Ryan Welsh King seems to have had no issues with following the law in the first 45 years of his life, but then he ran into the incompetent and rude staff of the Manistee County Courthouse last year. The Ludington Torch can use these descriptive adjectives on their court staff, because we have had to utilize Manistee's circuit court while waging two FOIA lawsuits against the City of Manistee (winning one after appealing it to the Michigan Court of Appeals) and running into some roadblocks never seen in Mason County, and some officials who care little about processes or politeness.
Apparently, Mr. King vented his frustrations verbally at the courthouse and through repeated email contacts with unnamed staff over unnamed issues. A July 27,2022 COLDNews article updated last November, noted:
"A Benzonia man had a preliminary exam set in 85th district court as he faces changes in relation to alleged poor comments made to court staff.
Judge John Middlebrook of the 79th District Court oversaw the probable cause hearing of Ryan Welsh King in a matter that was arraigned in 85th District Court in Manistee. The hearing was assigned to Middlebrook by the State Court Administrative Office, and he appeared via the video-conferencing application Zoom.
King was arraigned for aggravated stalking. According to a press release from the Michigan State Police earlier this month, King allegedly went to the offices of the courts in Manistee County and “was loud, argumentative and vulgar with staff.” Because of allegations, and the involvement of court staff in Manistee, the state court system assigned Middlebrook to hear the case at the district court level.
According to the earlier release, King sent “numerous emails” to staff despite being told to cease contact. An investigation followed, and a report was submitted to the attorney general’s office, the release stated. A warrant was issued on July 8, and King was arrested at his home on July 13.
Assistant Attorney General Phillip Jacques represented the state in the case, and King was represented by Mattias Johnson. Johnson said he was retained in the case on Tuesday, and he needed more time to review the facts and evidence in the case.
Johnson also sought to modify the conditions of King’s bond, which included a tether that did not permit King to within 1 1/2 miles of the Manistee County courthouse. Johnson said the allegations were via telephone or email, and his client understands he is not to have contact with the courthouse in Manistee.
Middlebrook said he may decide to change the bond once he hears evidence in a preliminary exam. That proceeding was set for 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 17. [END article}
This followed a similarly written COLDNews article two weeks prior on his arraignment. A Detroit TV stations article followed the same template. Unlike the COLDNews, the station would follow up in a Feb 2023 article dealing with his sentencing. It noted that AG Dana Nessel trumpeted the success by her office, and the standard that KIng "was loud, argumentative, and vulgar" when he visited the 19th Circuit Court in Manistee in September 2021. Those are not crimes, per se.
It goes further than the prior story, however: "Authorities say he sent an email with a "veiled death threat" in April 2022, which led to him being arrested and charged with malicious use of telecommunications service and using a computer to commit a crime. Threatening public officials is unacceptable," Nessel said. "We’re pleased that the jury and Judge (John) Middlebrook recognized terroristic threats are not protected under the First Amendment and pose a significant danger to our democracy. My department is committed to holding those who commit these crimes accountable."
One thinks that in a country that has a First Amendment that when government officials claim there was a 'veiled' death threat in a written communication that the media (and/or the AG's office) would confirm that fact, especially when the earlier reports made well after the receipt of the alleged threat and subsequent arrest and arraignment mentioned no threat at all.
This had all the appearance of the state cracking down on a man for expressing his disgust with the poor service and crummy public servants he had to deal with, criminalizing him for expressing that disgust in a way protected by the First Amendment; additionally, the media reporting on the case throughout failed to see that this appeared to be a case going against the very amendment that protects the press.
Ryan Welsh King would avoid jail time in this case, but now he is being attacked by the state once again. Early reports yesterday by TV 9&10 and TV 7&4 notes that Mr. King was being vulgar again with public officials (no details offered other than he was alleging corruption by a local narcotics team) saying:
An arrest warrant was issued on Aug. 31. King is charged with one count Aggravated Stalking, one count Using a Computer to Commit a Crime, one count Malicious Use of Telecommunications Device, one count False Report of Misdemeanor, and Habitual Offender Third. He was given a $100,000 bond. Detectives say they have numerous voicemails and phone conversations as evidence.
The Manistee newspaper , Click on Detroit, and Mlive have parroted the TV news since, with the only "crime" appearing to be that Ryan Welsh King was reporting what he thought was corruption to various agencies that he thought might be able to help fight that corruption. The biggest violation appears to be a bunch of government agencies that do not want to do their job and go after a person for expressing his Constitution-given right to redress the situation through a seemingly unconcerned administrative state incapable of preserving that right, only preserving their ineffectual ennui.
The corporate media's lack of interest in both situations to simply ask where's the criminal act here in a person asking the government to rid itself of ongoing corruption, shows that corruption isn't confined to the area's government agencies. Ryan Welsh King should be able to express himself freely to government officials without fear of retribution except for very real threats not protected by the First Amendment.
Being vulgar, rude, and persistent to officials who may or may not be doing their job properly should not be tried as multiple felonies and misdemeanors. When people like Ryan King get persecuted and prosecuted like this it only goes to show that there is corruption at the agencies that would pursue such a course. One doesn't have to agree with Mr. King's language or methodology, to agree that he has a right to tell government officials his views, and they have no power to stop him and imprison him unless it is objectively unprotected speech.
This is not alleged here, nor in the original charge against him last year; his crime seems to be that he is persistent and the officials do not like to hear from him. This reporter can commiserate with him, as I was indefinitely prohibited back in 2011 to step foot on city hall property under threat of a misdemeanor for my "crimes" of making too many FOIA requests to the Ludington City Government and writing about city corruption on this platform.
The Ludington Torch, at its own peril, will follow up on this story since corporate media seems eager and willing to support the state's apparent witch hunt on the Welsh King.
Thanks for the topic. I have not heard about King's situation. This is another example why couch potatoes had better pay attention to what the Leftists are up to. Nessel's comments about saving our Democracy is the same lying drivel they use regarding Social Justice and the woke agenda they are pushing to deny people of their rights. The news media is a sick and pathetic institution which is under the control of those who want to see America fail and collapse into a pile of lost freedoms. The Left is getting bolder and more radical in how they use the law to shut the public up. The fact that those who are being accused of made up crimes such as Trump and who have endured their scorn and who are actually being jailed for trying to wake people up to what is happening is very disturbing. This is serious business and if people don't get their heads on straight and soon, I'm afraid we will just be another doomed society that will eventually learn how they have been duped and enslaved by the dark side. It will not be the meek who inherit the Earth, it will be the psychopaths.
Jordon Peterson on Guilt, the radical Left and psycopaths.
Ryan Welsh King's situation piqued my interest, because I have been drawn into a situation much like that happening in Mason County. An inmate at the Mason County Jail is in there simply because it appears authorities have claimed he contacted his probation officer (who he needed to contact due to a prior offense) too often. In talking with this guy, calling from the jail, you can tell he is trying to understand the situation and why he was in trouble in the first place, showing some knowledge of the law and court precedent. I presume he talked with his PO over this type of stuff, but they didn't acknowledge the content of these contacts, only the quantity of the contacts by email and text messages, in their complaint putting this man back in jail for sending messages they likely never read for content.
I see this only getting worse with Nessel in office who has proven she has little regard for civil rights unless it promotes her own agenda, which complements the agenda of the state's dictatorial governor.