Monday, August 17, 2009

Arrest now, pardon later

Spotted this a while back:

Denver drops case against protester at McCain speech

Carol Kreck, who was cited for holding a paper sign outside presidential candidate John McCain's town-hall meeting last summer, had her trespassing case dismissed by the Denver city attorney's office Wednesday.

Kreck, 61, was ready to go to trial — more than a year after the incident — when Assistant City Attorney Vince DiCroce asked the court to dismiss the trespassing citation.

"I thought we were going to win the case at trial, but we are just as happy with a dismissal," said Kreck's attorney, Peter Hedeen.

DiCroce said he decided to dismiss the case, in part, because several weeks ago, County Court Judge James Breese ruled in the city's favor that the galleria where Kreck was protesting was not considered a public forum.

"We received that, and this case is over a year old now, and so they were going to move to continue the case, and rather than drag it out, the city and the Performing Arts Complex had already achieved what we sought to achieve out of it," DiCroce said.

DiCroce said the city did not spend any money to prosecute Kreck because he is paid a salary by the city to appear in court on those cases.

Kreck said she reimbursed her attorney $25 for a jury-trial fee that was paid to the court, but her legal expenses were covered by a fund that was partly paid for by mug and T-shirt sales carrying the logo of the sign she held.

Kreck's civil-rights attorney, David Lane, said he expects to file a lawsuit in the next month against Denver alleging that Kreck's First Amendment rights were violated.

On July 7, 2008, Kreck was standing outside McCain's town-hall meeting in the galleria of the complex holding a sign that said "McCain = Bush."

A videotape shows that a security guard from the complex approached Kreck and told her that the U.S. Secret Service asked to have her removed.

But later, a spokeswoman for the Denver Performing Arts Complex said the security guard was mistaken in mentioning the Secret Service and that it was actually McCain's staff who asked that people not be allowed to display signs outside the venue.

McCain's spokesman denied the campaign made that request and emphasized that the Arizona senator welcomed discourse at his public events.

Kreck, a former Denver Post reporter, said she hoped to find out who wanted her removed from the galleria during the course of her trial but says now that she may have to wait until the civil case makes its way through the court system.

She may have trouble proving that her rights were violated because a federal appeals court also ruled in a prior case that the galleria area of the venue is not a public space where protests are allowed.

"I think she was in an area that was protected by the First Amendment," Lane said. "Some people say 'no,' others say 'yes.' We'll just have a judge decide."

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I hope Ms. Kreck wins her civil case and the shitheels that violated her 1st Amendment rights get their tiny little balls handed to them.

I hear a lot of bullshit coming from the right about people trying to 'silence them' but the bald truth is that when in power, the right routinely abuses the right to free speech, acts like thugs, makes wild threats, commits acts of violence (including murder) hides behind technicalities and basically acts like the Nazis they accuse everyone else of being. This case just proves it again and the fact that the courts dismissed it shows that it was bullshit all along - just like entire McCain campaign.

McCain definitely was Bush and I'm thrilled he was defeated - if McCain's behavior on the campaign trail was any indication I can only imagine the evils he would have perpetrated in office.

Not to mention the horror of having a mental midget like Sarah Palin one heartbeat away from the Big Red Button. Whew. Missed it by that much...

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