Findlay, Ohio – Dated April 15, 2009: An Ohio city (Findlay) will not appeal a federal judge’s decision from January ruling that it violated the First Amendment rights of pro-life advocates (Missionaries to the Preborn) when police officers threatened them with arrest for engaging in pro-life speech. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund had filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Findlay for the pro-life advocates….Matt Bowman, an ADF attorney said city officials were wrong to ask the pro-life advocates to “request permission before they exercise their First Amendment rights on a public sidewalk” and he said he hoped those involved “will now be free to express their views without fear of government intimidation and censorship.”
Some of the story, dated January 07, 2009…Read on:
Findlay Law Director Dave Hackenberg said Tuesday the city will likely appeal….“We don’t agree with the judge,” he said. “At this point, it’s far from over.”
The federal suit was filed in the Toledo court several days after volunteer members of the Missionaries to the Preborn showed up in Findlay on July 31, 2007and displayed signs, with pro-life messages and large photographs of aborted fetuses, near the intersection of Tiffin Avenue and Bright Road….Findlay police responded to the area after receiving numerous complaints from motorists and business owners….Following a discussion with police officers, including Chief Spraw, the group was ordered to disband since it had not obtained a permit under the city’s “all events policy.”
Read the Memorandom Opinion & Order here. It details what the police officer said to the protesters.
At some time while researching this, I remembered the story on the news when I was living in Dayton. I looked everywhere for the video (couldn’t find it) I remember seeing on the news when the police officer was trying to make everyone disperse. The reason why this guy adamantly wanted the protesters to leave was because the business owners in the area were complaining that their businesses were suffering with protesters there. It’s all about the money.
Findlay is a small college town (39,000 people) about 100 miles north of Dayton, Ohio.
The protesters were trying to save the babies, the business owners were trying to keep customers from leaving. Kind of pitiful, isn’t it?
The same group returned to Findlay in August 2007 and was allowed to demonstrate without obtaining a permit.
And there’s the rest of the story…
Yes, the pro-life group won; but at what cost? What I mean is this: when the whole mess started with stopping the protest, lives of unborn children were lost because the protesters were made to leave. How many lives lost? Only God knows.