Rochester Area Right To Life
Woodward Dream Cruise Turns into Royal Oak Nightmare for Pro-Lifer
(ANN ARBOR, MI) Imagine yourself out of state, ordered by police to pull over, your vehicle searched and personal property confiscated, and finally your vehicle impounded leaving you stranded on the street, simply because of the pro-life messages you displayed on your vehicle. Thats exactly what happened to Californian Ronald Brock last year in Royal Oak, Michigan, during the Woodward Dream Cruise weekend, turning the worlds largest single day car event into a nightmare for him.
Each August, several cities in southeast Michigan, including the City of Royal Oak, host the Woodward Dream Cruise weekend, which celebrates the cars, music, and memories of "cruising" during the 1950s and 1960s. More than one million people and thousands of customized cars show up for the event.
During last years Dream Cruise weekend, Mr. Brock was driving his motor home on Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak. The sides of his motor home displayed messages and photographs informing the public about his political and religious views against abortion. The display included, Christian Crosses, Bible quotes, and photographs of aborted babies and of the Nazi Holocaust.
Ignoring the customized vehicles displaying spray-painted murals of naked women and men displaying "Show Us Your Tits" signs to women, several Royal Oak police officers in marked cars converged on Mr. Brocks motor home and informed him they were seizing his vehicle in an investigation of obscenity because of the aborted baby photographs.
In an attempt to justify their stop, police tested the lights, brakes, turn signals, and tire treads of the motor home. They searched Mr. Brocks motor home and personal belongings. When Mr. Brock attempted to record the police conversation with his tape recorder, the police seized the recorder. When he attempted to have a citizen photograph the police in action, the police seized his camera. Despite finding no evidence of a crime, the police towed away Mr. Brocks motor home, leaving him stranded on the streets of Royal Oak with a few personal belongings in a duffel bag.
To cover their activities, police sought a warrant from their city attorney, which was appropriately denied. Not satisfied, police sought a warrant from the county prosecutors office, which was also denied.
On August 13, 2002, the Thomas More Law Center filed a lawsuit in United States District Court in Detroit on Mr. Brocks behalf against the City of Royal Oak and others. The Law Center also sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to ensure that Mr. Brock will be able to drive his motor home and display his messages on the public streets of Royal Oak, without government interference, during this years Woodward Dream Cruise weekend, which is August 16-18, 2002.
According to Thomas More Law Center Associate Counsel, Edward White, "The Royal Oak police department wrongly silenced Mr. Brocks speech during last years Woodward Dream Cruise weekend. We are attempting to ensure that this year he will be able to express his messages on the public streets to the same extent that other citizens are permitted to express their own messages."
Source: The Thomas More Law Center
The Thomas More Law Center defends the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through litigation, education, and related activities. The Law Center provides its services at no charge, and depends on individual donations, foundations, and corporations for financial support. The IRS recognizes the Law Center as a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax deductible. You may contact the Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit its website at www.thomasmore.org.
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