Dad walking baby and praying threatened with arrest

Dad walking baby and praying threatened with arrest

As I type this now, I still find it hard to believe. But then I’ve been to pro-life demonstrations before and have seen with my own eyes that the laws of our nation can be suspended when pro-lifers (and marriage defenders) are involved. Check out this video.

This dad was walking on a public sidewalk with his infant daughter asleep in the stroller and because he took out a book to pray to himself, he was stopped by police, questioned (including about the content of his prayer!) and then told that he had to stop or be arrested.

It should be noted that this occurred in Aurora, Illinois, the location of a very contentious public dispute over a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. This gentleman and his wife have been among the demonstrators outside the clinic, although on this day, the dad was not part of the demonstration outside the area of the protest, and the mom was simply praying and looking for an opportunity to talk to any woman who might be considering an abortion.

I have to admit that the dad handled the situation with more aplomb and calm than I might have. And, I do understand that there are circumstances in which constitutional rights can be ... is “held in abeyance” the right phrase? ... for the sake of public order and safety. But watch the video and tell me that this is the case. Then go to this post at the Catholic Dads blog and read the background material. And then tell me that this isn’t a travesty and trampling of the Constitution.

  • Something’s fishy here.  Or missing from the story.  Was it the baby’s presence near the protest that caused the police to react out of concern for a baby at a protest?  Or were they concerned that it wasn’t a baby in the stroller at all but a bomb?  Radical Christians have been known to bomb abortion clinics.  In either case, a reasonable stop and questioning seems appropriate to me, and constitutionally permissible.  I just don’t get the rest of it.

    He’s a known protester, who has in the past protested at that same location, today wearing an ant-abortion sign on him, while walking and praying with his baby (some distance from his home)close to a designated protest area.  The cops thought he was too close, but I don’t see why.  I’ve never participated in a protest, but I have seen protesters kept behind barricades.  It sounds like the police reasonably believed he was a protester, engaged in the act of protesting, outside the designated protest area.  Did they offer him the opportunity to move into a designated area?  The guy’s statements seems to be purposefully obfuscating to me.  But it’s hard to tell.

  • Yes, I’m sure.  I’m not biased against pro-lifers.  I’m actually biased against cops.  I admit that I just don’t usually give them the benefit of the doubt.  And I’m thankful they didn’t taze the baby.  Here, we only have one side of the story.  The man’s side.  It sounds fishy to me.  Why weren’t the other protesters threatened with arrest?  I suspect, though I do not know, that there are protocals for protesting and the others were following them but he was not.  He claims he wasn’t “part of the protest” (THAT day), but it seems the cops reasonably thought otherwise.

    Who in the world wouldn’t ask what law he was violating if he truly believed he was behaving within the confines of the law?  Fishy.

  • I took my children to picket outside child killing centers since they were about 6 weeks old.  Most of my friends brought their children too.  Although I have been arrested, it was certainly not out of concern for children.

    The cops sometimes choose to harass those helping to save children from execution and never interfere when pro life people are being attacked by child killing supporters.