Woman Was Praying at Abortion Clinic When Police Falsely Arrested Her Claiming She Would Bomb It

State   |   Tom Ciesielka   |   May 2, 2018   |   6:16PM   |   Detroit, MI

Four Detroit-area suburban police officers will have to go to trial for their arrest of a pro-life advocate Kimberly Thames outside of a Westland, Michigan, abortion clinic. The Thomas More Society, along with American Freedom Law Center, filed a lawsuit designed to hold the officers accountable for their actions.  On April 20, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, a federal district judge denied their motion to have her claims dismissed.

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Thames’ regular activity outside of the Northland Family Planning Center abortion clinic involved silent prayer. As a witness for life, she would pray while standing on the public sidewalk surrounding the facility, with her rosary and a pro-life sign. On the day of her arrest, Thames engaged the Northland security guard on duty, assuring him that she was praying for him as well as the unborn babies, something she did often. She also told the guard that she would pray he would find another job, one that would protect life rather than defend death.

Shortly after this conversation, Thames departed the area momentarily to use a nearby restroom. Upon returning to Northland, Thames was arrested for allegedly threatening to bomb the abortion clinic. This false claim was made in a 911-emergency call placed by the guard with whom she had conversed and another clinic employee.

Based solely on the unsubstantiated accusation of the security guard, the police arrested Thames, who then spent 49 hours in the city jail. She was released when a detective reviewed the arrest report and concluded that there was no basis to charge Thames.

Subsequently, Thames sued the city and the four police officers for violating her civil rights. In the suit, she charges that the officers violated her First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, subjected her to unlawful search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and denied her equal protection as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.  In his ruling, Judge George Caram Steeh held that the case deserved to go before a jury.

Tom Brejcha, of the Thomas More Society, Chicago, Illinois, declared the decision to be a victory for Thames and all pro-life advocates who have been persecuted because of their work on behalf of pre-born children and their mothers.

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“Kimberly Thames has been a peaceful witness for the sanctity of human life. She has prayed for abortion bound women and their children. She has prayed for those who work at the abortion clinic, including those who have falsely accused her.  It is telling that police responding to the alleged “bomb threat” took no action to evacuate the building, search it, the parking lot, dumpster or vehicles, for a bomb or other weapons.  Instead, they simply arrested our client depriving her of her right to express her opinion on the public right of way. It is right that these law enforcement personnel be held accountable for their abuse of the law.  We look forward to trial.”

Read the summary judgement issued April 20, 2018, by Federal District Judge George Caram Steeh of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Kimberly Thames v. City of Westland et al, here.

LifeNews Note: Kimberly Thames (left) and Sister Lois Marie Mitoraj in police-cam photo.