Man With Pro-Life Anti-Obama Sign Pulled Over, Faces Police, Secret Service

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 19, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Man With Pro-Life Anti-Obama Sign Pulled Over, Faces Police, Secret Service

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 19
, 2009

Enid, OK ( — An Oklahoma man with a homemade sign on his vehicle was pulled over and harassed by police for allegedly making a threat against the president. Chip Harrison said he was driving to work when a police officer followed him for several miles and eventually signaled him to pull over.

The officer mistook the sign, which read "Abort Obama, not the unborn," as threatening.

"I pulled over, knowing I hadn’t done anything wrong," Harrison told the McClatchy-Tribune news service in a interview.

"It’s not meant to be a threat, it’s a statement about abortion," Harrison said, saying he disagrees with Obama. "I asked the officer, ‘Do you know what abort means?’ He said, ‘Yeah, it means to kill.’ I said, ‘No, it means to remove or terminate.’"

The officers confiscated the sign and gave him a slip of paper saying he would be subjected to an investigation.

Harrison told the news service he eventually received a call from someone claiming to be a lieutenant supervisor for the Internal Investigations Department and who wanted to know how to return his sign to him.

The person asked Harrison if he wanted to file a complaint and he took some papers in case he wanted to do so.

After the call, Harrison received a second call from someone with the Secret Service who said agents were at his home. Upon calling his attorney, Harrison went home.

"When I was on my way there, the Secret Service called me and said they weren’t going to ransack my house or anything … they just wanted to (walk through the house) and make sure I wasn’t a part of any hate groups," he recounted.

"We walked through the house and my wife and 2-year-old were in the house," Harrison said, describing the agents as friendly. He said they interviewed him for 30 minutes and left.

"I’m still in contact with a lawyer right now," Harrison told McClatchy-Tribune. "I don’t know what I’m going to do."

Capt. Steve McCool, of the Oklahoma City Police Department, told the Tulsa World newspaper that the officer misunderstood the sign and never should have seized it.

"We had an officer that his interpretation of the sign was different than what was meant," McCool said. "You’ve got an officer who had a different thought on what the word ‘abort’ meant."

"(The officer) shouldn’t have taken the sign," McCool said. "That was (Harrison’s) First Amendment right to voice his concern."

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