Pro-Life Law Firm to Defend Abortion Protesters Harassed at Super Bowl
by Steven Ertelt
November 21, 2006
Detroit, MI (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life law firm has announced it will step up to defend a handful of pro-life protesters who say local police harassed them as they protested abortion outside the Super Bowl this year.
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit today against Detroit police for violating the free speech rights of six pro-life supporters, all of whom who say they were harassed and later prevented from expressing their views at the football championship.
After learning of the plans to demonstrate on the February 5 event, police told the protesters to move to the other side of the street they planned to use — a less visible position.
They were later told by a second officer that they would be restricted to a traffic island. Signs critical of abortion were confiscated after the group refused officers’ demands to turn them around.
“Detroit police need to be reminded that free speech is the right of all Americans, not just a select few,” said ADF-allied attorney Ted Hoppe. “They clearly acted in violation of the Constitution when they chose to single out and squelch pro-life speech.”
Police also towed away a car bearing pictures of aborted children and impounded it for two days. Officers refused to provide their names and badge numbers when the protesters requested them.
The protesters also said that police did not treat other people protesting other political issues in the same manner.
ADF filed the legal complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the case is Marcavage v. City of Detroit.
“It is truly disturbing when officers of the law must be re-educated about the tenets of the Constitution,” Hoppe said.
“Whether certain speech is considered ‘popular’ or not is entirely irrelevant. Their harassment of these individuals, who were acting peacefully in exercising their First Amendment rights, must be rectified and prevented from occurring in the future," he concluded.
Related web sites:
Alliance Defense Fund – https://www.telladf.org