Monday, November 26, 2007

Take Action: Georgia Cops Impound Anti-Abortion Billboard Truck, Jail Driver

Atlanta, Georgia – Bob Roethlisberger was arrested and jailed over Thanksgiving weekend in a northern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, on the charge of “Disorderly Conduct” for driving Operation Rescue’s Truth Truck bearing signs with photos of aborted babies. The Truth Truck was impounded.

Gwinnett County Police Department officers arrested Roethlisberger Saturday after telling him that signage on the Truth Truck was “vulgar and obscene.” Officers ransacked the back of the Truth Truck without a warrant and ordered Roethlisberger to change or remove the signs. When he refused, he was arrested and incarcerated for three days before being released on $1,000 bond.

The Truth Truck was released from impound late Monday, however the both the signs and the mounting hardware on the truck were damaged when police forcibly ripped the signs off the sides of the truck. Monetary damage to the property is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars.
“It is obvious that these police officers, under the direction of Major Thomas Bardugon, engaged in a serious incident of unconstitutional content-based discrimination and illegal distruction of property,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Bob fully cooperated with officers, but refused to compromise on his message, which is unequivocally protected by the First Amendment. The officers misused their authority to punish Bob for expressing a viewpoint that ran counter to theirs. The arrest was nothing less than an egregious abuse of power.”
Newman discussed the matter with Major Bardugon who refused to drop the charges and threatened to arrest Newman if he drove the Truth Truck through Bardugon’s jurisdiction.

The Truth Truck was in Georgia because of a recently introduced Human Life Amendment that is scheduled to be considered by the State Legislature in January. The Truth Truck’s mission was to help draw the attention of Georgians to the reality that abortion brutally takes an innocent human life, and emphasize the need to ban the grisly procedure.

Operation Rescue manages a fleet of Truth Trucks that have traveled tens of thousands of miles from coast to coast over the past seven years. The right to display those images has been upheld in courts across the nation, which have also ruled that obscenity laws do not apply to aborted baby images.

“We intend to vigorously fight these unjust charges, and will seek a remedy for our property loss,” said Newman. “We cannot allow the illegal use of police authority to bully us into silence, when such silence could cost innocent human lives.”

Please contact the Gwinnett County Police Chief and ask for:
The immediate dismissal of charges against Roethlisberger
The immediate reimbursement for damages to the Truth Truck
An apology

My Comments:

I am shocked and apalled by this arrest and in Georgia of all places!
Vulgar and obscene? The actions of these policemen trying to cover up the truth are vulgar, disgusting, and a grave injustice. Why don't they arrest those companies who advertise by putting up billboards with half naked women on them? Now that's vulgar and obscene! Why don't they arrest the owners of adult porn shops? Why don't they arrest the abortionists who are killing the babies and close down these human slaughter houses? No, they have to arrest a good citizen who is telling the truth and educating the public on what an abortion really is. They are violating his freedom of speech, damaging private property, and discriminating against someone who is pro-life. He is a victim of abuse and I hope and pray that justice is done in this case. In my opinion, that consists of disclipining these officers and making them pay the fee for the damages to the Truth Truck out of their own pockets or go to jail for three days.

Again here are the recommendations made by Operation Rescue:

Please contact the Gwinnett County Police Chief and ask for:
The immediate dismissal of charges against Roethlisberger
The immediate reimbursement for damages to the Truth Truck
An apology

Chief of Police Charles M. Walters
770-513-5000
Charles.Walters@gwinnettcounty.com

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