If you recall, back in May, William Baer was arrested after voicing opposition to a school board meeting about a controversial book by Jodi Picoult titled Nineteen Minutes, a story about a school shooting that contained pornographic content. It was also required reading for ninth graders. Now a New Hampshire 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge has blasted the school board for “silencing” him and arresting him, which was a violation of Mr. Baer’s free speech.
Bob Unruh at WND reports:
In dismissing charges against Baer, Judge James M. Carroll said the court “does agree with the defendant’s argument that, often in an official meeting or at the court, for that matter, individuals, from time to time, may be disruptive, but the disruptiveness should not be cause for an arrest in the first instance.”
“The sequence of the arrest actions cause pause by the court as to the chilling, if not silencing of a citizen by the state, for actions which do not warrant a criminal arrest nor conviction. The court finds that the actions for ‘order’ by the state do not ‘balance,’ in the facts of this particular case, the speech rights of the defendant.”
The court also said that Mr. Baer didn’t purposely cause a breach of the peace, and furthermore dismissed the claim that Baer refused to comply with a lawful order of a peace officer.
“The court questions the constitutionality of the state’s action in the sequence as memorialized by the deposition,” the judge wrote.
In other words, the peace officer should have known better and he was actually the one in violation of the law, not Mr. Baer.
Continues on EagleRising