A protester who claims his First Amendment rights were violated is suing police over being arrested outside the home of conservative legal activist Leonard Leo in Maine last summer, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
Eli Durand-McDonnell was arrested last June following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, for protesting outside of conservative legal activist Leonard Leo’s home, according to the AP. Durand-McDonnell filed a federal lawsuit Thursday insisting that he was singled out from a crowd of several protesters by two police officers on Leo’s behest, the AP reported.
Durand-McDonnell was charged with disorderly conduct at the time, however, the charges have since been dropped, the AP reported. (RELATED: Authorities Arrest 180 In France After Violent Protests)
Leo, co-chairman of the conservative legal group The Federalist Society, aided in the selection of Supreme Court nominees during Trump’s administration, and was involved in the planning process of a trip Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito took with billionaire Paul Singer.
Leo’s private security called police on July 31, 2022, to his house in Northeast Harbor, the AP reported. Audio from a police officer’s microphone captured the conversation Leo had with the police, revealing that Leo acknowledged that no protesters were on his property, the AP reported. Footage also captured police being led to Durand-McDonald after Leo singled him out for allegedly cursing at him and his family earlier in the day, according to the AP.
“I think it’s time for us to press some charges,” Leo said.
Durand-McDonnell insists that Maine Law requires an officer to witness the conduct to make a misdemeanor arrest, and that he was exercising his First Amendment rights, according to the AP.
“Lt. Edgecomb and Officer Formby made this illegal and retaliatory arrest to silence Durand-McDonnell’s free speech and at the direct behest of Leo,” according to the lawsuit.
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