Ken Krayeske pictured. Christine Stuart photo
For some reason unbeknownst to Ken Krayeske’s attorney, Norman Pattis, the state is treating this case differently than any other protest case he has defended in the past. Standing outside the Hartford Superior Court room, Pattis said it surprised him when the state prosecutor didn’t offer any deal Tuesday morning before court was in session. “My worst fears for this case came true,” Pattis said. He said the four Lyndon LaRouche protestors who interrupted US Senator Joseph Lieberman’s event, one of whom had two previous arrests, got a better deal. In this case the state left him and Krayeske with nothing to contemplate. Pattis said he even offered eyewitness statements that contradicted the police report, but that the prosecutor didn’t want to see them.
Judge David Gold refused to comment on the case and Pattis entered a not guilty plea and asked for a supervised pre-trial meeting March 2. A supervised pre-trial meeting means a judge will supervise a meeting between Pattis and the state prosecutor. Still confident in the merits of Krayeske’s case Pattis said if the case goes to trial “we’ll get an acquittal.” “It’s rare I get to stand on the side of angels,” Pattis said referring to Krayeske as an angel. He said he hoped the state would dismiss the case or at the very least offer a nolle. “We want a dismissal, but if they offered a nolle I’d have to consult with my client,” Pattis said. Krayeske, a reporter and political activist, was arrested by Hartford Police on Jan. 3 for taking pictures of the governor’s inaugural parade. Last week Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts testified to a legislative committee that Krayeske was arrested for his actions, which included breaching the parade route. Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle wrote in his report to Gov. M. Jodi Rell that a detective saw Krayeske “begin to step from the curb into the roadway toward the path of the parade,” which is when he was stopped “so the parade could pass without interruption.” The woman who stood with Krayeske on the median during the parade was in court Tuesday too. A claims analyst at Travelers, Marge Nichols, said in a statement she gave to Pattis that “I remember being impressed by how calmly he stood as he and his camera bag were being searched.” She said Krayeske stood quietly next to her and her sister-in-law on the median. “I mainly became aware of his presence because I found myself admiring his long telephoto lens,” she said in the statement. “I couldn’t figure out what he’d done…We certainly had not felt threatened by this photographer nor in any danger.” In his letter to Rell, Boyle made it clear that the state police played no role in the arrest. But state police did create and distribute a two-page flyer that included two Department of Motor Vehicle photographs and some biographical information. “The above subject is the campaign director for the Green Party in Connecticut. He had made an entry in the web page for ‘Connecticut Local Politics’ asking: ‘Whose going to protest the inaugural ball with me.’ No one responded to his request as of 1-2-07 @ 1600 hrs,” the flyer said.Boyle added: “At one point during the parade, a Connecticut State Police Detective, who was walking alongside you, observed Mr. Krayeske approach rapidly on his bicycle and remove a camera from its case. As you approached the Detective saw Mr. Krayeske begin to step from the curb into the roadway toward the path of the parade. The detective positioned himself in front of Mr. Krayeske to block his path into the street so the parade could pass by without interruption.” “The Connecticut State police played no role in the decision to arrest Mr. Krayeske nor in setting the terms and conditions of his bond. All such decisions were made by the Hartford Police Department,” Boyle wrote. About 20 Krayeske supporters, including several family members, braved the cold weather this morning to show their support at a rally in front of the Supreme Court building. They held signs that said, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press,” and chanted, “No justice, no peace.” Krayeske made a few brief comments to the media. He said, “This isn’t about me.” He said this rally is about reminding people the First Amendment exists. He said he has faith in the American Justice system and is confident it will be served.Click here to hear Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts’ explosive interview with WTIC’s Colin McEnroe. And here for the interview with Pattis.