Police Threaten to Arrest Pro-Life Advocate Just for Wearing a Pro-Life T-Shirt

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 2, 2015   |   8:05PM   |   Dayton, OH

A pro-life advocate says police threatened to arrest him for wearing a pro-life T-shirt and an abortion advocate mocked his 10-year-old son during a pro-abortion rally Sunday in Dayton, Ohio.

Bryan Kemper, president of Stand True, reports that he and two of his children joined about 20 other pro-lifers to peacefully protest during the rally to celebrate Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in Dayton.

The Stand True blog reports more about the situation:

After about an hour at the rally, Bryan put down his sign to walk around the Courthouse Square, a public area in Dayton, to take photos of the rally. The Dayton police were called to remove all pro-lifers from this public area. While the rally organizers had a permit to gather and hold a rally, they did not have ownership of this public square but the police demanded all pro-lifers leave and go to the sidewalk area outside the Courthouse Square.

Because the officers were claiming that he couldn’t be there even though he was not protesting at the time, Bryan approached them to ask why they were denying him access to public property. One of the pro-abortion protesters claimed that his pro-life shirt constituted a protest sign and disqualified him from being in the public area.

The officer mocked the pro-lifers and said, “It’s Sunday. Normal people are out enjoying the day, not causing problems.”

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When Bryan tried to explain that he had no sign and was not protesting, the officer said, “I don’t care. You go over there.”

The officer also admitted that there was no copy of the (pro-abortion protest) permit on hand, and that he could not show it to us as he did not have it, yet he still kicked us off public property.

Someone at the rally caught on video part of the exchange between Kemper and the city police. Watch it here.

At one point, Kemper’s 10-year-old son also was targeted for harassment. A pro-abortion protester approached and mocked Kemper’s son as he was holding a pro-life sign, but the boy did not waver as he stood for the lives of unborn babies, according to the blog.

According to Stand True, the pro-life advocates did not interrupt the rally, and they were peaceful and respectful to the abortion supporters. Pro-lifers said they held images of the victims of abortion to show abortion advocates “what it was exactly that they were promoting and celebrating.”

“They wanted to give these victims the dignity of being recognized as the human persons they are,” according to the blog.

Kemper posted a photo from the protest on his Facebook page and called his exchange with the police an “outrage.”

“The Dayton Ohio Police Department just threatened to arrest me for simply standing on public property with a pro-life t-shirt,” Kemper wrote. “Apparently if someone is holding a public rally on public property they have the right no deny citizens from simply walking on that public property. This is our courthouse square and I should be free to walk around as long as I’m not disrupting their rally.”