Justice for Ryan O'Loughlin
  • Petitioned Dept of Justice, AG Eric Holder & Federal Bureau of Investigation

This petition was delivered to:

Dept of Justice, AG Eric Holder & Federal Bureau of Investigation

Justice for Ryan O'Loughlin

    1. susan champouillon
    2. Petition by

      susan champouillon

      westerly, RI

Late on the night of June 8, 2011 police were called to a local pub by the pub owner to report a case of vandalism. Moments earlier a patron had punched a hole in a bathroom wall. By the time the police arrived the owner, the patron and a mutual friend had already settled the situation and was working out a means for the patron to make restitution to the owner. When the owner told the police that everything was ok, one of the officers told the owner “You called us to handle a problem? Let us handle it. Next time don’t call us if you want to take care of things yourself. Go back inside and let us take care of this.” At this point Ryan O’Loughlin a 34 year-old Navy Veteran and resident of Mystic, Ct., began to argue with the officers that he didn’t do anything wrong and questioned why they wanted to take him in. The vandal was taken to the ground in front of the bar, but Ryan, an innocent man, was made to walk down a side alley. There, as reported by the officers, he was pepper sprayed and hit several times with a nightstick on his legs and back.

On June 9, 2011 Ryan O’Loughlin died at Pequot Medical Center in nearby Groton, Ct, of injuries sustained some 16 hours earlier while being arrested by the Westerly, R.I. police. When the Connecticut Medical Examiner’s office finally released its report in September, 2011 it classified Ryan’s death as homicide due to blunt force trauma and a lacerated liver. The Coroner stated that Ryan’s injuries were caused by blows far more severe than the officers described. It also reported drugs and alcohol were not present.

In December 2011, R.I. D.A. Peter Kilmartin brought the case to Grand Jury and no indictments against the 3 officers involved were handed down. The Grand Jury statement issued by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office said: “The Statewide Grand Jury found the actions of the officers were legally justified.”
In a press release issued by Chief Edward St. Clair and Town Manager Steve Hartford: “It is now clear that those officers were doing their jobs in accordance with their training and we are grateful that this matter has been closed”. It now appears in Rhode Island, police are permitted to apprehend innocent people and beat them to death with no accountability. These officers were never taken off the streets, as is the standard in most cities until an investigation is complete. The Westerly Police department has a decades old history of questionable tactics. Residents live in fear of being stopped or questioned by them. There are countless cases of abuse of power by this department that have gone unreported because the victims are afraid of reprisal. This is a small community and some members of its police force rule by intimidation, provocation and threats. The question was often asked “What is it going to take to get this department cleaned up?” The death of an innocent man is apparently not enough.

The citizens of Westerly, and its surrounding communities, ask that you join us in our fight to bring these men to justice and investigate the lack of leadership, poor training and inappropriate behavior of some members of our law enforcement agency. This is a small community that is in a state of shock and disgust at the injustice of the actions of the Westerly Police Department, the Grand Jury System and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office. The Westerly Police Department MUST be held accountable for its actions. The Attorney General’s office needs to investigate exactly what happened to Ryan O’Loughlin while in the custody of the police and how and why the Grand Jury delivered a verdict that homicide is justified. We hope that Ryan’s death is not in vain and can be the catalyst for change in our community.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. The end.

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      We lost. The Feds have decided Ryan's civil rights weren't violated and there will be no further action. I have no words except that they will all stand before the gates of heaven someday and I hope Ryan slam the gates shut in their faces. I know Diane and Kevin and Lucy and the whole O'Loughlin family are grateful for all of our efforts. I thank you all for your support and kindness. Live peacefully and safely.

    2. A great surge over the past few days!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      As we near the close of this petition it's good to see a final rally beginning! Nearing 3300 supporters!!! The Providence Journal newspaper has provided NO support or coverage in any of this while the New London Day and our local papers have been fair and balanced journalists throughout. Please contact the ProJo and tell them we are tired of their neglect and lack of fair reporting of the people's issues. You can contact them at newstips@providencejounal.com. Less than a week to go and we have to make our dissatisfaction known!!! Without your help we would have never gotten this far!!! Thank you!

    3. How do we reignite the fire?

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Just a week ago strangers, friends and loved ones gathered in Connecticut at 2 locations to celebrate Ryan's life and mourn his, and his family's, loss. The petition has slowed to a crawl now with only a few weeks remaining. Why does a campaign to recycle magic markers get over 77,000 names on it , while a petitions to stop the murder of innocent people get less than 3,200? Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of all of you that put your names to it, publicly or privately but what does this say about who we are? We are so fearful of offending someone that could have a negative impact on our lives. We can't voice our opinions afraid that there will be consequences. So we leave the possibility open that this could happen again. I pray it doesn't happen to someone you know. 5,000 names looks like a lost dream right now but with your help that can change. Please reach out to your circle once more and ask them to sign and share this. Someone you know's life may depend on it!

    4. What a special day Saturday was!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to those of you that were able to make it to the gatherings in Bristol and Mystic! It was wonderful to put voices and faces to the people I've been communicating with! Wish I had the chance to meet more of you. The O'Loughlin family is soooo grateful for the efforts we've put forth for their family and Ryan's cause. Now we wait, once again, to see if the US Attorney General of the R.I. district will recommend an investigation of Ryan's case based on the FBI's review. Kepp your fingers crossed and say a prayer!

    5. Today marks the first anniversary of Ryan's death.

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to all of you for your support in Ryan's cause. Today we will gather in opposite ends of Connecticut with Ryan's family and friends to remember him. May of us have never met before. Strangers and friends will join together to share his family's sadness. I hope this day inspires all of us to be the voice, take the tough steps and do the right thing to make sure no one suffers the same fate as Ryan. Peace to all!

    6. First Anniversary Gatherings Sat. June 9! Attend one, or both, if you can!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      To all our supporters, new and old THANK YOU!!! Visit Justice for Ryan on facebook and get details of the 2 gatherings in his honor, Bleachers sports bar in Bristol, Ct 2-8pm and Esker Point Beach, Groton Ct. Opposite sides of the state he called home, bringing people together for Change!

    7. As the first anniversary of Ryan's murder approaches...

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      I don't know how we can reach 5000 in 10 days, but we can try! We are approaching the one year anniversay of Ryan O'Loughlin's murder. We can't get a permit for a gathering but we CAN gather! (Figure that one out! I will never understand the bureaucracy!) Esker Point State Park in Groton. June 9th, 6-8pm (park closes at dusk) Acoustic music, readings, prayers, friends, family, supporters! I will be going to the Bristol gathering earlier in the day. If anyone would like to convoy with me I will be leaving the Pawcatuck StopnShop on Rt 2 parking lot at 1pm on the 9th and leaving Bristol about 4:00 going right to Esker. Please join me!!! A more "official" poster will be coming soon! Please copy and repost! More info is available on facebook at Justice for Ryan.

    8. Over 3000 supporters of Ryan's cause!!!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you! Thank you! Welcome to all our new advocates!!! As I go through the names it's so reassuring to see so many people I know stepping up to make a difference. Some names come as an encouraging surprise! Please trust me when I say I share these names with no one! Many of you asked your names not be published publicly and that wish will always be honored! The next step is sharing this petition with everyone you know! The anniversary of Ryan's loss is less than a month away. My wish is that we reach 5000 names by then. This won't happen without your continued support. PLEASE share this petition and help us reach our goal!

    9. Reached 3,000 signatures
    10. The FBI is in town!!!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      I don't know what the outcome will be, but the FBI is in Westerly talking to a wide variety of people about Ryan's case. We can only hope they will see the need for a deeper look into the activities of the WPD over all these years. If we can prevent this from ever happening again, if the department is held accountable for his death and the abuse of power it has exerted for too long, then there will be purpose in this sad event. Please keep the number growing! Please share this with everyone you know... FB, email, tweet. We have their ear, now we need their heads and hearts. Thank you all!

    11. Such GREAT progress!!!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      It's amazing how just a little publicity can get things moving again! I had the opportunity to do a radio interview last week and went to a town council meeting to find out why no one ever replied to my emails. Bingo! A whole new network of people reached that share our feelings and are willing to share and support Ryan's cause. I'm still overwhelmed by the fact that 20-25% of the names are very local. Keep at it good people. The grumble grows to a shout!

    12. Reached 2,500 signatures
    13. Holidays are over. Taxes are filed. Kids are back to school.

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Back to work! All it takes is getting this petition into a new circle to see a great increase in participation! Send our link http://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-ryan-o-loughlin to you local paper's letters to the editor. Most will let you do this on line. Blog it. Call in to a news radio program. Submit it to your areas public access news show if there is one. You never know who is out there that will bring Ryan's cause into the spot light! Only 56 names away from the half way mark and in only A FEW WEEKS! It really is amazing! Please remember... you can choose to not have your name published publicly if you fear it may affect your life in an adverse way! We appreciate all you have done so far. The job is not over!

    14. Let's not lose our momentum!!!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      We've all worked really hard to get to this point! Almost half way to our goal of 5000 signatures! Time to reach out to you community groups. Bring a copy of the petition for friends to see at PTA meetings, bingo, church fellowship, the gym, the bowling alley. You never know where a new circle will begin and we MUST keep growing if we hope to ever see this travesty addressed! I know Ryan's family is grateful for all our efforts in their loved one's memory! Thanks again to all of you!

    15. PLEASE, PLEASE...

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Let me wake up to 2200 names...

    16. WOW! 2000+!!!!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      We're almost half way there! And the great news is several friends are doing an amazing job reaching out to the media and political groups for support! Expect to see a bounce up in the number again next week! Peace to you and yours... and thanks again!

    17. Reached 2,000 signatures
    18. Can 2000 be far behind?

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Busy days ahead for many of us. Easter and Passover are holidays of sacrifice. Please remember the sacrifice the O'Loughlin family has made this year. Some how bread, chocolate and video games just don't compare. Find just one more person to join our effort!

    19. The New London Day article was a great shot in the arm!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Now, if we can get national media coverage the authorities will certainly take note! One of you has to be a journalist of note! If anyone has a contact please send me a message! Nearly 2000 voices can't be silenced! We all speak for one man wrongfully silenced. You can reach at the fb page Justice for Ryan. Thanks!

    20. Welcome to all our new supporters! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      We will never make change happen if we don't join together an share our needs and fears. Our country is based on the premises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When we feel that is threatened, it is time to come together and take action. Keep the momentum going good people! Please share with everyone you know! I know the O'Loughlin family is very grateful for all you have done!!!

    21. Front page coverage on the New London Day!!! 1500+ names!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      The media when well manage is a most powerful tool. Our local papers have been instrumental in our ability to continue to seek justice. I want to thank them for their honest and fair coverage. http://www.theday.com/article/20120404/NWS01/304049959/www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-ryan-o-loughlin

    22. Reached 1,500 signatures
    23. 1421... A steady pace...

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      Someone said to me yesterday " Looks like things are slowing down with the petition, eh?" WRONG!!! We continue to average 150-200 new names everyday! As the total grows the difference appears smaller, but slow and steady wins the race! I know we can make 5,000 signatures. We need to reach just a little farther in our circle. There were a few people that I wasn't sure about. Would they be offended by what I was doing? Much to my great surprise they reached out to me for info! Don't be afraid to put your beliefs out there! What's the worst that can happen? Someone disagrees with you? They get mad for a while? Tell you you're wrong? If they love you, they will respect your opinion even if they don't agree with it!

    24. 1300!

      susan champouillon
      Petition Organizer

      'Nuff said! The grumble has turned to a shout! The authorities will have to listen!

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • kim suminski JEWETT CITY, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      Killer cops are loose in RI Protect yourselves, carry guns and be afraid, be very afraid of the ones in power at the town hall. They are backing these thugs in uniform!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bob Venn WINCHESTER, KY
      • over 2 years ago

      This is the first that I have heard of this sad abuse of police authority. We Americans should stand together and do what we can to bring justice to those responsible for Ryan's beating and unfortunate death. If these bad cops are let off the hook, then this kind of beating just might become an everyday common occurance. If we citizens get to the point where we can't trust a police officer, then it is time to clean up the whole system.

      It sounds to me that it is time to "Clean Up" Westerly, RI... (from top to bottom)

      I will stay far away from that corrupt little town.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Laura Lee Whitten SALEM, VA
      • over 2 years ago

      in solidarity with those seeking justice for my cousin Ryan.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Annie Plourde BRISTOL, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      What if this was my child?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • over 2 years ago

      Sounds like an huge injustice, and at the very least, needs to be looked into further. My son served in the Navy with Ryan, and is appalled and deeply saddened by the injustice and death of a true comrade and friend. After reading this story, I'm outraged that a life was lost at the hands of the police.

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