USDC Cr. No. 84-3552
THOMAS v. REAGAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
WILLIAM THOMAS, et al
Plaintiff Pro Se
versus CA 84-3552
Judge Louis Oberdorfer
UNITED STATES, et al
REPLY TO FEDERAL DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION
TO PLAINTIFFS' SEPTEMBER 30, 1986 MOTIONS FOR JOINDER
OF PARTIES, CLAIMS, AND REMEDIES
Plaintiffs incorporate by reference the declarations of Ellen
and William Thomas filed September 30, 1986.
Thomas says he was "assaulted" by Officer Waite on October 26,
1986. He also claims that Officer Waite behaved in a "threatening
and hostile manner" which resulted in "emotional distress" to
plaintiffs, and alleges that Officer Waite "selectively" addressed
his actions toward Thomas solely because of the fact that Thomas
was engaged in "Constitutionally protected behavior." Thomas
further alleges that Officer Waite was acting pursuant to "orders,
instructions, or policy conceived and directed by defendants," with
the intent to "deter, hamper, or terminate Thomas' constant
presence and/or ability to display signs in Lafayette Park."
Plaintiffs have moved to join Lt. Irwin and Officer Waite as
defendants in the "long-term, on-going conspiracy" alleged in the
original Complaint, filed November 21, 1984.
Substantially the parties agree to the chain of events which
occurred on September 26, 1986.
Thomas and Ellen Thomas were lying down in Lafayette Park with
some signs. (Affidavit of S.B. Waite, filed October 20, 1986,
Officer Waite admits that he used an object to make contact
with someone's extremity. (Ibid. para. 4.) He recognized Thomas
and Ellen Thomas, who were demonstrating. (Ibid., para. 5.)
Further, Officer Waite admits that he was asked to contact the
Solicitor's Office, refused, but did contact his "supervisors."
FACTS IN DISPUTE
Officer Waite claims he "tapped" the "individual" to make
"surethat the individuals were all right, and to inquire about the
bicycle display ... to warn the individuals about ... violations of
regulations," (ibid. para. 4), and that he was "calm and pleasant
Plaintiffs claim that the officer was hostile and threatening.
"On the other hand," the officer swears (ibid. para. 5), "Mr.
and Mrs. Thomas were belligerent, and extremely hostile."
Right. First they made "no motion for almost two hours"
(Ibid. para. 4), next they asked that the officer "contact the
Solicitor's Office about their bicycle." (Ibid. para. 6.) Extreme
belligerence? Paranoia? Deception? On whose part? A jury
Then the officer contacts his supervisors and confiscates the
bicycle for being unregistered?
Certainly it would have been calmer and more pleasant if the
officer had sweetly said, "Good morning, I'm going to have to
confiscate your bicycle," rather than "tapping" an "individual."
Notwithstanding the officer's litany of alleged regulatory
violations (ibid. para. 3), which Officer Waite apparently would
have the Court believe constituted "probable cause" for the officer
to "tap" the "individual," it is quite notable that the only
"actionably infranction" was an "unregistered bicycle," which it
seems did not become apparent until later. (Ibid. para. 5.)
There was no probable cause for seizing the bicycle. A
warning about bicycle registration, perhaps. (See attachment l,
obtained from U.S. Park Police Substantion One on retrieval of
bicycle September 28, 1986.) Probable cause for seizure ... where?
The officer swears plaintiffs had some ambiguous "personal
belongings" (ibid. para. 3) in addition to the "signs," "bicycle,"
Plaintiffs assert that the officer cannot substantiate that
they had any "personal belongings" other than literature, and two
backpacks plus one briefcase to carry the literature.
Inexplicably, defendants have stapled to their Opposition Case
Incident Report #039465 (defendants' Exhibit 2). This report
chronicles an event that occurred four days after the events of
September 26, 1984. Plaintiffs take no position as to whether Park
Police officers acted with probable cause in that incident, where
there was no indication that Mr. Johnson was known to the police
officers or whether they seized Mr. Johnson's bicycle under color
of regulation as punishment for going through a stop sign. In the
instant case the officer personally identified "Mr. and Mrs.
Thomas," which would obviate any need to seize the bicycle for
Moreover, defendants' Exhibit 2 overlooks the fact that, on
the mornings of September 26, 29, 30, 1986, there were at least two
other bicycles attached to "trees" or "structures" in Lafayette
Park, which were ignored by police officers. (See attachments 2
and 3 hereto.)
Further, Lt. Irwin was extremely unreasonable and
uncooperative in returning Ellen's bicycle.
The Motion for Joinder is consistent with the Complaint, which
claims that defendants have conspired to interfere with and disrupt
plaintiffs' communicative efforts under color of regulation.
The Joinder is timely, filed four days after the incident
If it is permissable for police officers to "tap" individuals
with nightsticks or flashlights, it is not frivolous to ask how
hard the officer might permissibly "tap" before he violates
fundamental precepts of civilization.
On the face of the incidents agreed to, and against the
background alleged in the Complaint, a reasonable person might
readily infer that the officer struck Thomas on the foot to harass
and intimidate him because Thomas was maintaining a constant
presence in the park with signs, and that the officer now seeks to
justify his actions under color of regulation.
Likewise, a reasonable person might readily infer that the
bicycle was siezed, and then held so that plaintiffs had to return
twice to retrieve it, to further harass plaintiffs because of
personal animosity against plaintiffs because of their constant
reproachful presence and/or signs.
For the forgoing reasons, and others which plaintiffs would
be pleased to reveal at any time, we submit that defendants'
Opposition to the September 30, 1986 Motion for Joinder should
Respectfully submitted this _____ day
of _________, 1986.
William Thomas, Plaintiff Pro Se
1440 N Street NW, #410
Washington, DC 20005
Ellen Thomas, Plaintiff Pro Se
Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
P.O. Box 27217, D.C., 20038
Case Listing --- Proposition One ---- Peace Park