Probe Urged After Arrest Of Activist At Rell Parade
State Police Say They Keep Files, But No Enemies List January 9, 2007 By CHRISTOPHER KEATING, Capitol Bureau Chief
Gov. M. Jodi Rell pictured above.Gov. M. Jodi Rell and top lawmakers on Monday called for inquiries into the arrest of a political activist and free-lance journalist during Rell's inaugural parade last week and the filing of criminal charges against him.
In a letter to the state commissioner of public safety, Rell said she was concerned after reading reports that the state police maintain a "list" of individuals who could be viewed as potential threats to the governor.
In asking Commissioner Leonard Boyle to investigate the arrest of Kenneth Krayeske, the governor said that even in an era of heightened security, "we cannot permit the rights of individuals to be trampled."
Krayeske, a law school student and vocal critic of Rell, had been identified by state police as a possible threat to the governor, according to a Hartford police report. He had been taking photos along the parade route Wednesday before he was arrested.
Several lawmakers said they were outraged, calling for legislative hearings and saying the incident reeks of a secret police force and should not be tolerated in Connecticut.
Boyle Monday denied the state police keep a list of political enemies, saying that the notion is "completely incorrect."
"We do not maintain such lists," he said.
Boyle said his department maintains "intelligence files" on individuals "who meet criteria set out in federal regulations." Boyle would not comment on whether Krayeske met those criteria or whether the state police had a file on him before the inaugural parade.
Rep. Michael Lawlor, co-chairman of the legislature's judiciary committee, said the incident reminded him of his own arrest in March 1980 while he was taking photographs, much as Krayeske was. The difference, Lawlor said, is that he was in Gdansk, Poland, which was under martial law.
A former state prosecutor, Lawlor said misdemeanor charges against Krayeske for breach of peace and interfering with police should be dropped.
"Ken Krayeske did not commit a crime," Lawlor said. "He wasn't protesting. He had done nothing to interfere with the parade. He was taking photos as a journalist for a blog."
The exact circumstances of the incident remain in dispute. Legislators said Krayeske did nothing that could be perceived as a threat, but the investigating officer said he saw Krayeske "suddenly ride a mountain bike at a high rate of speed directly up the parade route, dump the bicycle, jumping off of it, and then running up to the parade procession directly in front of where the governor was passing by in the procession.
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Below is an interview with Kenneth Krayeske by Connecticut Bob.