Get local news delivered straight to your phone

Support City Paper!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

When an undercover cop lost his cell phone during the World Bank and International Monetary Fund protests last week, activists borrowed it for more than a few free calls to Seattle. They pilfered the device for digital information, including the cell phone numbers of Police Chief Charles Ramsey, Executive Assistant Chief Terrance Gainer, and other top department officials. “Instead of bragging to your friends about that nice new head wound, call the people who gave it to you and thank them personally for the sweet treatment,” read a much-circulated e-mail that listed the numbers. The phone lines were all disconnected by last Friday afternoon, except for that of a Nextel Communications’ account representative, a certain Ron Gatling. “I’ve had strangers calling from L.A., Toronto, all over, asking about friends who have been arrested,” says Gatling, whose number is programmed as a default on all D.C. police-issued cell phones. Once again, police officials say that the protesters’ actions had very little impact. “I have no knowledge of Chief Ramsey incurring any harassing calls,” reports department spokesperson Joe Gentile. “Did we change the numbers? Yes. Were any costs incurred? No, because it’s part of our contract, and we change the numbers frequently.” —Colin Bane