- Posted August 20, 2013 by
St Louis, Missouri
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Obama Protestors Arrested in MO
Apparently Marc Messmer and Duane Weed were protesting the Obama administration on a highway overpass. They, along with about 10 other protestors, were holding signs and using a bullhorn to express their opinion that President Obama should be impeached.
Traffic on the interstate was unusually busy and the police arrived and asked them to leave. When the men asked why, the police officer told them it was an issue of public safety because their protest was causing accidents on the interstate.
The protestors refused to leave voluntarily and as a result were arrested for failure to comply and resisting arrest. The story from my local paper is here:
So my question is…is this a legitimate issue of public safety trumping free speech? If banners on an overpass are really so dangerous, why can’t I drive 5 miles on the interstate without seeing 10 billboards?
I believe police officers are afforded a certain amount of leeway in determining what is in the interest of public safety, and I believe that is appropriate. What is the appropriate mechanism for ensuring that power is not abused?
I did find it amazing that all we hear about it law enforcement budgets being slashed but somehow 8 patrol cars and at least 10 officers responded to this incident. Simply to arrest 2 men that did not even resist.