An abortion advocate has been arrested for stealing the sign of a pro-life campaigner. The incident took place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after a number of pro-lifers gathered for a demonstration as part of an event sponsored by the “Created Equal” organization.
As is often the case in these situations, emotions were running high and counter-protesters began to confront the pro-lifers. One girl, however, took things a little further than polite dialogue, deciding that it was appropriate to steal the group’s property. Unfortunately for her, she was spotted by a police officer and summarily arrested, but not before being schooled on the protection of first amendment rights.
Dismayed and outraged by the fact that her actions had consequences, the pro-abortion campaigner pleaded with the officer, insisting that she had only “moved” the sign rather than stolen it. She added that the sign “restricts women’s rights,” seemingly attempting to justify her criminal behavior.
But this officer wasn’t having any of it. “You stole his sign,” he said, “you’re not going anywhere.” The cop then rightly explained that the pro-life community should be endowed with the same constitutional rights as anybody else.
“This is a public display,” he said. “They have a right to be here. If you don’t like their speech, you can go away. You don’t have to watch it.”
Then, to the girl’s utter bewilderment, the police officer proceeded to arrest her on a charge of larceny. At this point, the girl realized the seriousness of the situation and began to make excuses. “All I did was walk it over here,” she said. “I was going to give it back to him.”
“I cannot believe this is happening,” she added. “Is there something else I can do?”
“No,” the officer replied. “I just told you you’re under arrest.”
I think it is safe to say that this young woman learned her lesson - you cannot bulldoze someone else’s right to free speech just because you don’t like what they are saying.
It seems like many commenters on the video were keen to express the same sentiment. “The fact people think theft and bodily harm is acceptable when you disagree with someone’s opinion, belief, or moral compass scares me for this country’s future,” one person wrote.
Others commented on the police officer’s swift action. “I commend the officer for being very professional and defending the law,” one user noted. “He took politics out of his job.”
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Maria Oswalt
Video courtesy: Created Equal Films
Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.