On the morning of June 4th, 2018, Derrick Ramseyer, law enforcement officer, (recovering?) adrenaline junkie, graduate of class BC 08-231, crash test dummy, and totes a trained conflict negotiator, concluded his multi-day harassment-and-assult of a disabled volunteer with an arrest on made-up charges, and then allowed and encouraged his team to use excessive force against an unresisting individual (myself, jakimfett, aka Tessa L. H. Lovelace, fka Kevin Straw).
I only survived the encounter because despite my mixed genetic heritage (Kiowa, German, Inuit, etc, I’m totes a mutt) and nonbinary identity, I’m a white-passing-male-passing individual, so a news crew paid attention when the conflict was started by these “law enforcement” jerks.
Yeah, Ramseyer. I called you a jerk.
What’re you gonna do, arrest me and beat me up?
How does this sort of horrible thing happen in the Good Ole US of A?
Isn’t freedom, equality, and justice available for everyone?
I’m so very glad you asked.
Here’s some of the details, history, and context of the incident.
Read the whole thing anyway, dammit.
Setting the Scene
This story starts 20+ years ago.
(I’ll spare you the boring details tho)
My first memories of Detroit are all oriented around the day when we scattered the ashes, the carbon remains, of my father’s father, in the place where I’d learned to fish.
Fast forward to January of 2018. I’d separated from my partner (and former best friend from my college days), the business I’d built was co-opted by white supremacists, and I’d lost many of my friends to death in one form or another.
Because my insurance company (Lincoln Financial Group) suspended my disability payments just before the end of 2017 (Happy Yule, Tessa! Have some poverty!), I was unable to pay my medical, transportation, and housing bills, despite having non-liquid tech assets and resources valued at multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.
…literally all I was asking for was a couple of months to heal, btw.
My overall health was improving once my misdiagnosis (and mis-medication) became clear towards the end of 2017, but my landlord (Sean William Brown, aka “Sean Verata Niktoo”, aka “The False Philosopher”) reneged on his contract with me, and was harassing me almost daily, trying to force me out after I complained about having to be his (uncompensated) maid, plumber, cook, and therapist.
I left the place spotless, screw your rent-seeking inanity, False Philosopher, I finished well and you’re left with nothing but your own toxicity for company.
May you experience a plague of papercuts, stubbed toes, and hangnails until the day you’re repaid tenfold and three for your cruelty.
After obtaining storage for the less mobile bits of my 20+ system server lab and literally tons of metalworking tools, I began looking for a place to be at peace for a while.
Fast forward to May 18th, 2018.
…aka “Eviction Day“
I moved out of Sean’s place several dozen hours before the 7-day deathline set by him and his lawyer and the impatient judge who wouldn’t let me present my evidence, and with my dad’s tent and backpack in the trunk of my newly-rebuilt car, I headed for Detroit Lake to breathe some mountain air.
I’m not homeless.
I never have been.
The Pacific Northwest is my home, and I have a dozen places I could stay long term, thanks to how minimalistic and spartan my needs are.
Calling a Native American a “transient” and “homeless” and a “trespasser” is stupid, wrong, and shows just how hopelessly out of touch you are with your relatively short history in my people’s backyard.
..because honestly, I just want you colonizers to stop dropping concrete, asphalt, and entitlement on our meadows and waterways.
When I arrived in Detroit, I realized…
The lake…had changed.
The people…were divided.
Strife, death, and loss were everywhere.
This was not the place of peace and friendliness I remembered from my childhood.
So, after spending a week listening to people, I started acting.
I weeded flowerbeds around the community.
I helped split wood for an elderly couple.
I started the process of getting onboarded as a volunteer firefighter.
Many individuals in the community told me about the “Old Boy’s Club”, a group of wealthy individuals using fear tactics to force residents out of their homes and businesses.
I was angry about that.
I’m a pacifist, an engineer, and a professional, though.
So I kept quietly gardening.
Then, Derrick Ramseyer showed up.
And everything quickly went sour.
Derrick Ramseyer was informed of my rights and (peaceful) intentions previous to Saturday the 2nd.
I handed him an ACLU “Know Your Rights” protest pamphlet (because I was out of the ones on interacting with the police…), and his response was to declare that he didn’t want any of that in “his” town.
(…btw he completely ignored most-if-not-all the info I gave him.)
There’s a bunch of concrete flowerpots (I called them cisterns, but I think they’re technically just chunks of leftover pipe from the Detroit Hydroelectric projects) along main street, and over the past week or so I’d cleaned up and helped water a bunch of them. The tourists leave all sorts of garbage in them, and the coffee/redbull/monster/etc that gets dumped in them is making the soil toxic.
Nobody really seems to know who owns the big round chunks of concrete, because it was the Corp of Engineers who put them there originally (years and years ago), and the city waters them and plants trees in them.
Unfortunately, the water drains right out the bottom, so it’s just a waste of resources, and the tree roots hit asphalt and die.
I was weeding, trellising, and planting ferns in front of the fire department, and Ramseyer had a problem with that.
Note, it was the red-haired kid with the red bow tie and the 35cm fixed-blade knife (it’s in the end of his walking stick, be careful, he’s violent and a coward, he’ll attack you from behind when he thinks you aren’t looking, but mirrors are cheap and I positively identified him for the actions I state below) who runs the migratory kayak kiosk who started causing problems for me, and I’ve got a lot of questions for him.
For example, why did he call the police on me, twice.
Why did he involve the owner of the Lodge, as well as telling several people outright lies about my actions.
Additionally, what’s his connection to the Old Boy’s Club?
…because they let him run his little business rent-free off their patios and picnic tables, despite how he never helps clean up.
I bet that there’s a few permits that you’re supposed to have for that, but I wouldn’t know…I’m not a lawyer, I’m just a gardener.
If you see him set up there next to Connor’s BBQ, get his name, and ask him why he hit me in the head with a rock, and then ask him why he used a bungee cord slingshot to hit me a second time.
Then, ask him if he’s providing his customers with information on the Oregon Mandatory Boater Education laws.
I’d like it noted for the record that the community of Detroit, Oregon was absolutely thrilled to have me there, volunteering.
People donated resources to help me work on projects, like a chunk of old-growth timber that I was working on carving into a chair for in front of the fire station.
One of the jerks I only met once joked about taking it and burning it, and if they did that I will find them and I will publicly berate them for their wasteful, thoughtless actions.
I spent quite a bit of time just…limping around (I’ve got a bad knee) and picking up garbage and debris from alongside the roads around town and putting it in the bins, but the bins are overstuffed because the city budget is all messed up.
When I mentioned that I planned to attend the budget meeting and make a proposal for some fixes, the Old Boy’s Club got rather worried.
I know this because I’ve got rather good hearing in at least one of my ears (or did before Jake Thompson gave me partial hearing loss, thanks jerk, as if being vision impaired and having PTSD wasn’t enough), and the omnidirectional recording device I always carry allows me to check my assumptions about what I hear.
Remember, I’m an engineer and a tech researcher, and the Old Boy’s Club thinks that email, hushed whispers, and SMS messages are secure forms of communication for discussing the hostile takeover of competitors.
They know you can make a portable Stingray equivalent with off-the-shelf parts delivered to literally anywhere in the USA by Amazon and Ebay, right?
Concerns and Escalation
What I heard while helping out the community really worried me. It worried me enough that when Ramseyer told me, on Saturday the 2nd, to “stop volunteering and get out of town”, I declined to acquiesce to his (illegal) request.
I am a thespian pirate activist, after all.
Some mean old lady assaulted me for using the public water hose attached to the fire department to water the flowers.
FYI, mean lady who thinks water is “too expensive to be wasted like that”, I was asked to water the flowers and the tree by the nice lady who drives the ATV around and waters the hanging baskets of flawers every morning and night.
After I got done working on the cistern, I headed back to my campsite for a bit, and when I got back, someone had stolen my bike, my blanket, my shoes, and had ripped out all the baby plants.
My thoughts were…not positive, so I fixed what I could, spent most of my evening (which I’d planned to use to help a friend with a boat problem) finding some of my things (never found my blanket or shoes, you jerks), and then headed back to camp for the night.
On Sunday, I went to church, gardened a bit, cleaned up around camp, and then went to prayer meeting over in Idana.
About the whole “yelling at strangers about a cougar” bit.
I’m a theatre nerd.
When I raise my voice, people’s ears hurt after.
And I can imitate birds of prey, I just choose to use well-enunciated words most of the time.
Given the fact that even when I very clearly was not resisting it took five large men to put me on the ground, and everything I said about the large feline I’d been tracking was said conversationally, you do the math about the validity and accuracy of the “source” who reported I was “yelling”.
I’ve a video of law enforcement who had “no other choice” than to clumsily bludgeon me with their fists while a major news channel rolled tape.
I challenge anyone who witnessed the aforementioned “yelling” to prove that I did anything other than speak distinctly and slightly above quiet conversational tones.
This is the day it all happened.
I woke up around 0320ish to the sounds and sensations of a large feline (obligatory “…sure looks like a puma…”) attempting to enter my (open front) tent. The sheer boldness and audacity of it kinda set me back on my heels, and it took me a minute to realize what was going on, to be perfectly honest.
I politely asked it to leave (using body language and some techniques I learned from Sensei Ogle), and it did, heading down towards where I had been getting my water.
That was when I decided to talk to people in town (once things got light enough that I wasn’t worried about getting stalked and eaten) and re-emphasize that the biker who died in Washington was not an isolated incident.
The game patterns are all messed up right now, and the big cats are coming out of the hills, hungry and fearless. It’s only a matter of time before one of them gets hungry enough to kill another human, and next time it’ll probably some tourist’s child.
I arrived in town to discover that a search and rescue operation was underway for two lost fisherpersons. There was “Police Line, Do Not Cross” yellow tape everywhere, and despite staying out of the areas designated (and being explicit about how I was staying out, and not just out but outside arm’s reach of the flimsy barrier), Ramseyer harassed me for a bit, so I moved across the street and asked the comms team if “anyone groks linux”, because I was hoping I could communicate the danger of beating around in the brush with a (still probably quite hungry feline apex predator) bedded down inside their search radius.
Someone (maybe Dave Zahn? I was busy trying to save lives, so I wasn’t taking notes…) said I was disturbing “the search efforts” and demanded multiple times that I leave town, doubling down on Ramseyer’s unlawful requests of the previous days.
I informed the officer that I would be going to speak to my friend before leaving town, and was threatened and told I was disturbing the comms team, so after a minute or two, I moved around the officer and headed towards the Cedars Restaurant.
“they can’t hear over your voice”, said the officer.
Wouldn’t the solution be to stop loudly harassing the person trying to literally save your lives and maybe write down the info on a cougar sighting…?
And maybe invest in a decent mic/headset?
Or turn up the volume of the radio, and enunciate clearly into your mic?
This isn’t rocket science, ya derps.
I would know, I’m literally a rocket scientist…
…ultimately, if a random bystander can “interrupt communications” by simply enunciating clearly and speaking over passing vehicle engine noises, it’s indicative of a much, much larger problem.
I spoke with the bartender at Cedars, and then went to the post office, where I talked briefly with Jessie, showed her my ID (I’d previously spoken to her about getting a post office box, but had left my passport up in camp that day, so I didn’t have the necessary two forms of ID…), and then mentioned that if law enforcement had questions, please give them my regards, as I’m a pacifist gardener just volunteering around to try to help out.
When I walked out of the building, Ramseyer came directly at me, and that’s where the video taken by KGW News Channel 8 begins.
(see paragraph one)
Call to Action
Contact Jason Meyers of the Marion County police department and call for the suspension of EVERYONE INVOLVED until the investigation is complete.
Fill out a Citizen Complaint Form on my behalf.
Drown the responsible individuals in phone calls and paperwork until they’re retrained or removed from the “Enforcement Division“.
DO IT NOW.
Next time, they’ll kill someone.
I only survived because I’m white-passing.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about me and about what happened.
Special thanks goes to Everton Bailey Jr of Oregon Live, who was the only newsprint journalist who actually called back after I made the effort to reach out.
I can’t (and won’t) directly address all of the lies being spread around about my wellbeing, stability, or diagnosis.
Reports of my “mental health issues” have been grossly exaggerated.
I’ve got PTSD, and this really isn’t helping me trust you neurotypicals.
What I am is neurodivergent, specifically I’m on the autism spectrum and I’ve got a bit of low-key multiple personality disorder, which thanks to modern medical treatment, doesn’t really cause any problems in my everyday life.
But people sure love to talk about it when I raise my voice and insist that I have the same rights as any other citizen of this “land of the free”.
I’ll be running around, cleaning up the (personal, social, professional, etc) fallout from this mess for probably the next couple of years.
One of the things I’m fighting is the designation of “Bipolar” and “schizoaffective disorder” and “delusions”. I resent those false labels, and I’m going to be having some very strong words (directed primarily against so-called “Doctor” Daniel Costa, who claims to be an Autism expert but never studied Temple Grandin) with the people making these provably false claims.
If you think something sounds weird, ask some gorram clarifying questions, don’t make unsubstantiated claims of mental illness.
Let me know if you want to help with the cleanup effort, I could use some new minions, since my old ones got bigheaded after that waste of effort Andrew Lind let them call themselves “Engineers”.
- Oregon Live: “Homeless person punched“
- KGW: “Deputy Reassigned“
- Associate Press: “Police repeatedly punch“
- Mental Health Portland: “The Beating of Tessa Lovelace“
- Oregon Live: “Deputy punches homeless person“
- SmallJoys: “Police Officer Filmed“
- Statesman’s Journal: “ACLU Criticizes Deputies’ punches“
- Woozle Hypertwin: “Detroit 2018-06-04_police_beating“
- KthuluKat’s Comment
- Ex-Partner’s supportive GoFundMe page
- TootCat Timeline Statement
- USA Today: “Oregon Deputies beat homeless man“
If you want to comment, go for it, but…if you don’t read the whole thing, I reserve the right to mock you ruthlessly for being unwilling to educate yourself.
I spent close to seventy hours compiling this.
(please bring any errors to my attention, and I’ll correct them as I have time.)
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