Retired Police Captain: I Trust #Anonymous More than the Feds

Carey Wedler
May 29, 2015

(ANTIMEDIARay Lewis, a retired Philadelphia police captain, claimed Thursday that he was not only targeted by the Department of Homeland Security, but that he trusts the hacktivist collective, Anonymous, more than he trusts the federal government. Lewis is an outspoken activist who was arrested at Occupy Wall Street and present at the Ferguson police brutality protests last year.

In his public Facebook post, he prefaced his allegations with a warning of “first-time disclosure.” He said,

Although I’ve kept the following encounter under wraps for almost four years, I now actually believe that it is in my best interest to disclose it.”

Before explaining the incident, he first asserted that earlier this week while attending a protest against a proposed Atlantic coast pipeline, he was approached by a Department of Homeland Security officer. Lewis said the officer told him that he had to watch a DHS film about him.

After providing this context about the degree of federal scrutiny applied to him, Lewis shared another equally disturbing anecdote:

About a week after I was arrested in NYC for Civil Disobedience at Wall Street, I was doing my usual – standing with others, and holding signs in Zuccotti Park. Well, a young man comes up to me wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and says, ‘Hello Captain, I’m from Anonymous. We intercepted an email from the Department of Homeland Security to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

Lewis claims the Anonymous member told him the contents of that email:

“’In essence it said, ‘Can you help us stop this guy?‘”

Lewis continued that within a week, he had received a notification that his pension was in jeopardy.

Just as disconcerting, he said,

A day later I received a Certified Letter from Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. He egregiously and illegally, threatened me with, ‘. . . I will take ANY and ALL necessary action to stop you…’ “

Charles Ramsey is a notoriously corrupt cop who recently headed  President Obama’s “Task Force on 2st Century Policing.” In contrast, Ray Lewis is a former officer who has protested a variety of policies around the country, from oil profiteering to Wall Street to police brutality. In the post, he included a picture of himself at the Wednesday protest, holding a sign that says “WARNING: MASSIVE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NEXT.” “CIVIL” is crossed out.

Related: Are Cop Body Cams A Win for Police Demilitarization, or Another Pointless Reform?

Due to the surveillance and targeting Lewis claims to have experienced, he sides with Anonymous over the government. His post concludes,

“I firmly believe that my safety is in better hands with Anonymous, [than] it is with DHS, or the Philadelphia Police Department.” (read the full statement here)

Though it is unclear whether or not Lewis’ pension was actually revoked four years ago, it is unsettling that he was (and likely is) so closely surveilled and targeted. Nevertheless, these alleged revelations are offset by the fact that fortunately, four years later, his voice has not been silenced.

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