To The Daily Sun,

As others have noted, the Laconia Black Lives Matter rally was peaceful and positive in tone.The police, protesters and the veterans motorcycle groups standing at the monuments in Veterans Square were all cooperative and respectful. The only public safety issue involved the armed militia-styled individuals on the rooftop of the Masonic Hall building.

On June 11, Police Chief Canfield phoned me to discuss the concerns I'd expressed in my letter to The Sun on that day. We had a very positive conversation, but he gave me some alarming facts, most notably that a police drone indicated that the rooftop gunmen did, in fact, point weapons at the crowd below. However, they could not be arrested; for that to happen it would have required that a victim or victims say that they'd had a weapon pointed at them personally and that they felt threatened. Eventually the owner of the building convinced the gunmen to come down off the roof, as they did not cooperate when police requested they come down.

N.H. State RSA 631.4 defines criminal threatening (it can be found on the state website/NH at-a-glance/Laws & Rules/Revised Statutes) but in this situation no one saw that we were being threatened and therefore didn't make a complaint, so the police could not arrest the gunmen. Like many other people, I'd believed that simply pointing a weapon at another person was a crime. The fact that it is not is important for the public to know so that in the future we'll be more vigilant, scan the rooftops as well as the streets and be very vocal when threatened.

Thank you for the conversation, Chief Canfield.

Karin Mattson

Laconia

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(1) comment

Scott

Excellent letter!

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