A woman who was ordered by police officer into her house because “it is government property” is dawdling over her options for redress of grievances.
Rochelle Gelpin, a rent-paying resident of Northgate Crossing Apartments in Hixson, was arrested May 29 without probable cause, jailed and indicted on a charge of disorderly conduct.
By David Tulis / Chattanooga News Chronicle
The grand jury found the accusations against her baseless and gave her a “no true bill” on Sept. 28. But the married mom of four children says she is angry at her treatment by Officer Jeff Rahn, against whom she filed an administrative complaint.
“I’m not going to let this go,” says Mrs. Gelpin says, now residing in Birmingham. “I don’t want you to think it’s over with, because it’s not. I want them to be responsible for how I was treated, my daughter and I. I don’t want it to be swept under the rug.”
A media investigation of her arrest indicates officer Rahn committed misdemeanor perjury in his written police report against Mrs. Gelpin and felony perjury in repetition of his story in oral testimony against her before the grand jury. His report is rebutted by Mrs. Gelpin, eyewitness Zaneka Steele and Mrs. Gelpin’s daughter, Shay.
“We are aware of the allegations” of perjury, said a spokeswoman for Neal Pinkston, the state’s attorney in Hamilton County, in October. “At this time, we are not going to be taking any further action on either case.”
Police had just cleared a disturbance in front of another building in the complex. According to an affidavit by neighbor Ms. Steele, “A police officer came up and said to the two women: ‘You need to go in the house.’ Rochelle said, ‘For what?’ He said, ‘Because it’s government property and you need to go in the house.’ She said, ‘I pay rent here.’ He said, ‘I don’t care. Go in the house.’ Shay turned to go in the house, but the officer grabbed her arm and yanked it.”
Mrs. Gelpin objected to this treatment of the 20-year-old. “‘No, no, no you don’t put your hands on my daughter.’” Mrs. Gelpin said, according to the statement. “‘You come back here,’” the officer told Shay.
“Rochelle said, ‘You just told us to go into the house.’ That’s when Rochelle was like, ‘Don’t put your hands on my daughter.’ And he told Rochelle, ‘Put your hands behind your back.’ He put handcuffs on her.”
Mrs. Gelpin could request to be subpoenaed by the Hamilton County grand jury to testify of personal knowledge of the commitment of a crime against her. She could file a civil lawsuit, but says she hasn’t found an attorney she believes will act boldly.
The disorderly conduct statute is used as a throwaway charge against defendants to get them to accept a plea bargain. Nothing Mrs. Gelpin did meets any of the clearly worded parts of the statute, which also contains two unconstitutionally vague provisions.
— David Tulis hosts a talk show 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays at Noogaradio 1240 AM, covering local economy and free markets. The show airs downtown in the afternoon at 101.1 FM.
Woman arrested after being told to ‘go inside’ because unit is ‘government property’
Officer ordered quietly chatting Gelpin into house, witness says
Gelpin affidavit: Cop gives contradictory orders, arrests without cause
An introduction to an essay on LIBERTY. This is an introduction only for a possible future essay. If people cannot believe or understand what the introduction is saying the essay will be useless.
In the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. We hire employees to work in our government. The employees are not the government. There is a lot that is out of line in our country. If you really want to know where to place the fault for a big part of the reason for what appears to be the destruction of our country, simply look in a mirror.
Don’t look to your employees. They cannot do one thing you don’t allow them to do. Again remember the “WE THE PEOPLE”? What is lacking here is what is called SELF-RESPONSIBILITY.
The majority of the people in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA look for their employees to provide them with the food they eat, the clothes they wear, their medical care, a house to live in, all the major necessities of life. We have put a huge burden on the backs of our employees.
Most of the time the employees get out of line is because their effort in trying to handle this irresponsibility of their employeer is a way above their pay grade. The MASTER-SERVANT relationship has been reversed.
The servants are now in charge. This is the natural way things turn out when man looks to man as his helper and provider. Man was never created to replace GOD in HEAVEN on this earth.
This welfare government we have created to replace our lack of self responsibility is our self destruction.
I was just thinking about this case a couple days ago driving past those apartments on Hixson Pike.
If the administration doesn’t provide justice for the victim, none of us are safe from arbitrary, illegal rough treatment from the police.
Without action on this case, the mayor does a disservice to the law-abiding members of law enforcement and sends a message to the community on who to vote for in the next election.
John, the wind is right; tilt your nose into it — you are cleared for takeoff.