Life Legal Defense Foundation Senior Staff Counsel Allison Aranda was in court yesterday on behalf of Father James Linton, the Anglican priest who was arrested outside of a San Bernardino Planned Parenthood on October 7, 2016. At no time was Father Linton on Planned Parenthood’s property—but that did not stop the abortion facility’s director from calling the police and having Linton taken into custody. When Linton asked the officer why he was being arrested and whether he was on private property, the officer told Linton to “just be cool.” The police allegedly arrested Father Linton for an obscure provision of the trespass law that prohibits interference with a business.
What was Linton doing? He handed a leaflet to a woman as she entered the abortion facility and told her he would pray for her. Apparently, the officers believed that engaging in First Amendment speech on a public sidewalk is now a form of trespass.
Informed with the law—and understanding that “cool” is not a substitute for constitutionally protected rights—Linton contacted Life Legal to fight the charges.
“On more than one occasion, my arresting officer told me that I hadn’t ‘been cool,’ and if I would have ‘been cool,’ he would not have arrested me,” said Father Linton. “I have a short list of ambitions in life. Being ‘cool’ in the midst of a culture that murders the unborn is not on my list of ambitions.”
Full story at Christian Newswire.