UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Third Declaration of Concepcion Picciotto
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
William Thomas, et. al. | C.A. No. 94-2742
Plaintiffs pro se, | Judge Charles R. Richey
The United States, et. al. |
THIRD DECLARATION OF CONCEPCION PICCIOTTO
I, Concepcion Picciotto, hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and recollection:
- In the afternoon of January 31, 1995 I was at my vigil site in Lafayette Park when I was approached by two men in a white car who identified themselves as police officers, I think they said Park Police.
- I have never felt comfortable with the trustworthiness or good intentions of the Park Police, but since they killed Marcelino Corneil my fear of them has grown.
- They told me that they wanted to take me somewhere in their car to ask me questions about Marcelino's killing, in case there was a court case over the killing.
- I told them I didn't want to go.
- When they tried to convince me to go, I told them I didn't want to talk to them unless William Thomas was with me.
- On January 31, 1995, two police officers gave me a card and told me to call: Lt. Crockett 202-727-4347, 202-996-3009, W. C. Ward pager 202-515-1957.
- Since the imposition of the "camping" regulation in 1982
almost all "sleeping" I have done was done sitting up.
- What I do now isn't what I used to consider "sleeping." Since I was a little girl I had always thought sleeping was done while lying down. What I do now is more like torture, and not very restful.
- Since 1982 I haven't even laid down more than five or six times, and only for a couple of hours, and only because I was experiencing physical illness and pain.
- I really can't understand how anyone in their right mind might consider me to be using the park as a "living accommodation," but the reason I don't lie down is so I can't possibly be accused of "camping."
- Still, on many, many occasions when I was sitting up, some Park Police officers have routinely told me that I was violating the regulation, and threatened to arrest me.
- Although I do sometimes "sleep" while sitting up, many times that I have been threatened for camping, I was fully awake.
- Some officers regularly bang my signs with their nightsticks, which I ask them not to do. This has happened many times. Once I was sitting down, in the middle of the afternoon, painting "peace rocks," small stones decorated with words and pictures, when Officer O'Neill frightened me by coming up quietly behind me, then banging my sign with his nightstick, and threatening me by saying I was subject to arrest for violating the camping regulation.
- It is very important to me to keep my vigil as neat and
attractive as possible, my purpose is not to chase people away, but to talk to them.
- My vigil is hard uncomfortable work. I have to deal with the cold, heat, rain, sun, snow, unfriendly people in the streets, but the police are the hardest of all. They are well organized, powerful, and when they want to be hard headed there is no way to talk to them and no one to go to for help.
- When the police threaten to arrest me it is a great strain. Not only does it cause concern about my work and physical safety, but it also creates problems for me with Thomas. When police bother me and I tell Thomas, and it makes him upset.
- The pressure this constant harassment is terrible torment, and not the kind of thing that people should do to one another.
Post Office Box 4931
Washington, D.C. 20008
February 24, 1994