Prickly Points, etc.
Sunday, 18 December 2005
Another Free Speech Arrest
On November 21, 2005, at about 9:30 a.m. I parked my car downtown about three blocks from the area of the South Park Blocks where I intended to minister to Portland State University students. Tim, a street preacher, was with me. He was going to preach and I was going to hold my 4’X 5’ anti-abortion sign. We walked up to the part of the park where Montgomery Street intersects the campus and the park. There is a broad walkway beginning at Broadway which goes West between the Smith Building and another campus building and proceeds through the park to the other side. This walkway is about 40 to 50 feet across. Along the East edge of the park is another walkway going north and south which intersects the other walkway. This walkway is about 30 feet across. I positioned myself and my sign on the northwest corner of this intersection standing close to the landscaping. Yocom was on the southwest corner.
Shortly afterwards, two members of the PSU Public Safety patrol came to me and Sgt. K. Riddle (#24259) informed me that I could not stand there with my sign. She showed me her ordinance book with the synopsis of PCC 20.12.030 in it as her legal authority. She said I must carry the sign and “keep moving” or she would arrest me for trespassing. (Trespassing? In a PARK?) I turned on my video camera and verified what she said. I pointed out that the ordinance said nothing about having to carry a sign and keeping moving. I also told her that she could not arrest me for this as it had already been through the courts. I mentioned the federal injunction in Gathright v. City. I asked if she would like to see it as I had it in my car. She said okay, and I went, leaving Tim in charge of the sign. I called attorney Herb Grey to apprise him of the situation and ask him to call campus police and straighten them out. When I returned, neither if the campus police were there. Tim was talking to a Black lady about the gospel. A young woman (see photo), whom I assumed was a student , came up to me and said she thought the sign was “inappropriate” as, she said, there were sometimes children present. I told her that I made an effort to turn the sign away when I saw children in the area. She left.
A few minutes later, I saw the same woman walking back. At this time I had the sign turned a different direction because some children from the local day-care had come out of the Smith Building. I could see that the woman might be intending to damage the sign, so when she got close, I moved toward the front of the sign to get between her and it. She shouldered her way past me and grabbed the top rail of the sign. I reached around her shoulders trying to pull her away. She the put her weight into the sign and broke the frame (PVC electrical conduit) in two places. I then tried to hold on to her by her sweater or jacket so I could call the police. She slipped out of my grasp. I turned on my video camera and got pictures of her and told her she had committed a crime.
After a minute, she began talking to the Black woman Tim had been talking to. Then she went over toward the west entrance of the Smith Building.
I called 911 and gave a complete description of the incident and the woman. I waited, but Portland Police did not arrive. Eventually, Sgt. Riddle arrived and the woman went to talk to her. After that Sgt Riddle came to me and I tried to explain that the woman had committed a crime against me, but Riddle was not interested. She said she was there to arrest me for Harassment.
I was arrested at about 10:30 a.m. so if the Portland Police eventually did come, I was no longer there.
I was handcuffed and placed in the squad car and taken to the Public Safety Office on campus. While there, I was Mirandized and afterwards I made the simple declaration, “I acted in defense of my property and myself” and ended the conversation.
After about an hour, I was taken to the Justice Center jail as they wanted to do fresh mug shots. I was photographed within a half an hour, but was not released until just about 6:00 p.m.
Upon returning home, Sgt. Riddle had left a phone message for me saying that she would be sending me a two-year trespass warning in the mail. This should be excellent for taking to Judge Haggerty along with the video of Sgt. Riddle.
Another phone message was a friend who had come after the arrest who had located an independent witness to corroborate that the woman attacked me and my sign first.
I also called PPD and asked for an officer to come by and take my complaint. Officer Ray (#40967) was recalcitrant about assisting me and would not try to get the name of the woman from the campus police or their police report (which is filed with PPD). She kept insisting that I had broken the law in various ways including Harassment (even in defense) and saying that it was a crime for me to videotape the woman after her crime.
On December 6, I received a letter from the Multnomah County DA saying he was not going to prosecute either of the complaints. This is good as it clears the way for me to proceed with my civil action against PSU, the Sgt., the woman, anf, maybe, the City of Portland that will, I hope, wind up prohibiting the kind of ad hoc rule-making PSU is doing in the parks.
Posted by spinehog
at 9:53 AM PST
Sunday, 28 August 2005
Posted by spinehog
at 10:49 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 24 December 2005 7:38 PM PST
Tuesday, 14 June 2005
The Supercharged Injunction
I told you two posts ago that the judge decided to supercharge the injunction in lieu of holding the City in contempt. WOW! Did he ever!
Since then, we have gone preaching at both Cinco de Mayo and Rose Festival. I think we could have set off high explosives in Cinco de Mayo and they would have left us alone. The cops certainly got the message and not only did not bother us, but actually protected one of our guys when someone tried to throw something at him. However, they were wary not to talk to us, thinking they may get in trouble with what they might say.
Rose Festival was likewise trouble-free. (The picture is of me and the Charmin Bear!) In fact, things have been going EXACTLY HOW THEY SHOULD in a society where free speech is protected. It is a real blessing not to have to spend most of our preaching time trying to explain the First Amendment to security people and cops.
Posted by spinehog
at 2:00 PM PDT
Saturday, 14 May 2005
There are two pieces of legal news:
First, you recall I told you about the arrests of Michael Carr in Hillsboro (See March 30). He had his trial on May 13 in Hillsboro for his two school-preaching arrests. It went well for the most part. He had been charged with for the 2004 arrest with one count of trespassing and one count of disorderly conduct and in the 2005 arrest with one count of trespassing, two disorderly conduct, one interference with public transportation, and one of stalking. Only the trespassing from the 2005 arrest stuck. This was due to the testimony of two “Christian” school employees who lied on the stand – I know Michael’s MO and he NEVER trespasses. The one conviction will be appealed and there will still be a civil suit against the school.
The next item involves a lawsuit I filed on May 12. You all remember how four of our Multnomah County commissioners took it upon themselves in March of 2004 to start dispensing marriage licenses to sodomite couples. About 3,022 of them issued before a court told them to stop while it was all figured out. Finally the Oregon Supreme Court in Li (pronounced Lie) v. Oregon decided that Multnomah County was "not authorized" to violate state law and policy on marriage licenses. In Oregon, it is a violation of ORS 294.100 for a public official to spend tax money for purposes "not authorized by law." The penalty is that the official(s) must repay the government agency out of their own pocket! Si I filed suit against a number of county officials based on this law.
Posted by spinehog
at 11:00 AM PDT
Tuesday, 26 April 2005
Courts and Preachers
Yesterday we finally had the contempt of court hearing against the City of Portland (See January 28, 2005). The judge refrained from an actual declaration of contempt though he said he was minded to sanction the organizers of Cinco de Mayo who had violated our rights. He ordered some big changes to the injunction -- to be drafted by our attorneys --and threatened severe sanctions on future violations.
Those who had their rights violated will probably seek money judgments in a separate action. The fact the judge ruled the way he did will all but insure that we win that case.
Posted by spinehog
at 9:50 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 28 April 2005 8:06 PM PDT
Saturday, 9 April 2005
More Lovejoy Adventure
On April 9, 2005, I arrived at Lovejoy and parked facing east on the southeast corner at about 8:30 a.m. I put two of my signs together and placed one on the back bumper of the car, securing it with a bungee cord. I took the other to my usual spot kitty-corner from where the car was parked. I stood with the second sign on the northwest corner.
Things went pretty normally until around 9:30 a.m. when I noticed a man walking over to my car with a knife in his hand. I thought he might begin to slash at the picture, but instead he began cutting the wire-ties that hold the poster to the framework. He was also carrying a cudgel ? a short club (about two feet long or so) made from a knotty branch that was cleaned off and either stained or varnished). I quickly crossed the street diagonally and, by the time I reached him, he had cut three.
I leaned my sign against the car and squeezed between him and the back of the car where the poster was located. I stopped him from doing any more damage. I turned on my video camera and he began berating me for having the signs out. He was within 12 inches of my face and kept telling me I had no right to show those pictures. His hand was at his side holding the cudgel and the knife (which was now closed as it was a folding knife). I was actually more afraid that he would use the cudgel than the knife.
I told him he had no right to destroy my property. He said he did.
One of the pro-aborts, an older man, came across the street and stood nearby.
The rest of the pro-aborts cheered the man with the knife on.
Eventually, the man went back to his truck which was a light blue, full-size older, American-made pick-up truck with a white canopy ? Oregon license number 014 BTS. It was parked in the No Parking zone in front of the east-side, double-door entrance to Lovejoy.
When I went over to videotape the license plate, the pro-aborts said, ?Oh no you don?t!? and tried to get in my way. I simply read the license plate aloud for the camera.
After he left, I called 911. Officer J.L. Walters (#33522) arrived and took my statement. He then went across the street and spoke with the pro-aborts. The older man who had come across the street during the confrontation was the only one willing to be a witness ? though I think he?ll lie, as they were all calling me a liar as I spoke to the 911 operator. I also explained the interference of the pro-aborts as I tried to get the plate number.
Later, Officer Walters called me on my cell and asked me to come back to Lovejoy to identify the man. He said he and his attorney would be meeting us there. I went and identified him and the officer issued the ticket.
His name is Jason Merson (pictured here), according to the information the officer gave me, and he did offer an apology for his outburst of anger. I forgave him, but noted that the State may not. I believe the only way such people learn their lesson is the face some consequences.
Posted by spinehog
at 4:36 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 9 April 2005 7:53 PM PDT
Wednesday, 30 March 2005
More Speech Suppression
Many of you remember that Danny Howe was arrested during Spring Break in 2004 for witnessing in Seaside, Oregon. You also remember, that he was acquitted. This year, when Danny went to Spring Break, he was told that if he preached he would be arrested and that this time they would "make it stick." There will be a lawsuit.
Also, last year, in May, Michael Carr was arrested for Disorderly Conduct while distributing tracts on the public sidewalk outside a Hillsboro middle school.
Get ready for a convoluted story:
He was released from jail at about midnight. He went for arraignment, but there was "no complaint." Weeks later, he was visited by his home town Tigard Police and told to wait there at home while a Hillsboro cop drove over to re-cite him. He got the citation, then went (again) to arragnment and (again) there was no complaint.
Meanwhile, attorneys notified the Hillsboro and the school that they would be filing a civil suit on the matter. The Hillsboro cops (again) re-cited Michael.
This year, Michael went out to that school again. He was arrested again, but this time charged with seven charges -- included were trespassing, Disorderly Conduct, and stalking (the principal). He was released late again. When he went for that arraginment, he was placed in custody under $10,000 bail for "violating the release agreement" from the arrest in last year's case.
Now they have bumped up the charges to the same seven charges for the first arrest.
Does it sound to you like desperation? I believe they are tring to make Michael out to be a bad man so when he goes before a federal judge, he will be less credible. Please pray.
Posted by spinehog
at 7:31 AM PST
Saturday, 5 March 2005
BACK and Fear of Babies
BACK has a separate blog called BACK Blog. You will find it by going to the BACK website at www.backlife.org.
I had been away from my regular appearance at Lovejoy for some weeks because of the demands of the start-up for BACK, but when I returned the same old "fear of babies" was haunting the pro-aborts. The pro-aborts made great attempts to block the visibility of the dead baby signs, because they fear people knowing the truth about abortion. However, the weirdest one was when my daughter, Michelle, showed up with her baby, Jeanne. The pro-aborts were scurrying around like cockroaches trying to make sure the murdering moms in the waiting room could not see baby Jeanne. They physically blcoked the sight with their bodies and umbrellas (see photo). My, my, how they fear babies.
Posted by spinehog
at 12:11 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 5 March 2005 12:12 PM PST
Sunday, 6 February 2005
BACK is Back
I have never had a lot of interest in working the political side of the abortion issue. Not that I thought it was an unworthy endeavor, I simply thought that the work didn't match my abilities. I'd kind of built up a list of reasons why I was not interested. Naturally, that is not how God works.
As I was recently reading the book of Jonah and thinking about the suspended status God had me in, I thought, "Yeah, God sometimes sends people to do things they don't want to do -- and he could do that to me."
Not long after that, God was hammering on me to start a take-no-prisoners, anti-abortion lobbying group.
"Okay," I said, "If God wants me doing it, I will LEARN to like it."
I took up the name formerly used by a friend, Believers Against Child Killing (BACK -- see the website at www.backlife.org) and started to add this to my work. Soon I will be tormenting POLITICIANS in the name of Christian love -- especially those who claim to be "pro-life" but never do anything.
Mainly, I will start by insisting that pro-life politicians vote NO on that budget here in Oregon that contains tax money per year for abortions. Currently, that's $1.5 million each year. I'm sure there will be a whole lot of squirming going on.
I've never done this before, but that has never stopped God from telling me to do something before. It should prove interesting.
Posted by spinehog
at 12:07 PM PST
Updated: Sunday, 6 February 2005 7:44 PM PST
Friday, 28 January 2005
Praise God. Edward Gathright was acquitted on Monday, January 24.
Back in August, Edward and I went to Portland's Waterfront Park for a preach. There was a fundraising event going on called The Bite in which restaurants, wineries, and breweries from all over Oregon were set up to sell their wares, and a competition for "Best of" was also part of the event. (See: August 15)
Edward and I first went in and found the location with the widest, open area for preaching -- approximately 75' across. There were vendors on either side of that space. In addition there was a space between two of the vendors aimed right at the preaching location so I was able to go outside the fence and set up to videotape the preach in its entirety from there. We agreed that Edward would pay his entrance fee, come back to that spot, and wait until I began taping before he started preaching. The reason for that was, in the past, cops and others would always counter our videos by claiming that the bad acts happened BEFORE the tape was rolling.
As many of you know, Edward has won a federal case against Portland and there has been a standing federal judge's order that the City not remove or arrest Edward (or any similarly situated person) from any such event in a public park unless there was probable cause tho show that Edward have violated a duly authorized statute or ordinance. In the past, the City gave carte blanche
to permit holders to make up "rules" of their own and enforce them with arrests. The Judge said they could no longer do that. Only duly-enacted laws were applicable.
Since the court order, however, the City had violated the provisions of the order nearly half a dozen times -- even when the police were given advance warning that we would be there and reminded of the order. This was to be yet another test.
Edward preached, and after about half an hour, he was arrested. They originally charged Disorderly Conduct and "failure to obey a reasonable order of a police officer." The Dis Con was dropped and the State proceeded with only the "violation" (equivalent of a parking ticket) charge of failure to obey. For this, some of the DA's top staff were involved. They subpoenaed seven witnesses and their testimony took all day long. At the end of the prosecution case -- and before the defense had any chance to put one their case -- the judge decided to acquit Edward.
Next, this and other violations of the order will be used to ask the court to hold the City in contempt.
Posted by spinehog
at 7:15 PM PST
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