Melissa Bailey photo
A freelance journalist, who has worked on political campaigns, was arrested by Hartford Police Wednesday as he took photos of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s inaugural parade in downtown Hartford.
Ken Krayeske (pictured), who worked on Green Party candidate Cliff Thornton’s campaign for governor against Rell, was near the corner of Ford and Pearl Street photographing Rell’s inaugural parade when, according to the police report, he was identified as a “political activist” and a threat to the governor. Krayeske was arrested and charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer.
Norman A. Pattis, one of the state’s best known criminal defense and civil rights attorney, called the charges “ridiculous.” Pattis entered an appearance on Krayeske’s behalf Friday in Hartford Community Court where Krayeske was arraigned and entered a “not guilty” plea.Now the case will automatically be transferred to Hartford Superior Court. Where “we expect it will be nolled or dismissed,” Pattis said.
“We’re not admitting we did anything wrong,” Pattis(pictured above) said Friday. But if the “governor’s goons” take exception to that then he looks forward to a “vigorous and spirited fight in court,” he said.
According to the police report, plainclothes Hartford Police Officers recognized Krayeske from a photo they were given by the Connecticut Intelligence Center and the State Police Central Intelligence Unit that “briefed us on possible threats to Gov. Rell by a political activist.”
How does a political activist end up on the list? State Police Lt. Paul Vance said the intelligence division collects information from all over the world, but would not give specifics Friday morning on how a local political activist and journalist may end up on the list. Instead he suggested calling the Hartford Police Department.
In an interview with WTIC radio this afternoon, police spokeswoman Nancy Mulroy, editorialized the police report and said Krayeske charged the parade in the vicinity of the governor. “We do not arrest people without probable cause,” Mulroy said. Krayeske was working as a freelance photojournalist at the time of the arrest Wednesday.
He also runs a Web site The 40 Year Plan. He was previously arrested in 2003 for demonstrating against the war. In 2004 Krayeske worked on Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign and in 2005 he traveled to Syria to report on the war. He has also contributed stories and photos to http://ctnewsjunkie.com.
After he was in custody Wednesday, he was taken to police headquarters where he was put in an interrogation room. Hartford Police Sgt. Andrew Weaver read Krayeske his rights then attempted to interview him. “The accused refused to be interviewed and asked for his lawyer, so he was taken to booking and charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer,” the report states. Krayeske was given an eyebrow raising $75,000 bond and taken to state lockup on Lafayette Street.
Krayeske didn’t make bond, but nonetheless was released at 1 a.m. on a promise to appear in court Friday. Pattis speculated this afternoon that they held his client until the last glass of champagne was poured at the governor’s inaugural ball.
Krayeske showed up at court Friday with Thornton, whose campaign platform for governor included free college education and the legalization of drugs. Krayeske fought hard, but failed during the campaign to get Rell and her Democratic opponent to include Thornton in the televised debates. Click here to read about how the Green Party handled getting shut out of the debates.Police report narrative below: