Police Chief Backpedals Over Tank, FSP Pushes for Truth

On August 2, 2013, Concord Chief of Police John Duval wrote an email response to the Free State Project President, Carla Gericke's Open Letter sent to him and city officials Tom Aspell and Brian LeBrun via email (and hard copy).

"Ms. Gericke,

I respectfully refer you to the article in today’s Concord Monitor about our request for the rescue vehicle. I believe my comments in the paper clarify the intent of the wording of the grant. The wording you cite from your web site, 'Our website specifically states: "Anyone who promotes violence, racial hatred, or bigotry is not welcome"' underscores the point I was attempting to illustrate in the grant that there are people who may attach themselves to a law-abiding group, but who may have a personal agenda with criminal intent. I presume you would not have included that sentence if you did not believe there were individuals out there that you believed might align their personal agenda with your cause. Those are the challenges I was referring to. Unfortunately, we have had local examples of such risks in our community which necessitates the need for law enforcement to be prepared for many scenarios. The rescue vehicle is a means of transportation for the safe movement of law enforcement officers and removal of innocent citizens from potentially lethal situations.

John Duval"

Today, Carla Gericke wrote back:

"Chief Duval,

Thank you for your reply–I appreciate the response. Apologies for my delay in getting back to you. As I’m sure you can imagine, having 'Free Staters' be called 'domestic terrorists' has eaten away my time. FYI, since you are a public official, and referenced your mail to me to reporters, I will be posting your original message and this response online at our website.

In response to your note, I would ask: What organization, including the two major political parties and your police department itself, runs no risk of people attaching themselves to the organization for their own personal agenda? Because most libertarians strongly believe in the non-aggression principle, and choose to disassociate from those promoting the initiation of force, does not mean, as you imply, that the FSP attracts more violent individuals than any other organization.

I would also appreciate an explication of the 'local examples' of the risks Concord has faced as a result of individuals associated with any of the groups you mention–I am aware of a protester who was arrested after being Tasered at a Tea Party rally some weeks ago, but he was not, to my knowledge, affiliated with Occupy or the Free State Project.

I also take you to task for referring to the Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack vehicle as a 'rescue vehicle.' Such an option exists on the grant application form, however, the option for a BEARCAT to deal with 'WMD/CBRNE' was selected instead.

If your language in the grant application was meant to express the fear that some individual would engage in a 'lone wolf' attack under the banner of one of the organizations you cited, it was not clear. If this is your fear–and since you have now publicly admitted you don’t believe the FSP or Occupy are domestic terror threats–I would request that you retract and resubmit the grant application with appropriate language so that the City/Concord Police Department runs no risk of perjuring itself, or having its funding suspended or terminated as provided for in Section 51 of the 'Grant Terms and Conditions 2012.' If you meant the mere fact that people who engage in peaceful political activism requires the presence of a BEARCAT with gunports, I would suggest you read over the Bill of Rights and Article 22 of the New Hampshire Constitution.

I respectfully request the following:

  1. A clarification of the language in the grant request and a comprehensive list of groups that you believe pose a 'terrorist threat' to the City of Concord.
  2. For the City/Concord Police Department to withdraw the grant application and resubmit it with accurate information.
  3. Start an open and honest dialogue between our organizations to avoid such misrepresentations in the future.

Thanks again for your time and your swift response. I look forward to hearing from you!

Yours in peace and liberty, Carla Gericke President, Free State Project"

Photo by meeeeeeshl

Carla Gericke
Carla Gericke's picture

This was the response from John Duval, sent today at 12:54PM:

"Some of your questions and inquiries are confusing. I’m not sure what you are asking by the way you wrote it. They are misleading in nature."


John Duval"

Johnna B. (not verified)

How can an inquiry be "misleading? This is classic bureacrat stonewalling.

jack black (not verified)

kick 'em in the grille!

jake (not verified)

typical bureaucrat. keep fighting the good fight!

jake (not verified)

apparently it wasn't enough that you separated your requests AND numbered them? maybe color code them too?

Patrick Binder
Patrick Binder's picture

You only asked 1 question (question and inquiry are synonyms so... there is that). The rest were requests, demands, expounded conversation and the like.

Porcupine Real ... (not verified)

At a recent anti-gun rally (the Bloomberg bus), which was attended by a large crowd of pro-2A counter-protesters, the ONLY violence of the entire day was performed by Concord police. They used a Taser on a man. That incident could have easily been avoided with patience and communications. There are many such events where protests are peaceful until the police show up and inflict violence/force upon individuals to "show who's boss" and squelch any dissidence.

meg mclain (not verified)

oh god... translate your letter for a 2 year old to understand. then give the original to the cop's lawyer and tell him to explain. "you do bad thing. you lie on grant request. you need fix lie, or you face spanking."


jessbowen (not verified)

The police chief stated, "there are people who may attach themselves to a law-abiding group, but who may have a personal agenda with criminal intent." Isn't that exactly why we should fear the ever growing police powers? A few over-zealous cops with a personal agenda?

Keith Hilliard (not verified)

Are you going to bother responding? Chief Duval has obviously run out of defenses other than to play the stupid card. Maybe it was all the talk of Constitutions that confused him...

Sam Lowe (not verified)

Keep at it.

Chief Duval slanders the same class of law abiding and non violent people who had to emigrate from Europe to come here to enjoy their personal freedoms.

The atrocities at Waco and Ruby Ridge are merely two examples of the kind of government mentality that Chief Duvall seems to exemplify.

His ilk are the type who would change the New Hampshire motto, from "Live free or Die," to "Live free and You Die."

Randa Jazairi
Randa Jazairi's picture

I really respect you Free State people. This was handled with so much patience and kindness and as I look more deeply at this, I think "Chief" Duval and his cronies were having a go at whoever they could with this tank crap. Honestly he's just a big fatass bully. He didn't need to say a thing. We all know that USSA has fallen into the hands of tyranny and he just wanted to let us know who is the tyrant, and that our beloved country has become a police state.

He and that big brat bully Barack Insane Obama cannot touch you. Just stay True.

They can read/record all our stuff and laugh at/or torture us, but they cannot touch our FREEDOM.

Randa Conway

runningwolfkenpo (not verified)

All this whining over a vehicle is just pathetic. The Concord officials who are elected support this, get over it. The application is in, and the town will get a Bearcat. Activist crybabies just need to accept it and move on.

AndyV (not verified)

Its not about the fact they are trying to get the vehicle (which is a waste of tax payer dollars). Its about them falsely associating a nonviolent group with domestic terror.

MollyMorrish (not verified)

Nudge Squad! lol @ running wolf.

It's not over the vehicle. It's over being deemed a terrorist threat. Moron.

Patrick Binder
Patrick Binder's picture

What an immature comment. FSP isn't even asking them to stop their application process... I'm not sure why they aren't but you are just spouting your mouth off with zero basis in fact. You completely missed the issues presented in the letters, its like you didn't or couldn't understand it... Is this Chief Duval?

MollyMorrish (not verified)

lol. I was going to ask the same thing... It's probably the Cheif and his buddies.

Bonzo (not verified)

I respectfully request: How about a direct link to the BEARCAT Dontation Drive that I got an email about? As someone concerned with privacy, I'm not clicking those damned tracking links in the email.

Wil (not verified)

Duval is clearly uninterested in addressing the real point and has his own agenda, is associated with a group which he associates his agenda with - and is ambivalent to the people he serves. His mission is clear.

Christian Gruber (not verified)

Go Carla! I love how this was handled.

Richard Curtis ... (not verified)

Listen people. If you keep voting SOCIALSIT in office New Hampshire will fall like Mass-A-Commie-chussetts did. To think the REVOLUTION started there is disgusting. They have relented their own state's constitution as well as the US CONSTITUTION. In the name of safety. "Those that would give up a little freedom for a false sense of safety, DESERVE NEITHER!" Ben Franklin. I suggest you ACTUALLY READ the constitution and the New Hampshire constitution weekly, just to keep it fresh in your mind. I am desc. of Lt Col Robert Peeples US Army(1775-1786) and Capt. John Peebles 1st PENNA REG. I am a TRUE III%er. I will not let my families sacrifice go to the wayside like Commie-chussetts has. But now I am a terrorist? Because my family settled here in 1646 (Cpt David Peebles) AND my family has fought EVERY WAR AMERICA HAS FOUGHT, and in EVERY branch of service. I have 5 family members buried at Arlington Nat'l Cem. The red stripes in our flag is my families blood!LIVE FREE OR DIE!

Victor Laszlo (not verified)

You are so right on with your thoughts; it's encouraging to read pure intelligence. Thank you from a Free New Hampsirite.

Victor Laszlo (not verified)

You need to get on the right side of things, my brother.

HoneyBunny (not verified)

I'm from Tennessee. I think these people should yell, holler, & scream at the top of their lungs at this force of power about to be unlawfully placed upon them. If you don't like it, then, why don't you leave the place? Peace, freedom & reason is what's needed. Not, to complain about whiners or crybabies!

HoneyBunny (not verified)

I agree with you my friend 100%! Maybe I'll meet you in the future.

HoneyBunny (not verified)

Amen brother! Amen

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