What is an 'unlawful assembly'?

For the second time in less than a fortnight, a Shenandoah Valley police force has disbanded a group of young people with force. In the first instance, in Harrisonburg, there was alcohol, fire, and literally thousands of people. In the more recent incident, however, in Staunton, the event was a candlelight vigil filled with grief over the inexplicable loss of a 14-year-old boy. (The 911 call that launched the Staunton intervention indicates that the caller had no idea–- as she honked her car horn at them–- that she had come upon grievers.)

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21 comments

an "Unlawful assembly"- how about a sting operation to collect scoflaws.

It does seem like police overreacted when they used the pepper spray and threw the pregnant woman against a car (hmm, reminds me of a certain incident involving a police officer and a pregnant woman in Charlottesville.) But if you read the Waynesboro News-Virginian article, it sounds like this wasn't the peaceful candlelight vigil that you might assume from the Hook's blurb. When you stand in the middle of a parking lot and block traffic, refuse to move, and then curse at and assault police officers, I'm not going to be sympathetic when they respond by arresting you, regardless of the cause. And that's not much of a way to remember your friend, either.

I feel bad for the family's loss, but who kicks a cop? kicks the windows out of cop cars? really? trashy trash trash. loss or not, the kids are out of control.

Hey Surly: there was no permit issued. That was the reason for the unlawful assembly charge.

I agree with 'Nancy Drew.' This is (excuse the expression) massive overkill!
I do like the idea of a 'teen counselor.' I realize that there are times when teens, or any other group for that matter, can get out of hand. But why is this not considered 'profiling?' If all the kids/people in a particular congregation were Black, Female, Seniors, Jewish, this would be profiling.
Not every single 'large group' is to be feared! *We* really are getting to be quite a group ourselves...Half the people are apathetic and the other half paranoid!

90mph chases to catch an 18 year old graffiti spray painter in Staunton, and now this- next time there is an opening in the police department; I suggest they hire a teen counselor to handle these events. Clearly, this was not the right response for this situation.

http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2010/03/04/90mph-chase-for-gra...

When a permit to assemble is issued, an officer should be assigned to be present at the assembly to provide guidance and control as needed. Such policy would be less expensive than fifteen cops on overtime, smashed out windows, arrest procedures, et cetera. Also could provide much needed advice to narcissistic twits who dial nine-one-one at every inconvenience...

Police? Nope! Gestapo? Yup! Himmlers Henchmen. I feel safe. Were thier Swastikas clean? Gun boots polished? I feel safe. Inmates running the Asylum. Safety in numbers people. In god we trust is on the American dollar."Let us rise to a standard to which the wise and honest can repair." George Washington. Hes on the dollar

M, right or wrong, what's the end result here?

I can tell you. Just a few thousand more people who have lost all respect whatsoever for law enforcement. How do I arrive at a "few thousand more" you might ask. The people that were there, the parents of the people who were there and the friends of people who were there.

And M, there is a big difference in the Charlottesville case where a pregnant girl was manhandled and thrown to the ground. While she was indeed pregnant, she was also thrown in jail overnight for yelling at the cop to "Slow The **** Down!" after the cop almost ran over them.

I wonder if the 18 year old guy (who was arrested for kicking out cop car window and other crimes) will also be prosecuted for statutory rape. Apparently the 15 year old pregnant girl is his girlfriend.

Officer present for such an event, would seem self evident.

OH wait , responding to you Booo got me to thinking my statement looks as if a women must have reared a child to be a good COP or have that way with kids I mentioned . NOT so as if you stick around enough you will hear me speak of two of the greatest cops I know ONE MALE AND ONE Female . As I read back the Female cop I am referring to that has a heck of a way with children and young adults in stressful situations has NO CHILDREN so it just must be a born instinct with Women to have the knack I am trying to describe with young folks .

I also needed to correct that becasue she reads the Hook LMAO .

So how many people were gathered in Staunton? 10,100,1000?

Folks,

Keep in mind that sort of thing is progress for Staunton. This is a town so conservative that, up until recently, the names and addresses of traffic stop suspects were posted in the local newspaper. Not even convictions- SUSPECTS!

(No, I'm not one of them) :>

Maybe Andy and Barney need more training and less of Aunt Bea's apple pie!!!!!!!!!!!

I must be mistaking I thought private citizens had the right to hang out in the park . SO I got this straight .

Kids who are harassed by PANZY COPS fight back = BAD KIDS

Cops that are entrusted to protect our children use brute force , guns , pepper spray and batons on children while stomping on the US CONSTITUTION = GOOD COPS

makes perfect sense in a POLICE STATE

I know a couple of Female cop's that would have taken this situation under control without ever raising her voice . They would have walked away gaining respect instead of another 1000 or so COP HATERS .

Find a good Mother whom also rightly and respectfully wears a LE badge and you will see they posses something the police academy is unable to instill in the average Gestapo cop .

COMMON SENSE !

Actually "hidingunderafakename" sometimes female cops feel that because they are female, they have more to prove than their male counterparts. They can be more unsympathetic and unreasonable for that reason. They don't want to be viewed as weak, soft and vulnerable in a male dominated field, and especially when finding themselves going up against troublmakers who may be sizing them up. They may not engage in the brute force that their male counterparts can engage in, but being a female LE officer does not automatically equal better.

Just my two cents.

To "Confused Easily"

Click on 'most recent incident' in Hawes' article, above and you will see the following:
"Organizers obtained verbal permission for the vigil, but city officials did not expect so many people to show up, said Chris Tuttle, director of Parks and Recreation.

ââ?¬Å?If you’re having an event in the park system that’s basically open to the public, you need to have an activiy permit,” Tuttle said. ââ?¬Å?They had permission, that’s correct, because I said, ââ?¬Ë?Sure, your family can do that.’ I was under the assumption that it was friends and family, not that big of a gathering.”"

So, which one of us is 'easily confused?'

disregard previous comment,m I mis-read the article

Booo

I am listening and yes that does happen . As with everything else it represents a very small sliver of the PIE .

It is my personal experience and opinion that Female Cops are more approachable especially with children and young adult's and have outstanding skills when it comes to conflict resolution . I am not saying there are not Male cops with the same abilities but that it has been my experience Female Cops just as with Mothers seem to have a "way" with kids if you will .

Just my life experience with the subject .

Let's see- would asembling a swing set be an unlawful assembly if you didn't have th right tools?