A ruling from the district court in Charlottesville, Virginia, has tossed a case against a veteran who was swarmed by police and arrested after going shopping downtown.
WND reported John Miska, a disabled vet, was arrested possessing certain items that are banned in a special security area that was established in response to the violence related to an extremist rally that took place on year ago.
Miska had in his possession, some of the banned items when arrested. But he didn’t bring them in.
He bought them while shopping in the zone.
The details come from the Rutherford Institute, which acted on his behalf.
The organization said the court found the ordinance used to justify Miska’s arrest was overly broad and unreasonable, and, therefore, unenforceable.
“This case – in which a dozen police swarmed a disabled veteran with a walker buying cans of iced tea and bug spray from a CVS – is far from the only example of a dysfunctional, excessive government that overreaches, overspends, and is completely out of sync with the spirit of the Constitution,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute. “While this victory is welcome, the battle is far from over.”
It was Aug. 12, 2017, when civil unrest broke out in Charlottesville over the city’s decision to remove a Confederate statue from a public park. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car plowed into a crowd countering the protest.
On the anniversary this year, city officials declared a state of emergency and set special security requirements for the downtown area.
“Using a walker because of his disability, Miska, a 64-year-old disabled war veteran who has been a vocal advocate for veterans’ causes and the First Amendment, entered the security area on August 11, 2018, and proceeded to the Mall’s CVS Pharmacy, which was within a section of the Mall that had been temporarily placed under heightened security restrictions,” Rutherford said.
“Miska purchased two cases of Arizona Iced Tea cans and a package of straight-edge razor blades, among other items. Upon exiting the store, Miska was accosted by a dozen police, who searched the CVS plastic bag containing his purchases.
“Miska was then handcuffed, arrested and charged with violating Section 18-25 of the City Code and a draconian ’emergency’ declaration that prohibited anyone from entering the mall in possession of common household items, including metal beverage and food cans, glass bottles, skateboards, aerosol sprays and any other item police considered an ‘implement of a riot,'” the organization said.
WND reported Miska was facing a fine of up to $250, had the charges not been dropped.