Here’s the police report from last night’s Never Again protest outside the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island:
Personnel narrative for Detective Omar A Ospina
On 07/02/2019, during the police briefing at the beginning of our shift, Sergeant Paul Savoie advised all units about a demonstration that should be occurring at the Wyatt Detention Center at approximately 1800 hours regarding immigration concerns. According to Sergeant Savoie, at approximately 1715 hours Dr Michael Fine called the station and also indicated that there was going to be a demonstration and implicated the group would be performing civil disobedience.
At approximately 1815 hours, units, to include Officers Randy Roberts, Nicholas Parker and Detective Omar A Ospina, responded to the Wyatt Detention Center and observed a large crowd of people gathering in the area of High Street and Blackstone Street.
At first, the crowd gathered directly outside the baseball field, (Macomber Stadium), and everything was peaceful and without any problems. Sergeant Savoie responded to this location and spoke to one of the leaders of the group, who identified herself via a necklace to be the police liaison to the demonstrators. According to the liaison, they had ‘marshalls’ to ensure people remained on the sidewalks and did not obstruct the roadway. The liaison was advised that police are only concerned about the group obstructing traffic, causing property damage or physical harm and that otherwise police were only present to provide safety for all persons present Sergeant Savoie also spoke to Mr Fine, who was also on scene and who indicated everything was going as planned so far.
At approximately 1913 hours, the group began to walk towards the front of the Wyatt Detention Center and surrounded both sides of the building on the sidewalks, blocking the main entrance and the entrance to the sally port on the Blackstone Street side. Several people began forming a human banded up line by linking arms and hands directly in front of these entrances. Detective Ospina spoke to the person who identified herself as the police liaison and advised her that people cannot be blocking the sally port of the building, in case of an emergency situation. The female replied that there was nothing she could do and that people were not going to move. During this time, there was a transport van (occupied with operator) in the gated entrance as well as another inside the sally port that needed to leave. I advised Sergeant Savoie of the current situation and he indicated he would be responding back to the location. Upon arrival, Sergeant Savoie spoke to the police liaison and Mr Fine. According to both individuals, they both advised Sergeant Savoie that people were not going to move out of the way and they were anticipating being arrested. Due to the current situation and the large amount of people, which amounted to approximately two hundred (200) or more individuals, Sergeant Savoie requested additional officers from our police department as well as other surrounding communities to respond to this location to assist.
Let it be noted that from the Central Falls Police Department, the additional Officers who responded to the location were Detective Scott Weichtmann; Officers Robert Matook; Stephanie Ruano and Sergio Rivera. Three additional officers from the Town of Cumberland and three Troopers from the Rhode Island State Police, also responded to our location for assistance.
Can we please ask a favor?
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Let it be noted that Sergeant Savoie was in constant communication with Major Craig Horton, who was in contact with the Police Colonel Daniel Barzykowski and the Central Falls Mayor Diossa, who were trying to resolve this matter peacefully without police action. The City of Central Falls Chief of Staff, Joshua Giraldo, responded to the location to assess the current situation. Both Mr Giraldo and Sergeant Savoie attempted to speak to Mr Fine in order to resolve this situation peacefully, however, they both were given the same answer that people were not going to comply. According to Mr Fine, everyone in the crowd knew the consequences of their actions and they were willing to face any charges.
Sergeant Savoie was notified by members of the Wyatt Facility, that they were expecting a transport van which was transporting prisoners from the State of Connecticut to their facility. According to the Wyatt Staff, they needed to move the transport vans out of their sally port, which were empty, in order to make way for the other transport van which was on the way with prisoners. Sergeant Savoie explained this situation to both Mr. Fine and the police liaison, and he was told that people were not going to move and they were aware of the criminal behavior, but would expect no physical resistance to police.
At approximately 2041 hours, Sergeant Savoie advised the crowd through the Police Vehicle PA System that those who were blocking the entrance to the gate/sally port needed to move out of the way so the transport van could leave the premises. The crowd was advised of the violation of law and that those who failed to move would be arrested, however, the crowd got louder and began shouting obscenities towards all the police officers, indicating “Fuck the Police,” “Fuck you Pigs,” “we are not moving,” which caused people who were driving by to stop in the middle of the road to see what was going on.
Sergeant Savoie was notified by the Wyatt Staff that the transport van was parked at the Storage America, located on Roosevelt Avenue, waiting for the crowd to move out of the way. At approximately 2050 hrs, Sergeant Savoie gave the last warning through the Police Vehicle PA system. Again the crowd ignored the warnings and began shouting the same obscenities. At that time, the crowd that was blocking the front entrance of the Wyatt (High Street side) responded to the Sally port area (Blackstone Street) and continued making the human chain larger.
At approximately 2052 hours the gates began to open and the vans began backing up in an attempt to exit the gated area in order to make room for the prisoner transport van which was waiting nearby to drop off prisoners. Officers again asked the people to move out of the way so the two transport vans can leave the premises. The group ignored the commands and indicated they were not going to move. At this time, the decision to arrest was made and the following 18 individuals were arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct for obstructing the sidewalk and entrance to the Wyatt Detention Facility:
- Jack Silverman, DOB 2000
- Jonathan Regunberg, DOB 1990
- Jared Goldstein, DOB 1968
- Bradly Vanderstand, DOB 1994
- Eric Cherry, DOB 1970
- Claude Leboeuf, DOB 1952
- Uri Bar-Zemer, DOB 1942
- Roxanne Barnes, DOB 1998
- Liza Burkin, DOB 1989
- Ellen Bar-Zemer, DOB 1945
- Diana Fox, DOB 1965
- Amy Pickworth, DOB 1969
- Dayan Maya, DOB 1998
- Wendy Grossman, DOB 961
- Amy Anthony, DOB 1983
- Katherine Bogen, DOB 1993
- Sara Bilman, DOB 1984
- Gemma Sack, DOB 1988
All these individuals were processed and later released with a 6th District Court date for July 11, 2019.
Due to police action, both transport vans were successfully able to exit and soon after the transport van containing 7 prisoners arrived and successfully entered the facility.
Video of the arrests:
[You can access the pdf of the police report here]
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