Editor's Note: Journalist Ken Krayeske became the envy of all Connecticut reporters looking for ways to jump-start their careers. He will be indebted forever to the Hartford police and, perhaps, others. The focus now should be on how the city and the state handle this matter. Someone working late at the Capitol should tell the Hartford mayor and police chief they are apologizing to Krayeske, and that high-level company is available. Of course, such an action could lead a judge down the road to cut an award for civil rights violations [sorry, Norm, but you probably don't have to worry about that happening.]
Reporter Arrested for Political Activism
by Christine Stuart
Friday, Jan. 5, 2007
A freelance journalist, who has worked on political campaigns, was arrested by Hartford Police Wednesday as he took photos of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s inaugural parade in downtown Hartford.
Ken Krayeske, who worked on Green Party candidate Cliff Thornton’s campaign for governor against Rell, was near the corner of Ford and Pearl Street photographing Rell’s inaugural parade when, according to the police report, he was identified as a “political activist” and a threat to the governor. Krayeske was arrested and charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer.
Norman A. Pattis, one of the state’s best known criminal defense and civil rights attorney, called the charges “ridiculous.” Pattis entered an appearance on Krayeske’s behalf Friday in Hartford Community Court where Krayeske was arraigned and entered a “not guilty” plea.
Now the case will automatically be transferred to Hartford Superior Court. Where “we expect it will be nolled or dismissed,” Pattis said.
“We’re not admitting we did anything wrong,” Pattis said Friday. But if the “governor’s goons” take exception to that then he looks forward to a “vigorous and spirited fight in court,” he said.
According to the police report, plainclothes Hartford Police Officers recognized Krayeske from a photo they were given by the Connecticut Intelligence Center and the State Police Central Intelligence Unit that “briefed us on possible threats to Gov. Rell by a political activist.”
Krayeske was working as a freelance photojournalist at the time of the arrest Wednesday. He was previously arrested in 2003 for demonstrating against the war. In 2004 Krayeske worked on Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign and in 2005 he traveled to Syria to report on the war. He has also contributed stories and photos to ctnewsjunkie.com
After he was in custody Wednesday, he was taken to police headquarters where he was put in an interrogation room. Hartford Police Sgt. Andrew Weaver read Krayeske his rights then attempted to interview him.
“The accused refused to be interviewed and asked for his lawyer, so he was taken to booking and charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer,” the report states. Krayeske was given an eyebrow raising $75,000 bond and taken to state lockup on Lafayette Street.
Krayeske didn’t make bond, but nonetheless was released at 1 a.m. on a promise to appear in court Friday.
Krayeske showed up at court Friday with Thornton, whose campaign platform for governor included free college education and the legalization of drugs. Krayeske fought hard, but failed during the campaign to get Rell and her Democratic opponent to include Thornton in the televised debates.