Sunday, March 23, 2014

Man charged with felony for speaking for longer than three minutes at township board meeting

A man in Saginaw County, Michigan is facing a felony charge after being arrested at a township board meeting on March 4, for going over his allotted speaking time. Mark A. Adams, 59, has been charged with a felony resisting and obstructing police and a disturbing the peace misdemeanor.

Adams was pulled from the podium by several officers and arrested after exceeding the public comment time limit of three minutes, addressing several issues he has with his local government. Township supervisor Augie Tausend asked Adams to summarise his comments after four minutes and to sit down several times.

Tausend says it’s not the first time they’ve had issues with Adams, saying they’ve asked him to sit down at meetings before, but this time was different. Adams says the arrest was pre-planned. Tausend denies that, saying two new officers were at the meeting being sworn in and the others were there to watch.

YouTube link.

Though public comment guidelines are clearly laid out and posted on the building where the meeting was held, Adams says his rights were violated. “Freedom of speech doesn’t have a time limitation, there’s no time limitation when you talk about our constitutional freedoms,” he said.

With two additional follow-up videos.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find this sort of thing very scary. Sure I agree that if it says three minutes then don't abuse it, but come on! I think five minutes would be more acceptable. It's like some weird Science fiction movie. This could be the future. Arresting someone for this is stupid.