Sheriff’s Deputy was found to have issued an unlawful order in an arrest that sent a 20-year old girl to the hospital.
WICHITA, KS — Karen Myers was found not guilty in a jury trial today stemming from a violent arrest at the Kansas Coliseum in 2003 that sent her by ambulance to the hospital. Myers was charged with failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer during an anti-abortion protest at a Cher concert.
According to testimony, Myers was among a small group of protesters that were holding signs in the grassy public pedestrian right-of-way outside the Coliseum entrance on March 14, 2003, when they were approached by Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Deputies Elton Bowman and Edwin Simpson. It was determined in court that Myers and others were issued an unlawful order by Simpson to move back from the Coliseum driveway 100 feet. The group had engaged in First Amendment activity at that location previously without incident and questioned the validity of the order. According to witnesses, Simpson, without warning, grabbed Myers, a slender 20-year old, twisted her arms and slammed her to the ground. He then put his full weight on her back with his knee and cuffed her as she screamed in pain and begged him to stop hurting her.
The incident was photographed and those pictures were entered into evidence on Myers’ behalf. (More photos can be viewed in the next section.)
So severe were the injuries inflicted upon Myers by Deputy Simpson that she was rushed to the hospital via ambulance directly from the scene that evening.
Further sworn testimony stated that Simpson then threatened two others with “you’re next” if they did not leave the scene. That threat became reality for ORW President Troy Newman who arrived after the Myers arrest and began taking photos. Again, without warning, Newman was arrested, handcuffed, and made to sit in a ditch for over 45 minutes.
Charges against Newman were subsequently dropped. Newman was represented by Wichita defense attorney Jay Greeno.
Brian Fahling and Joe Murray of the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy represented Myers, with the assistance of Greeno.
“Justice was served today as an innocent young lady was vindicated from criminal charges for simply trying to exercise her First Amendment rights,” said Newman. “Our attorneys did a magnificent job defending not only Miss Myers, but the First Amendment as well. A Civil lawsuit against the Sedgwick County Sheriffs, especially Deputies Simpson and Bowman for their unprofessional and brutal treatment of peaceful citizens, is being seriously considered at this time.”