USDC Cr. No. 84-3552

     Plaintiff Pro Se    
versus                          CA 84-3552
                                Judge Louis Oberdorfer
UNITED STATES, et al     


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, para. 3.)

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."


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 throughout."

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 question.

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," and "plastic."

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 "safe-keeping."

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 occurred.

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 fail.

Respectfully submitted this _____ day of _________, 1986.

William Thomas, Plaintiff Pro Se
1440 N Street NW, #410
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 462-3542

Ellen Thomas, Plaintiff Pro Se
Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
P.O. Box 27217, D.C., 20038
(202) 462-3542

Case Listing --- Proposition One ---- Peace Park