Planned Parenthood Security Assaults Columbus Police Officer at Oct 19 Fundraiser

– On Wednesday, October 19,2011 Mark Harrington of Created Equal along with other central Ohio pro-life advocates held a protest at Planned Parenthood (PP) of Central Ohio’s “Condom Couture 2011” at Shadowbox Live Theater. Sometime after arriving at the Planned Parenthood fundraiser, off duty Columbus Police Officer Jack Addington, who was hired by Planned Parenthood for event security, began harassing demonstrators, which finally resulted in a physical assault against Criminal Information Unit Detective Roger Dickinson.

The following is Mark Harrington’s eyewitness report of the incident:

Our group, Created Equal, arrived at the Shadowbox Live Theater around 5:30PM. Upon arrival, as is my custom, I approached Officer Addington and introduced myself. I informed him that we were law abiding citizens who had come to express our first amendment rights and share the pro-life message with those attending the PP fundraiser. I explained that we would keep the sidewalk free to pedestrians. Officer Addington tersely replied, “You will need to keep moving.”

To this I responded, “With all due respect, that is not the law regarding demonstrations of this nature.” I said, “If that is the law, then you will need to inform the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ demonstrators to ‘keep moving’ and remove the encampment on the sidewalk in front of the state house.”

Officer Addington replied, “This isn’t the state house!”

I said, “This is a public sidewalk and the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters are also on the public sidewalk. Police cannot treat us differently than them. Both groups have the same right to free speech.”

I told him that we would have no problem complying with any lawful order. I asked to see the law or ordinance that compels protesters to ‘keep moving’ when they are on a public sidewalk. Officer Addington angrily said, “Let me prove to you who is in charge here!” I took this to be a physical threat to me and fellow pro-lifers. Because of Officer Addington’s threat, we decided, for the moment, to obey his order to ‘keep moving.’ It was then that we contacted Criminal Information Unit Detective Roger Dickinson.
Detective Dickinson has in the past been helpful in resolving any issues and concerns we have had regarding the law and safety when protesting. Upon receiving our phone call, Detective Dickinson told us to comply with Officer Addington’s order until he arrived on the scene. When Detective Dickinson arrived, he began discussing the issue with Officer Addington. Officer Addington angrily disagreed with Detective Dickinson. The next thing I knew, Officer Addington began to physically assault Detective Dickinson by forcing him into the stairway of the Shaddowbox Theatre and pinning him up against the wall. Several of our members immediately called 911 to report the incident and ask for help. For the next several minutes, Officer Addington continued to physically assault Detective Dickinson. Soon after, the police arrived on the scene. Even after police arrived, Officer Addington continued to assault and shout at Detective Dickinson.

Detective Dickinson behaved professionally during the entire assault and never attempted to resist or defend himself, preferring to continue to ask Officer Addington to stop pushing him.
• See photos of the protest and incident.

In my experience, the vast majority of Columbus Police behave professionally. Ninety-nine percent of the time we receive fair treatment from the police when we express our first amendment rights.

Officer Addington’s behavior does not represent the entire Columbus Police Department. His actions should NOT be used to impugn the entire Columbus Police Department. The Police who responded to our calls for assistance conducted themselves admirably, including and especially Detective Dickinson. However, having said that, Officer Addington should be reprimanded for his actions. An internal investigation is underway.

God only knows what compelled Officer Addington to act violently and behave unprofessionally with one of his fellow officers. –Mark Harrington, Created Equal, Executive Director

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Planned Parenthood Security Assaults Columbus P…, posted with vodpod

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