by Steven Ertelt
October 13, 2006
Des Plaines, IL (LifeNews.com) — A police officer in this Illinois city has been suspended without pay as a trial moves forward on an incident in which he is accused of verbally and physically assaulting and harassing a group of women protesting outside of a local abortion business.
Dick V. Lalowski, who is 43, is also in the middle of a hearing with city officials and an attorney for the women about whether he should be fired from his job as a result of his actions.
The next hearing is set for November 27 and both the police and fire commissions determined he should be taken off the police force while the proceedings continue.
Police Chief James Prandini has recommended Lalowski be fired, according to the Daily Herald newspaper, and said Lalowski’s actions were unprofessional and abusive.
While on duty as a security guard for a Des Plaines abortion business, Lalowski threatened a group of women and told them they could be arrested if they blocked women from entering the abortion center or continued to pass out teddy bears to the women going there.
After his shift ended, Lalowski returned to the abortion center in plainclothes and harassed the women despite questions from the next officer on duty.
According to the newspaper, Lalowski is accused of cursing at the women, ridiculing their faith, and poking one woman hard on the shoulder. One of the women later told authorities she was "filled with fear" over his harassment.
Lalowski told the newspaper that he was upset at the large photos of unborn children the women had.
“I’m an opinionated person,” he said adding that he worried the photos would upset teenagers going to the abortion center. He also called the women "extremists."
The women are represented in the hearings by Thomas Brejcha, an attorney with the pro-life Thomas More Society in Chicago.