Even in the “Live Free or Die” state, holding public officials accountable can land you in a cage.
Cop Block co-founder Ademo Freeman — whose given name is Adam Mueller — took a plea deal last week in Manchester, New Hampshire in a retrial relating to wiretapping charges from a 2011 incident, where he recorded telephone conversations he had with three public employees regarding an altercation between a student and a school resource officer.
In that altercation, West High School student Frank Harrington was face-planted into a lunchroom table by officer Darren Murphy over a prank the student had played on his sister. The confrontation was captured on video by another student.
After learning that Harrington had been suspended, Freeman called both the Manchester Police Department and the school to see if Murphy had also been disciplined, recording his conversations.
As a result, Freeman was charged, tried and convicted in 2012 on three counts of felony wiretapping and served 90 days in jail.
He later appealed on the grounds of improper jury instruction and had the conviction reversed.
But instead of letting it go, Hillsborough County District Attorney Michael Valentine decided to prosecute Freeman again.
Freeman said the plea deal reduced his felony charges, which carried a combined maximum sentence of 21 years, to misdemeanors. In turn, he received a 90-day sentence and a year of “good behavior” to stay out of prison.
“Already did the jail time, so one year to go,” he said.
Attorney Brandon Ross helped Freeman with his appeal and the retrial pro bono.
“Brandon was great,” Freeman said. “I’m glad he was willing to do so much for little to no financial compensation.”
Freeman is usually an advocate of not taking the plea.
“I took the plea because it was the best choice for me,” he said. “My goal in any court case isn’t to win, but show how the system doesn’t do what it claims to do, protect people.”
Freeman said this was the third time he’s taken a deal. The first two were over marijuana charges. He said the decision to take this deal wasn’t that hard make.
“I know the state does what it wants and it was going to get a conviction,” he said. “Again, my goal was to show the system is flawed, I did that the first time around.”
He said he thinks people should hold everyone accountable. “Yet, when it comes to government officials I always suggest filming them.,” he said. “You could also try to move to places with less of them as well, another thing I’ve done by moving to the White Mountains of the ‘Shire.’”
Freeman recently moved from Laconia to Tamworth, New Hampshire, with a picturesque view of the mountains from his deck.
He has since taken a break from on-the-street activism and works with Suns of Liberty Mint, a company that sells melts down and mints silver into quarter-ounce and one ounce pieces.
“I plan to live my life,” he said. “I might not be out on the street Cop Blocking but I’m not going to hide either.”
“My life itself is activism,” he said. “So as long as I’m breathing I’m going to [be] advocating freedom, while living as free as possible.”
William R. Toler is a journalist with nine years of experience in both traditional and alternative media. In addition to writing for PINAC, he is a contributor to Cop Block and is the managing editor of IndieRegister.com.