- Free Speech Defender Beaten With Martial Law Antics (Image: MGN)
- Steve Woolfolk, director of public programming at the Kansas City Public Library, was arrested for trying to keep a public library public.
- Woolfolk was hosting a somewhat controversial event when an audience member asked a question that a plain cloth police officer didn't like.
- Woolfolk tried to intervene on behalf of the attendee and as a result was arrested and beaten, resulting in a torn MCL.
- Both were arrested, Woolfolk for interfering with the arrest and the attendee for trespassing, even though it was a public event in a public space.
The greatest gift our Bill of Rights has given us is essential freedoms that cultivate free thinking and independence from an all-powerful dictatorial government. That's what we fought for, and against, when we left Great Britain. We have the right to stand up and ask questions. We have the right to question our government and it's leadership. That is our right.
Yet, at an event that was held at the Kansas City Public Library, a man was arrested for expressing one of those rights. A question and answer event with Dennis Ross, a former Bush Administration official and current AIPAC distinguished fellow, was interrupted by a brutal assault and arrest of an attendee.
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Normally, the library does not require the assistance of guards or off-duty police officers to be in attendance. However, on May 9th, 2016 they hosted an event titled, “Truman and Israel,” which was sponsored by the Truman Library Foundation and the Jewish Community Foundation. Several years prior, a shooting had taken place at the Jewish Community Foundation in Kansas City, so the security was requested for the event.
With the security came two conditions from the library. One, no one was to be removed for asking an unpopular question, and two, no one could be removed without consulting the library staff.
After Ross's presentation, the floor was opened to questions. Rothe-Kushel was quick to jump in line first to ask Ross a question. After Ross answered the question Rothe-Kushel, still standing at the mic, continued to give his own response to Ross. That is when a security officer came up and grabbed Rothe. It went down hill when Rothe told the security officer not to touch him. At that point, an off-duty officer came over and according to Woolfolk, three people were grabbing Rothe-Kushel.
Woolfolk, with hands at his sides, walked into the commotion and stated his position at the library and indicated that Rothe-Kushel would leave voluntarily if asked. The security detail released Rothe and he left.
It seemed at this point that everything was over, the commotion had ended. According to Woolfolk, this is when he went to go find his supervisor to ensure that the event would continue as planned. At this point, an off-duty and an out of uniform police officer grabbed him from behind and pinned him against a pillar. Apparently, the officer never identified himself and did not explain that he was under arrest, they just continued to yell “stop resisting.”
Then, according to Woolfolk, another officer in uniform came up and started striking his knees. He was later diagnosed with grade 1 torn MCL. Woolfolk was eventually thrown over a chair and handcuffed. The best part, however, came at the end. After the incident, Woolfolk asked the officer what he was being arrested for to which he replied that he didn't know.
Eventually, Woolfolk was arrested for interfering with the arrest of Jeremy Rothe-Kushel. What was Rothe-Kushel's charge, you ask? Trespassing. That's right police claim that they were arresting him for trespassing at a public event. Yet, not only was a patron going to be arrested for trespassing in a public library for a public event but a library staffer was arrested for trying to keep the public library a public forum.
Welcome to the police state.
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