Suit Claims Detroit Police Trampled Pro-Lifers’ Rights at Super Bowl Protest

It’s sad to see the police acting in this way. At least be fair and make eveyone leave or let everyone stay. Don’t single out any one group because of their message.

(AgapePress) – In Michigan, a lawsuit has been filed against the Detroit Police Department by pro-life supporters who claim their constitutional rights were violated outside the Super Bowl. The lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) claims the police singled out and squelched pro-lifers’ speech last February as the championship game took place.

Ted Hoppe is an attorney working with the ADF on the lawsuit. He points out that he finds the facts of the case, as well as their broader implications for freedom of expression in the public square, more than a little disturbing.

“Our clients were demonstrating in favor of pro-life issues on the streets and sidewalks near the stadium when they were confronted by the City of Detroit Police,” Hoppe notes. “They were told that they couldn’t stand there with the signs that they had, that they had to leave and they had to take their signs down and get out of the area.”

This challenge from the local authorities created “a kind of a tough situation” for the pro-lifers, the attorney points out. After all, he contends, “There were a lot of other people up there with signs conveying other messages; so this was clearly an action directed by the City of Detroit Police at our clients’ pro-life message that day.”

Hoppe says the officers did not approach any of the other people who were carrying signs with other messages during the Detroit incident. “I think one of the concerns that comes out of this case is one that we see throughout the country,” he notes, “and that is the situation where police officers are acting in ways that are contrary to … what most Americans would understand are just basic First Amendment principles, like the right to free speech.”

Constitutional rights must be protected, the ADF affiliate insists. “We need to send a message to the police up in Detroit that free speech is a right that all Americans have, not just a select few,” he says.

The lawsuit filed by ADF on the pro-lifer demonstrators’ behalf seeks unspecified damages. Also, Hoppe adds, the suit requests that the court find that the actions of the Detroit Police violated the pro-life demonstrators’ constitutional rights.

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