Operation Rescue receives 17 tickets from the Wichita Police Department in one afternoon. Child’s only winter coat confiscated.
[The following is a press release send out yesterday as events were unfolding. The child's coat was later retruned to him, but only after calls to the officer's superiors.]
Wichita, KS — WICHITA, Ks., Jan. 21 /Christian Wire Service/ — As usual for the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, Operation Rescue made plans for demonstrations and rallies throughout the weekend. Those plans were put on hold for Operation Rescue president, Troy Newman, when on the afternoon of January 21, he was arrested outside of a Wichita abortion clinic and jailed for “littering.”
“We have been in front of this abortion clinic counseling moms for years. But yesterday you could tell something had changed by the way the police were acting. One police officer confiscated the coat of a pro-life counselor’s son. Apparently all the young boy had done was to set it down beside him. Later yesterday, a police officer confiscated blankets and baby-gifts from our sidewalk counselor–she usually gives these items as gifts to new moms. The police officer said the items were a potential health code violation.
“Then today [Jan. 21] Troy Newman was arrested in front of the abortion clinic after he set a bag of counseling materials on the ground, next to him. We were told he was being charged with littering.” — Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue Outreach Coordinator, 316-516-3034
“We are concerned at the conduct exhibited today by the Wichita Police Department in an apparent attempt to crush and deprive individual citizens of their First Amendment Right to free speech. It is apparent that the enforcement actions of the Wichita Police Department are targeted at those individuals who support and defend the sanctity of life. We are taking the necessary steps to stop this apparent unlawful enforcement. If we need to, we will seek the intervention of the Federal Courts to protect our clients’ civil rights.” — Brian Chavez-Ochoa, Esq., Chief Counsel for Operation Rescue (209) 772-3013
Troy was released from jail after spending 8 hours in custody. In addition, OR vehicles received a total of seventeen tickets for over-parking in a 30-minute zone even though the vehicles were moved every thirty minutes. Yet, other vehicles in the same zone that had not moved all day were not ticketed.
It was reported in the Wichita Eagle that Tiller had met with the police on Thursday, January 20, and demanded immediate enforcement of every infraction. However, when asked to produce the ordinances that were supposedly being enforced, officers repeatedly refused. Confiscated property has not been returned, with the exception of the child’s jacket.