Police Apologize After Driver of Truck with Graphic Abortion Images Ordered to Leave Town
OLATHE, Kansas, April 10, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Chief of Police Janet Thiessen of Olathe, Kansas, has issued a personal apology to Ronald Brock, who was ordered to leave town by Sgt. David Haldeman on Tuesday evening or face arrest. Brock was driving a vehicle with photographs of victims of abortion and victims of the Jewish Holocaust of World War II.
Haldeman has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.
Brock confirmed that he received a personal phone call from Chief Thiessen who apologized to him for the incident.
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman received an e-mail correspondence from Chief Thiessen who informed him that an apology had been made and that her officers would be receiving additional training so incidents like this would not happen again.
Sgt. Haldeman had told Brock in a conversation that Brock recorded that he must, "Leave our city, cover it [the signs] up, or be charged, and if you are charged we are probably going to impound the vehicle. So those are your three choices, but leaving this lot is not going isn’t going to be sufficient in the city of Olathe."
Chief Thiessen told Newman, "I have personally expressed my regret to Mr. Brock, and apologized on behalf of the Olathe Police Department. At times, the line between what is protected free speech and what may be considered obscene can be difficult to distinguish, but it is my responsibility to ensure all Olathe officers clearly understand the law as it is written and correctly apply that law. Based on yesterday’s incident, we have begun providing additional training to all sworn officers to help avoid future incidents of a similar nature."
"We very much appreciate that Chief Thiessen took immediate action to issue an apology and remedy the problem with her officers," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "Violations of the First Amendment are very serious, because it is one of the strongest protections for a free society. We look forward to returning to Olathe with our Truth Trucks and trust that we will be able to conduct our First Amendment activities without further impediment."