Troopers Run Amok, Conduct Mass Arrest of Pro-lifers In Maryland

[FONT=Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif][size=5]Troopers Run Amok, Conduct Mass Arrest of Pro-lifers In Maryland

[/FONT][/size][/FONT] August 3rd, 2008
Bel Air, MD - Eighteen pro-lifers participating in the Maryland Face the Truth Tour were arrested without warning by Hartford County State Troopers in the city of Bel Air, Maryland on Friday, August 1, 2008.
It was during the last tour stop of the week-long event, sponsored by [/FONT]Defend Life. when a State Trooper named Bradley approached the group and told them to move and put away their signs or they would be arrested. In an effort to comply, group leader Jack Ames gathered the group and moved down the road, into the city limits of Bel Air, Maryland.
The group stood peacefully on public property and did not “march” into the street as one news organization erroneously reported. Without warning, an estimated twenty patrol cars arrived on the scene and began arresting pro-life participants without a word. Those arrested were not told what they were being charged with, nor were they read their rights.


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wow - some lawyers are going to have a field day. as I shake my head ruefully

Funny how this isn’t making the news anywhere (Mainstream, that is). On the other hand, regardless of what the group says, a permit to demonstrate can be required.

This does not surprise me. Maryland is far to the left and the left cannot stand anyone who is not in lockstep with them.

Can we expect the ACLU to get involved? Probably not on the side of the Pro-Life, but maybe on the side of the troopers.

I wonder if you could explain this point of Maryland or Bel Air law.

Hate and modern day persecution.

The group should get a hold of the police radio conversation (it’s public record and all recorded per the FCC). I wonder if any calls came in about the protest or if the troopers just did this all on their own. Either way, if the group was just standing there with signs, I see no reason to arrest them.

One thing to clarify, however, that the article had wrong. Reading someone their rights is not something that is required when someone is arrested. Only if the person is going to be questioned or if they start making statements are their rights required to be read.

In Christ,

When I went into the site, there was a news update.

But you have to scroll down to the first news item.

Has the local Bishop spoken out on this?

Victory For 18 Arrested Maryland Pro-life Demonstrators - All Charges Dropped

Bel Air, MD - All charges have been dropped against the eighteen pro-lifers who were unjustly arrested on August 1, 2008, during the Maryland Face the Truth Tour.

Harford County’s State Attorney Joe Cassilly dismissed the charges earlier this week against eight adults and ten teenagers, who had been arrested without warning during a peaceful public pro-life testimony in Bel Air, Maryland, during the last stop on a tour sponsored by Defend Life.

Full Story

Legal options are being explored.

Nothing less than those troopers being fired is appropriate.

I found a link with a little less spin.

Note that this demonstration was on an interstate and the troopers were called because of traffic disruption. The group did not have a permit, which would have required safety issues to be addressed, and had a dozen people who called to complain about traffic problems. Furthermore, they were given an opportunity to leave. I support the troopers in this. Had they not taken action, they would have been responsible for any fatalities that would have occured. Traffic safety is paramount to their job, not politics. Pro-life groups must also respect the life of others, like motorists, and not endanger them while spreading the message of life.

Your article is a bit vague about the location of the protest. It says near Route 24 and also near the interstate. I don’t think it was on the interstate because one of the charges is that protestors were milling around cars which were stopped at a traffic light.

You are right. It says near the interstate.


I live about 25 miles away. I certainly don’t know the exact spot that the incident took place…

Rt. 24 is the major road from I-95 into the Bel Air area. It is a divided highway with at least 2 lanes plus extra turning lanes in each direction. It also has periodic lights at major crossroads.

At 6pm, the traffic volume would be very heavy.

I wonder though why the charges were dismissed by the attorney general if these people were disruptive, disobeyed a legitimate order, and could have caused traffic fatalities. I am willing to be convinced either way, but would like the legal facts straightened out if anyone is able to do it.

What they were arrested for would be class-C misdemeanors. These can be dismissed for many reasons, political expediency being one of them. Also, if the people arrested just wanted their three days in jail as a protest, the charges could be dismissed just to get them out and get things back to normal.

Has anyone involved in this explained wht they did not want to get the proper permits for the demonstration?

I’m a bit confused on this. Why were there traffic disruptions? According to this article, there was no going into traffic.

And also, talking about spin bothers me. If someone is telling what they’ve experienced, of course, there is going to be emotion. It does not mean that what they’re saying isn’t true. Now, when you say “spin,” do you mean twisting the facts? I’m asking just for clarification, that’s all. It’s hard to know what the writers of articles have as an agenda sometimes. It’s not always obvious.

I would be interested in finding out what the truth is, too.

Just my two cents. (For what it’s worth. I probably shouldn’t even be commenting since I’ve been out of the loop for so long.:o )

Who was the supervisor who assigned these troopers to make these arrests?

They didn’t just show up “spontaneously”.

There were a dozen complaints called in. They did not show up based on one phone call. After they refused to move on, protocol would have required that they call for additional officers. Yes, they probably did show up spontaneously. That is the way of almost all traffic complaints.

Not at all. I am sure the participants reported things as they saw them. Although from their, the article definitely spins. However, as a parent of teenagers, what they saw as not interfering with traffic may well have been more dangerous than they thought.

If you have to ask permission to speak in public, you are not free. Permits in this instance are an affront to all who defend the Constitution.

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