Police Officer (Apparently Unfamiliar with US Constitution) Arrests Health Care Activist for Sidewalk Chalk Message

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This citation was given to health care activist AJ Marin for engaging in an action that according to police served no legitimate purpose in that he wrote a derogatory remark about the governor on the sidewalk. Now if that had went down the way the officer tells it, I may not have that much sympathy for AJ Marin, but here’s what Marin wrote on the sidewalk – in chalk, mind you – that the police officer felt was so derogatory regarding the governor that Marin deserved to be arrested. The message AJ Marin was arrested for writing in chalk on the sidewalk outside the governor’s mansion was “Corbett has health care, we should too.”

corbett chalk

Where is the derogatory statement there? Is it derogatory for someone to note that the governor has health care? That is a logical stretch of absurd proportions. And as bad as it is to arrest someone for writing that in chalk on the sidewalk, the officer compounds his or her own idiocy by describing the action as having no legitimate purpose. Has this police officer never read the Constitution of the United States? The human rights protected in the very first of the ten amendments that make up the Bill of Rights include the freedom of speech and the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

AJ Marin was simply engaging in this most sacred tradition in our country, which was largely honed and defined right here in Pennsylvania, to make his voice heard on an issue important to him and peacefully protest what he feels his government is doing wrong. No legitimate purpose? This kind of action is the very definition of having legitimate purpose in accordance with the human rights our government has historically guaranteed. I think this police officer, who we can probably assume has a pretty nice health care plan courtesy of Pennsylvania tax-payers like the governor, could use a little more brains and a lot more empathy.

*This is a transcript of a video from the only grassroots progressive newscast exclusively about Pennsylvania politics, Counterpoint PA. You can watch the video for this segment here.*

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5 Responses to Police Officer (Apparently Unfamiliar with US Constitution) Arrests Health Care Activist for Sidewalk Chalk Message

  1. Julieann Wozniak says:

    I suspect that certain reactionary Republicans view democracy as a mortal threat to their existence. Which is the real reason for their legislation against civil rights and fair and open elections. You can’t become a third-world strongman if people have rights, after all. Which means there’s some creepy pop psych reason for the pocket constitutions and abusing the word “patriot.”

  2. Pingback: US Constitution | American Citizen Rights

  3. Matt Thomas says:

    Until viewing the video I assumed this police incident took place in a small town like maybe Shenandoah?
    Upon learning this took place in Harrisburg leads one to ask a few questions:
    Who vetted this officer as an applicant for the police force?
    Who sanctioned the hiring?
    And who in hell is responsible for the training of officers?
    Has not this city embarrassed the Commonwealth’s citizens enough over a past number of years?

  4. Amy Harbaugh says:

    I think police officer’s should have more training in dealing with people with disabilities for instance when they are arresting them, questioning them etc. They could at least listen to the person that committed the crime’ s family. Our family is already having financial difficulties and with our daughter’s arrest she owes’s thousands in medical bills and tried to commit suicide 6 times this past year. If we are willing to work with her they could at least listen to what I’m saying since I’m supposed to be the victim. We also haven’t been able to get any help for 2 special needs children that we adopted that came forward about someone that holds a position that involves being around children. The school and their counselor’s reported it and there were 2 mistakes on the childline report and I can’t seem to get any help. I did call the state police dept. to let them know that I may need to file a complaint, but I don’t know what kind of mistreatment will happen if I go that route. I’ve also contacted our county’s DA. Any advice or help would be appreciated! Thanks!

    • Matt Thomas says:

      I am not an expert on your particular situation.
      What I can tell you is to put everything in writing and retain copies. In the event you do make an inquiry or complaint verbally (in person or by telephone) follow up with a written letter or note with words like “This is to confirm my conversation with so and so, etc… (write out what you said verbally and the party’s response, if any) and add the date and approximate time of the conversation.
      Best of all is getting a lawyer…check your local telephone book and/or google your area for free legal aid services. These are available across Pennsylvania.
      Good luck.