Two brothers arrested for protesting Maryland’s gun control laws filed a lawsuit against the state’s Capitol Police after their release Thursday, claiming police arrested them in “retaliation” for speaking to the media.
Police arrested Jeff and Kevin Hulbert at the Maryland Capitol in Annapolis Feb. 5 after they were asked to leave a public sidewalk, the Capital Gazzette reported Thursday. The two brothers were protesting against recent attempts by the Maryland legislature to enact gun control laws. They claim police wrongfully added additional charges on Feb. 6 after media companies criticized the arrest.
“The day after the arrests, the Chief of the Maryland Capitol Police told the Hulberts that he and his staff had spent ‘all day’ reading the negative news reports and social media coverage his office was receiving,” the suit reads. “After making this remark, the Chief personally informed the Hulberts that they were each being charged with two additional violations of Maryland law.”
The lawsuit also claims Kevin Hulbert was wrongfully arrested for filming his brother’s arrest, according to the Associated Press. Their original Feb. 5 arrest records show charges of failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order. Additional charges of trespassing on public grounds during business hours and preventing the general public from obtaining services were added Feb. 6, according to the Gazzette.
Police claimed Thursday they were unaware of the lawsuit, but said they support everyone’s constitutional rights.
“The Maryland Capitol Police are committed to providing a safe working environment for state employees and visitors that frequent state properties, and to secure buildings that are located on state property,” a police spokesman told the Gazzette. “Ensuring that citizens are able to exercise their constitutional rights is and will always be a top priority.”
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