Two girls, ages 15 and 17, were attacked and arrested without warning by police while peacefully exercising their First Amendment Rights outside Sen. Obama’s hotel
Denver, CO – Two young girls were brutally attacked by police Wednesday evening without warning as they were chalking the sidewalk with pro-life messages outside the Westin Hotel, where Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama is staying. The girls were knocked to the ground, kneed in the back, handcuffed, and painfully dragged away.
Arrested were Jayne White, 17, and Julia Giacopuzzi, age 15, who were participating in a peaceful demonstration that was part of A Prayer For Change events.
Also arrested was Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition.
Click below to view video of the arrests:
According to Rev. Mahoney, the group had received permission to sidewalk chalk from Denver City Attorney David Fine and Denver Deputy Chief Police John Lamb and had been “sidewalk chalking” for six days prior to the arrests without incident.
They were later released and are now consulting attorneys in anticipation of possible legal action against the city.
“I am shocked at how cowardly these police officers behaved by attacking little girls without warning or provocation,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Operation Rescue condemns this act of violence against peaceful demonstrators. There was absolutely no reason for it. Police officers are expected to control themselves better than that, and if they can’t they should not be in law enforcement. We call for immediate disciplinary action against the officers involved in the brutality incident involving Miss White and Miss Giacopuzzi.”
“Operation Rescue spent the week participating in A Prayer For Change with Rev. Mahoney and these young people, who have conducted themselves peacefully and appropriately at all times,” said Newman.
Rev. Pat Mahoney is available for comment at 540-538-4741.
UPDATE: Operation Rescue has been informed that the police determined that the demonstrators did nothing wrong and that an Internal Affairs investigation has been opened to look into why this incident occurred.