Update 2/25/98: All charges have been dropped against Bennett Hall

To write Bennett Hall: bhimages@sirius.com

February 26, 1998

To the attention of Critical Mass List and Concerned friends

Today, at about 10:00, Judge Mitchell uttered the words that I had waiting for seven months:


Could it be that the DA finally realized that it was unlikely that a former “pro-police” community advocate was unlikely to have hit with “willful intent” a San Francisco Police Officer with a lethal weapon (camera)? That this was not some strange aberrant event during which a professional photographer FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY used suddenly used his $4000 camera as an aggressive weapon. A sudden stroke of common sense takes over?

I can only ponder the scenarios. Through this real-life experience, witnessing first hand the way in which our justice system works, grinding the innocent and guilty alike, punishing them with an archaic system, destroying the innocent equally under the law with the guilty, I walk away in dismay and disturbed, no longer possessive of faith in our system, no longer trusting my former allies at SFPD, City Hall, and, ultimately, a changed man, intent of using my pen to express and expose the imperatives for change in an appropriately maligned system.

Sadly, my father passed away two weeks ago. He was no Joe Alioto and there were no grand funerals or billboards to morne his passing. He was just my father and an honest man. As a sat with him in his last hours on this Earth, I could not repress my pain, knowing as he passed, that the matter of his son’s absurd prosecution was pending and unresolved. He never really understood what happened. For this reason at the minimum, I will remain vigilant in pursuing the redress of this matter in the venue of the civil courts, a forum that I hope all persons injured by police misconduct will join in order attempting a redress of these injustices with integrity in the spirit of our actions. Police MUST have integrity, police MUST not be above the law, police MUST be held accountable for the crimes they commit, police MUST not use perjury to convict the innocent OR the guilty, the DA’s of this world, MUST stop their practice of routinely accepting the police’s version of the story and in effect obstructing justice as a result.

Thomas Jefferson “swore eternal vigilence against all forms of tyanny against man”, albeit two hundred years ago, however, ringing true today I will join him in this spirit and continue to further his charge in today’s corrupt world.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to learn and understand the issues surrounding Critical Mass, assist in the search for truth, and in the protection of the rights that have been trampled by various organizations and individuals possessed with a zealous condemnation of this movement combined with their own re-interpretation of the constitution of the United States. While I was not previously involved with CM, I will forever be supportive to the rights of those involved, and look forward to spring when I will join in the ride, not as a pedestrian or photographer, but on a new bike.

Finally, I offer my support and good wishes to Eugene Hill, and hope you do the same. He was also in court this morning facing prosecution wherein the DA still professes to believe the officers account that Eugene tackled a police officer by the ankles as he RAN AWAY FROM THAT OFFICER. Once again, common sense should kick in. Maybe society wants to believe the officer “Shot the crackhead when he pulled his crack pipe on me”, but no means of logic should we accept that a man RUNNING AWAY could conceivable tackle the person chasing him-this is physically impossible, except in certain virtual reality games of course.

With respect and concern for those still endangered or damaged by the injustices of our system,

I bid everyone well and hopes for good and peaceful ride this Friday.

Bennett Hall
ex-community leader
victim of police misconduct

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