Michigan man arrested for taking too much time to talk during a small town board meeting


Man arrested and slammed to ground for taking less than a minute too long to speak.

Man arrested and slammed to ground for taking less than a minute too long to speak.

Raw video of a Bridgeport, Michigan man being arrested on March 4, 2014 for taking too much time to talk during a township board meeting has emerged on Youtube under the anonymous moniker, “Carla Citizen.”  No contact information is available, nor is any information available as to the identity of the man.  There has been no coverage of this arrest anywhere on the Internet.

The individual who posted the video, Carla Citizen, has been responding to Youtube comments.  Regarding why they were videotaping that specific meeting at all, they said:

I was not filming it at his request.  I choose to do this on my own.  As for the comment “that’s what he wanted”,  that was made by another resident that was sitting near me, it was not made by me.  Listen to the difference in the voices.  My only remark is “this is going on the internet tonight”.

Whatever the dispute in question was is not known, but Carla Citizen says:

This video does not show 3 years worth of the battle between him and the township board but it is not out of context.  It shows him speaking before the board and being removed and arrested. The video speaks for itself.

Upon examination of the video one finds a man in the middle of discussing his grievances to the township board, where apparently one only has the opportunity to speak for three minutes.  The man is notified four separate times that his time is up.   He is not notified that if he fails to stop speaking, or to sit down, that he will face arrest.  In the span of 55 seconds the man is notified four times that his time to speak is up, and he is then summarily arrested not complying with the orders of police.  The police interaction with the man by the time of contact, to the time of arrest was exactly four seconds.  The man being arrested is clearly elderly and a four second window to comply with an order is unreasonable.  The man was clearly turning away from the podium to pick up his jacket, and was then manhandled by police.  As he is forced from the meeting by police Carla Citizen says in her summary of the incident that the man was assaulted by police away from the view of the camera:

Once they removed him from the meeting room it sounds as if he was slammed to the floor in the area outside the main room. You can hear it on the video tape. Outside as he was being put into a police vehicle they said he was charged with resisting arrest.

The man is seen on video being led out the door while saying, “Don’t take it so rough.”  A police officer says, “Don’t resist.” and a loud thud is heard.  The man is then heard yelling, “Now I am being abused!  Get this on film!”

Video shows that the meeting was by no means a packed house.  There were more empty chairs than chairs taken by attendees.  It is not unreasonable to question what harm would have come in allowing the man another few minutes to speak.  Put in the proper context Bridgeport is a town with an estimated population between 7,000, and 8,000.  They are not managing billions of dollars and millions of people.  They are a small rural town.

Had the board agreed with the man’s point of view, is there any doubt to if he would have been arrested or not?

If anything it seems the township and the board did this disgruntled citizen the favor of proving his accusations of a heavy handed local government for him on videotape.

 

As of the moment of publication Bridgeport had yet to make public the minutes of the meeting in question.

 

 

The full original text written by Carla Citizen:

 A property owner in Bridgeport, Michigan was addressing his grievances at the monthly township board meeting when he went over the 3 minutes allowed for public comment. The police went to remove him from the meeting and when he didn’t comply in a fast enough manner for them, it sounded like they said he was under arrest for disturbing the peace. When he reached to get his coat is when several officers then grabbed him. Once they removed him from the meeting room it sounds as if he was slammed to the floor in the area outside the main room. You can hear it on the video tape. Outside as he was being put into a police vehicle they said he was charged with resisting arrest. I am not sure if that will be the only charge. He was going to the Saginaw County jail for the night I think and then he would be arraigned the following morning. I have no further news at this time as to the status of his case.

This man has had a 3 year ongoing legal battle with this township board. The Bridgeport Township board has a history of recalls, legal battles, court cases, this is not a one time occurrence for this township.

Lou Colagiovanni is the editor of ruthless-politics.com, National Crime Reporter for Examiner.com, and editor of the political discussion community,”We survived Bush.  You will survive Obama.”  You may contact Lou at lcolagiovanni@consultant.com.