Published on Aug 22, 2013 by Anna Layloria
In yet another example of political suppression overtaking Missouri, a startling video shows the Missouri Highway Patrol tackling and arresting peaceful protestors for refusing to leave a public area.
Two protestors were arrested, including one wearing an Infowars Tyranny Response Team t-shirt.
No less than seven police officers and state troopers can be seen surrounding the protestors who were the only pedestrians in the immediate area.
In the video, an officer claimed that the protestors were “causing accidents” by standing on a bridge sidewalk which was barricaded several feet from the traffic lane.
“That’s not true. There’s been no accidents,” one of the protestors responded.
“There’s also a First Amendment issue here, too,” another protestor added. “We don’t protest [only] when the St. Charles Police tells us we can protest.”
“We have a First Amendment right.”
“As long as it doesn’t infringe on public safety,” the trooper replied.
The protestors even offered to move to the side of the bridge as a compromise.
That didn’t satisfy the police.
“You’re causing a traffic hazard and that’s really the end of it,” the trooper said.
One of the protestors asked the officer what law he was citing to arrest them under.
“I haven’t cited any law and I hadn’t said I’m going to arrest you,” the trooper responded. “As long as you’re obedient and compliant with us, we’re fine.”
After which the trooper continued to “ask” the peaceful group to leave.
“So, are you going to leave?” The officer finally asked.
“I don’t think so,” one of the protestors replied.
The officers then proceeded to arrest the protestors for “failing to obey.” One of the officers even implied that his authority came entirely from his badge.
This is chilling suppression of free speech.
If this begins a precedent, police literally anywhere in the country can proclaim, with their own discretionary enforcement, that someone waving a sign on the side of the road is endangering “public safety.”
The police response to peaceful protestors seems excessive and judging from the video, it appears that the two protestors wearing the Tyranny Response Team and Gadsden flag t-shirts were targeted in particular.
As Kurt Nimmo reported in 2009, the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) distributed a law enforcement report entitled The Modern Militia Movement which instructed police to be on the lookout for people displaying “political paraphernalia” such as Gadsden flags and Ron Paul bumper stickers.
MIAC, a federal law enforcement information sharing center more commonly known as a fusion center, described itself as a “mechanism to collect incident reports of suspicious activities” in order to “identify potential trends or patterns of terrorist or criminal operations within the state of Missouri.”
Unfortunately the overpass incident adds to the growing trend of free speech shut-down in the Show-Me-State.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama’s staff asked Missouri law enforcement to “target anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad,” as Russell Kinsaul with News 4 reported.