Yesterday, exactly four years after his arrest, Pastor Stephen Joiner was awarded over $10,000 in damages from the City of Columbus for his unlawful arrest during a pro-life demonstration.
On March 30, 2011, Pastor Joiner was arrested by Columbus Police Department Captain Frederick Shelton for simply holding a sign supporting the right to life of unborn children on a public right of way. As justification for his arrest of Pastor Joiner, Captain Shelton cited the City’s parade ordinance, which required “groups” of even one individual to obtain a parade permit prior to engaging in speech on a public sidewalk. The police had also invoked the City’s Handbill Ordinance against other pro-life demonstrators that day.
After a four-year battle in both state and federal courts, Liberty Counsel, in partnership with its close friend and local attorney Stephen Crampton, has vindicated the constitutional rights of Pastor Joiner and succeeded in enhancing the protection for free speech for all citizens in the City of Columbus.
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