Police Threaten to Beat Grand Jury Resister and "leave him out where no one could find him."


Back in April, Reason TV reported on two self-described anarchists in Seattle who were put in solitary confinement for refusing to testify in front of a grand jury about their possible knowledge related to vandalism committed on May Day 2012. Katherine "Kteeo" Olejnik and Matthew Duran were not indicted for any crime, but were brought in as witnesses merely because of their association as anarchists.

Olejnik and Duran refused to testify, prompting them to be held in contempt of court and be sent to "the SHU" or special housing unit at Seattle Federal Detention Center.

Although they were released earlier this year, Seattle Free Press is reporting that the same grand jury investigation has received a six-month extension:

It saddens us to announce that the grand jury investigation has received a six month extension and will most likely conclude on March 4th, 2014. During the past six months there has been little news as to the current status or extent of the investigation and subsequent repression. The only news has been what has already been stated, the grand jury will continue.

That means that Olejnik and Duran could still be held in criminal contempt of court and be sent back to prison. And according the the Free Press, a fellow grand jury resister known as Steve is still being harassed and threatened by law enforcement for refusing to participate:

In the past week, Steve has been experiencing multiple instances of police harassment; harassment to the degree he has not experienced before. About two weeks ago at one in the morning, while walking to the corner store, Steve was approached by two local police officers who screamed his name and threw him against their car and into the backseat.

The Press continues:

The cops went as far as to [say] they would beat him and leave him out where no one could find him. Eventually the police stopped the car in an industrial park on the outskirts of the city. They then removed Steve from the car and stole his cellphone, jacket, shoes, and emptied his wallet of personal items and money. The cops then left him there. Thankfully, Steve was able to contact friends who later came and took him back home.

Like Olejnik and Duran, Steve has not been charged with or even suspected of committing the acts of May Day vandalism. A website supporting Steve says local police are also threatening his immigration status even though he is a legal U.S. resident, in order to get him to testify at a grand jury hearing.

Such tactics are the reason why grand jurys are held in low esteem. For ideas about reforming them, read the Cato report "The Grand Facade: How the Grand Jury Was Captured by Government (2003).

And watch "Tortured for Testimony" now:

NEXT: Three-Quarters of White House Staff Would Be Furloughed in Shutdown

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. A grand jury can indict a ham sandwich, but somehow it can’t indict a pig.

  2. Wouldn’t the correct answer to any question at the grand jury be “to the best of my recollection, I do not remember” if asked about someone else and “I wish to exercise my 5th Amendment right” if asked about their personal activities?

    As for “Steve”, can’t they track the GPS data from his cellphone combined with dispatch records/dashcam footage to determine what cop was on that beat that night (if any)? I hate to doubt his credulity, but these OWSers have been known to spin a yarn.

    1. “I was highly intoxicated. I cannot recall clearly.” worked for me in a serious non-court situation.


      The government can deprive someone of their ability to take the 5th if the government gives the person immunity. The premise is that the 5th amendment privilege protects you from having to say things that can be used to convict you of a crime; if the government promises not to use what you say or anything derived from what you say against you (e.g., gives you immunity), then you can be forced to answer because forcing you to do so does not violate what the 5th amendment was intended to protect you from.

      1. don’t open his link….it links to malware…thanks fucker

        1. Fucking University of Dayton!

          They may be full of malware, but I have some great memories of their track and basketball court.

          1. is that sarcasm? I opened it and got a stupid pop up security threat garbage. that had to be closed only in task manager. It is what i get i guess using opera….stupid kaspersky doesn’t support it. I need to remember to use chrome for opening unknown links

            1. No, I played my last high school basketball game ever there in front of about 9,000 people (fuck you, Kettering Alter). And that track not only was where I ran my first sub-5:00 mile but also where I ran my first sub-2:00 half mile.

    3. “I don’t feel confident of the sequence of events.”
      “I’m not sure exactly what was said.”
      “I’m afraid I don’t recall those events very clearly.”

  3. Is this the same Seatlle police department that is supposed to be under administration of the FBI?

    1. It’s the same one that Dunphy said is above reproach even though their IAD process was panned by a federal judge and is supposed to be under the control of the DoJ.

      It’s also the same one whose %age of upheld complaints against cops hovers around 0% even in cases where evidence disappears and cops are allowed to give evidence that cannot be used against them (thanks a lot, Garrity).

      1. DOJ thank you, I knew FBI sounded wrong.

        1. The FBI is part of the DOJ.

          1. So is office on violence against women. Neither one appears to be in charge of the oversight,which is what I was obviously asking, but thank you for your contribution.

            1. Listen, jackass, I was pointing out that you were at least in the right neighborhood.

      2. Yes, but whittling is at an all time low in Seattle thanks to the efforts of Detective Rex Hardbody (aka dunphy) and his brethren. All the citizens of that fine city are now spared the terror of coming face to face with a whittling Redskin!

      3. Sloopy,

        Forget Dunphy.

        That honorless piece of shit, defender murderers, admitted violator of the 4th amendment in acquiring people’s medical records, seems to have wandered away. Let him go.

        It’s like that Zen Buddhist koan about the monks and the courtesan.

        Two monks were on a pilgrimage to a neighboring province. They came from an austere and strict order…

        They came to a river which had begun to rise with the spring thaw. At the river was a courtesan, finely dressed and painted, her robes the softest silk.

        Even though the river was not higher than a man’s waist, her elaborate and heavy garb made it impossible for her to cross without being weighed down and swept away…

        The elder monk bowed to her, offered his help, and bent his back. She climbed atop his shoulders, and he carried her across the river and deposited her on the other side. …

        The two monks continued their trek for many miles, and the younger monk seethed and simmered with barely tamped frustration. Finally, he could take no more and he burst forth.

        “You have broken some of our most sacred vows! You have spoken to a woman! Worse yet, you have touched her! And more horrible still, she was a woman of ill repute. All things forbidden to us. How can you have done these things and walk beside me in silence and contentment? What have you to say for yourself?”

        [The older monk replied], “… I put her down by the riverside. When, brother, will you put her down?”

        1. I’m just glad you didn’t go with some kind of Brokeback Mountain reference.


        2. Where have you gone, superdunphy? Morgan Fairchild turns her lonely eyes to you.

        3. I haven’t seen the dunphster around lately, did he finally realize all of us except Tulpa were mocking him by talking about his “accomplishments”?

          1. He’s just been too busy to comment here lately. What with his professional powerlifting competitions, playing lead guitar for Van Halen, professional surfing career, and taking time out to have a second honeymoon with Morgan Fairchild, he’s just simply too swamped to drop truth on all of us anti-cop members of the reason bigoratti. hth

            1. Or he died of meningitis.

              1. Or he died of meningitis.

                Speaking of – a new season of Monsters Inside Me premieres tonight! And no, it’s not a STEVE SMITH biopic.

              2. I thought he had cancer or something.

                1. Pretty sure he had meningitis. He was always out on paid medical leave because it kept coming back.

        4. I thought we were supposed to call him “Detective Rex Hardbody” from now on.

      4. It’s the same one that Dunphy said is above reproach

        How the hell would he know?

        Isn’t he with the Renton police department?

        What did he go drinking with a couple Seattle cops one night and from that decided “Oh yeah these guys are good guys”.

    2. No, it’s a federal installation and it’s not even in Seattle.

  4. Can’t these guys find lawyers willing to work on contingency and sue for harassment? It would at least bring about some more media attention.

    1. They can’t find lawyers who are still willing to work on contingency after the police knock on their doors at night and threaten to leave them out where no one can find them.

  5. A grand jury for vandalism charges? Is it composed entirely of H&R commenters?

    1. Honest question, how much to repair the vandalism vs. the cost of a grand jury?

    2. A grand jury for vandalism charges?

      More like: a grand jury merely convened to bankrupt people with differing views from the government’s and harass them into submission.

      The charges are irrelevant here. The goal is to intimidate and pressure people into going along with the flow.

    3. Is it composed entirely of H&R commenters?

      Covering up a sign with an easily removable piece of paper is the same a mutilating a body part.

      1. … and parking perpendicular to the road’s direction of travel.

        1. Wow, it’s funny watching joe breezily get his ass handed to him without even figuring out that his ass is getting handed to him.

          I believe they call that unconscious incompetence.

          1. “The Derider”

            I don’t keep up on these things but does The Derider still claim to not be joe?

        2. Am I missing something? When I go to that page I have to answer a survey question to read the article.

          Is this something new for the archives?

  6. Police Threaten to Beat Grand Jury Resister and “leave him out where no one could find him.”

    Shouldn’t Allegedly be in there somewhere? Seriously, we need to extend the same courtesy to everyone, right?

    1. Procedures were followed, nothing else happened, powerlifting with Morgan Fairchild, HTH.

  7. From the Cato report on grand juries:

    “After years and years of mounting criticisms, England itself abolished the grand jury in 1933.”

    Yeah, 1933 was the year of really great ideas!

  8. I guess that, like Peak Retard, Peak Scumbag is also a myth.

  9. I don’t like bashing the role of citizen-jurors. It’s true that prosecutors like to use grand juries to compel testimony they probably couldn’t otherwise get – if we *must* have subpoenas, I would transfer the subpoena power to a judge, who could order a witness to go down to the police station, accompanied by a lawyer and with him and his interrogators watched by a video camera, and answer such questions as the cops have a right to ask (that is, nothing self-incriminatory, nothing about confidential matters, etc). That would take the onus off the poor grand jurors, and they could go back to their traditional role of screening accusations.

    Going back to their traditional function of identifying known local criminals, the grand jurors should prioritize complaints about crime from members of the general public. If they need more evidence, they should be able to order the police to gather it. When they have a dossier on the suspect (and grand jurors can use hearsay evidence, so they don’t have to hear witnesses in person), then the grand jurors can *present* suspects they consider guilty – presentments can be drawn up in proper form using user-friendly software and the help of the judge.

    1. When they’ve finished dealing with crime reports from the public, the grand jurors can hear from cops and prosecutors – the prosecutor would hand over his files and the proposed indictments, which the jurors would vote on.

      If all this means there’s no time to get to *all* the prosecutor’s cases – like sick people smoking dope to feel better – then that’s just too bad.

      Finally, the US Supreme Court has to decide if it’s going to “incorporate” the right to a grand jury as a filtering mechanism for serious crimes on the state level. It’s in the Bill of Rights, most of which has been “incorporated” against the states. So why not this part, too?

      1. That sounds like about what I always thought grand juries should be for.

    2. Citizen jurors need to be bashed and bashed hard, considering the power they’ve and especially grand juries have been given.

      Remove immunity, make juries also accountable for any mistake, for any wrongfully accused, then I’ll stop bashing them.

      As far as compelling testimony, that’s not necessarily the grand jury’s fault, but the fact that so many jurors are willfully complicit in the ridiculous abuse of power and never question it adds to my disrespect of citizen juries.

  10. Gee, self-described ‘pig-hating’ anarchists go to an anarchist pig hating news rag and claim the cops threatened to kill them, but offer absolutely no evidence whatsosver?
    Yeah, sure, seems legit.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.