kanaff was very responsive and helpful in heading off suspicious characters who were parked in front of our home in the middle of the night. I told him that it was a chronic problem. There has been an endless stream of suspicious characters since then. If I call 911 every time it happens, I lose all credibility. We do have extensive documentation of the license plates of those who have exhibited suspicious behavior. We would love to provide it.

If Sergeant Richardson had responded appropriately about the concerns about the Goodmans outlined in the June 4 letter that you were copied on, and not attempted to blame us, perhaps Mr. Goodman would not have frightened my mother this morning. Clearly Sergeant Richardson sent a message to the Goodman household that we are in the wrong, and Mr. Goodman felt complete license to scream at her. Is this how you protect concerned citizens in your city? The problem isn't my exposing how your department is handling these issues. The problem is how they are being handled.

I still would like to know exactly how the Department is going to address the issues of organized crime, hate crime and harassment that we have endured in the city, and now this new threatening behavior from the neighbors. If you are not going to inform us by email, please send me a letter. Also, again, we have extensive documentation of organized crime, hate crime, and harassment, and deserve contacts at the city and county who are willing and able to genuinely investigate. As you continue to ignore it, we will have no choice but to pursue our safety and rights with state and federal agencies that are willing to take a genuine interest.

Also -- is Sergeant Richardson's bizarre instruction not to contact our neighbors (we still don't know which) still in effect even though it's clear that the problem is that individuals like Alain are harassing us? Do you want us to tie up the emergency line every time something like that happens? Would it not be appropriate to take a more proactive approach that prevents the situation from escalating to a hostile or emergency situation? Is the city not liable for not taking appropriate action?

We deserve protection from your department as much as any other resident. Please let us know how you are going to provide it.

Additionally, to clarify, Sergeant Richardson responded to the June 4 letter and that is why I did not return your return of my June 8 phone call. Though I called his direct line rather than 911 this morning when the incident with Alain occurred, we have made it clear that we have no desire to work with Sergeant Richardson -- if he had not been so one-sided in his handling of this my mother would have had a much less frightening morning.  As indicated in an email from earlier today, she would like to file the appropriate report about Mr. Goodman's morning tirade. Please provide a contact other than Sergeant Richardson so that she may do so. Someone other than Sergeant Richardson may phone her at ***-****.

Thank you,

Kyeann Sayer
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On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 1:24 PM, Mark Muir <mmuir@ci.missoula.mt.us> wrote:

Dear Ms. Sayer,

 

This email will be the last electronic communication you will receive from the Missoula Police Department.  Upon my order any police employee who is requested to communicate directly with you by email will be advised to contact me.  I will telephone you (as I have tried numerous times with no call backs) whenever you may need assistance outside the scope of the current matters.  Any emergency matter requiring assistance from police can be communicated through 9-1-1.

 

You are not under any form of investigation by the Missoula Police Department and Sgt. Richardson has been ordered to cease any further activity with regards to your assertions that I find on your blog.  I have reviewed that information and spoken with my highly credible staff to determine that they have done everything they can possibly do to convince you that no criminal activity is afoot and that you have not provided any credible evidence of hate crimes being committed against members of your household.  Feel free to continue those assertions to federal authorities if you object to my finding.

 

Furthermore, it is my professional opinion that you are potentially treading on libelous accusations about members of the Missoula Police Department and I encourage you to address any further opinions about police services to me.  I will not tolerate you making patently false accusations in a public forum about the character and actions of officers within this department.  My office is available to you upon reasonable request to personally discuss your feelings about the departments failure to understand your concerns.

 

Respectfully yours,

 

Chief Mark Muir

Missoula Police Department

435 Ryman Street

Missoula, MT 59802

plasticville-pd3-police.JPGWell. Either no one knows what to do, or there is a general hope that bureaucratic gatekeepers will discourage us from seeking protection or justice from the local law enforcement and legal systems.

As of last week the city and county of Missoula have been notified of our enduring two years' worth of organized crime, hate crime, stalking and harassment (domestic terrorism). So, if they refuse to follow up or take our concerns seriously and we continue to endure any of the above, the city and county will bear responsibility. (The Salt Lake City, Helena and Missoula FBI have been notified too but are so far mum.)

The Missoula police department seems to want the least amount of information possible about what has occurred.  We've seen this before. Dave Maison, the Farmers insurance adjuster dealing with Abbey Carpets' damage to my mother's home wrote his initial assessment of what had occurred without even talking to my mother or me -- his was completely inaccurate (seemingly to cover up for intentional destruction of property and to make it seem as though water damage had occurred when it hadn't in the ongoing attempt to devalue the property) and we had to threaten going to the state auditor to get him to include the correct information. He initially said "I've heard what you're going to say," and so didn't want us to say it -- at that point we weren't being vocal about the intentional nature of the property destruction, but just had the facts. Dave didn't want to do a standard taped interview. Nothing. I guess if he didn't have it in his records, it didn't happen.

This is very similar to what's going on so far with the Missoula PD.

Oddly, Sergeant Casey Richardson wants to define the issue quite narrowly, as isolated to our "innocent" neighbors. He has willfully ignored information about the escalated harassment following last year's local Republican convention (where there seemed to have been a lot of confabbing and fund raising related to us). This year's occurred recently and we are concerned that it could be much worse this year with the surge in right-wing violence, and have pointed out a few individuals who seemed very troubled by our religious/political outlooks who also sabotaged work at the house or threatened to use employees of the sheriff's department as hired goons.

I have tried to explain to Sergeant Richardson that it is his and the department's job to make clear to local political and religious leaders that their constituencies cannot harm and harass us with impunity. Failing to do so sends the message that it's acceptable to create an overall tone of fear and intimidation within the city and county. Clearly, someone who is going to use a sheriff's department employee as his enforcer believes he has the backing of law enforcement against whatever horrible excuses of humanity we were supposed to be. It's an overall tone of acceptability that local government needs to shift and so far Sergeant Richardson has remained tone deaf on that issue.  After his seemingly intentional nonresponsiveness I followed up with Lieutenant Brester, who was silent and who now is out of town.

The problem is that it's likely that false information was given to the city or the county in order to sanction bogus investigation of us (again -- based on all of the entrapment attempts, it seems that the false info was drug-related). Because little of what has happened to us could have happened without locals feeling as though they were legally protected. It seems that agencies that have been "investigating" us are legally required to let us know why. We do have a right to face our accusers, after all.

I have asked County Attorney Fred Valkenberg directly in an email whether we have been under investigation by his office. He hasn't answered.  I asked him and the other attorneys in his office how we can best provide them with the information they need to pursue the crimes against our person and property. We have so much information and documentation, we want to provide it in the most succinct possible manner so that we can help them do their jobs effectively. Silence.

We're not going away. We're just not. We're dedicated to the idea that our nation's/state's/city's legal/justice systems should work on behalf of individual citizens and not cronies. We will pursue all possible local, state and federal channels. So now seems like the time for local public servants to decide how they will be known when all of the facts come to light. So far, Sergeant Richardson is the cop who is doing all that he can to avoid receiving any documentation of wrongdoing. Luitenant Brester seems like the cop who is ignoring our communications in the hope that Sargent Richardson will discourage us and we will quiet down. Mr. Van Valkenberg's office seems quite ostrich-like. But ignoring us won't make us go away. Public servants need to do their jobs properly.

~~ 

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.

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