Among the 18 arrested, three young women were heckled, imprisoned, shackled, and strip-searched twice.
-- From "Cops strip-search 'loitering' pro-lifers" by Bob Unruh © 2008 WorldNetDaily 9/5/08
The allegations in the case sound like a Third World dictatorship: Police officers talk over before the arrests what charges they'll use, there are no explanations when the arrests are made, the suspects are denied access to legal counsel while in custody, and cops subject suspects to semi-public strip-searches.
Only this was in Bel Air, Md., and the pro-life protesters subjected to the treatment now have brought a legal action against the officers and town for violating their Constitutional rights.
The lawsuit now alleges a multitude of violations of the U.S. Constitution in actions by police who first ordered the pro-lifers off of county property, and later when they complied and moved to city property, swooped down on them in seven marked police cars, shackled and jailed them, and performed the strip searches.
"This incident paints an ugly picture of the state of religious freedom and free speech in American today," Kevin Theriot, ADF [Alliance Defense Fund] senior counsel, said. "The state shouldn't prosecute Christians for expressing their beliefs on important social issues, nor deny them their constitutional rights."
"Plaintiffs were put in handcuffs and held alongside the heavily trafficked public road for over a half hour, making them appear to be criminals to the public, putting both them and their message into disrepute, and exposing them to shouted ridicule," the lawsuit said.
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