Tuesday, April 17, 2012
An anti-abortion advocacy group was awarded the money in a settlement from the state as a result of a federal lawsuit against the state police.
Members of the national anti-abortion group Defend Life rallied Monday morning in Pikesville to mark a $385,000 settlement award it received from the State of Maryland as result of a federal lawsuit. The state settled after the group filed a lawsuit stating that in 2008, Maryland State Police in Harford County illegally arrested 18 anti-abortion protesters from the group, violating their First Amendment rights. "The mass arrest, handcuffing, prolonged detention, jailing, and needless, invasive strip searches of fully peaceable, non-violent pro-life demonstrators by state police was an outrageous suppression of citizens’ fundamental First and Fourth Amendment rights in a traditional public forum," a news release from the group stated. "We…
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Governor O'Malley and Maryland Board of Public Works grant $385,000 out-of-court settlement to Pro-Life protestors in connection with illegal arrests in 2008.
The Maryland Board of Public Works, on which Gov. O'Malley serves, has offered an out-of-court settlement in pro-life protesters' lawsuit against Maryland State Police. The board approved a $385,000 settlement with Defend Life, a grassroots, all-volunteer pro-life activist organization, according to the board of public works agenda and summary. The settlement will be funded through State Insurance Trust Fund. The following is posted under the agenda item for the public works board: The above referenced case arises from the arrest of 17 anti-abortion protesters on August 1, 2008 in Bel Air, Maryland by MDSP Troopers. The protestors were arrested, processed and spent a night in the Harford County Detention Center. The Office of the Attorney …
Monday, August 1, 2011
Anti-Abortion demonstrators were in Bel Air on Friday, but are their signs too offensive?
The 11th Annual Face the Truth Tour, a group of about 30 anti-abortion demonstrators, stopped in Bel Air and other areas near Baltimore on Friday. The tour's demonstrators carry graphic signs depicting aborted fetuses and stop at busy intersections or shopping centers. Patch readers shared their views of the anti-abortion protest signs on Facebook.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Members of a pro-life group challenged their 2008 arrests.
Seven Maryland State police troopers were found on Friday in U.S. District Court to have violated the constitutional rights of protestors in Bel Air in 2008, according to The Baltimore Sun. The same anti-abortion group, Defend Life, settled with Harford County government earlier this year. Members of the Bel Air Police Department were cleared of similar charges earlier this month. The protesters were arrested for "failing to obey a lawful order," but charges from the state were later dropped, according to the Sun. State police violated the protestors' rights to free speech and due process, a federal judge ruled. Damages will now be assessed in a jury trial. For the full article from The Baltimore Sun, click here.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Defend Life settled with Harford County in March.
Charges against three Bel Air Police Department officers, accused of violating First and Fourth Amendment rights of anti-abortion demonstrators in 2008, have been dismissed. The United States District Court for the District of Maryland granted the department’s request for summary judgment on Tuesday. “The court found that there was no evidence that any Bel Air officer arrested anyone or otherwise actively participated in the arrests,” a release from the Local Government Insurance Trust stated. Deputy Chief Armand Dupre, Cpl. Mark Zulauf and Officer D.J. Ravadge were accused of obstructing Defend Life, Inc., a non-profit anti-abortion advocacy group, from exercising their rights to free speech and freedom from unreasonable searches and …