Nashille: A college student is suing the Nashville Church of Scientology, a security company and three off-duty Spring Hill police officers for $6 million. Thomas Parker said he was knocked to the ground, handcuffed and arrested, for nothing more than attempting to peacefully protest.
The Church of Scientology's grand opening turned into a grand mess when hired security arrested protesters. It would have been a he-said, she-said -- except that it was all caught on tape.
Parker was on his way to protest the grand opening. He was still blocks away when security guards cut off him and his group. Three off-duty officers working for Hayes Security and hired by the church took down Parker, handcuffed and arrested him.
The church had taken out permits to block the street for the wrong day.
Parker, through his attorney, Nathaniel Koenig, is suing all of the above-mentioned parties.
"I'm just hoping that right will be done," Parker said.
Brian Fesler, a Church of Scientology representative, said the group had threatened the church in the past.
WSMV: Protester Sues Church Of Scientology [video report WSMV site]
WSMV News4 broadcast October 30th 2009 ~ College Student Says Peaceful Protest Intent Led To Arrest. Also, audio commentary from Elby 'chuckles' Nonamous can be heard in the background.
Some Other Points Not Mentioned:
Over at WWP, a thread entry lists a lot of what went wrong that day:
The degree of *uckup by Hayes guards and Scientology in this case is staggering.
• wrong day on permit, thus closing down a state highway without proper permit
• place of arrest outside permit area
• abysmal conflict handling skills
• arresting when 44 trying to leave
• excessive force
• lying to public works
• lying in the police
• off duty officers not checked in with Nashville police
• guards/officers not properly identified
• interrogating the arrested person in an improper fashion, in public view
• arrest happening in full view of both CoS executives and Hayes executives
• high possibility that the CoS gave Hayes hysterical information about Anonymous that they knew was misleading
• lying to the press for a while, before lawyers told them to shut up
Even one of these things on its own is bad enough. Taken together, you have the biggest cluster*uck I've ever seen made of a protest, except for those where people actually got killed. This is easily worse than that bike activist who got tackled in New York, and that was national news for months.
Raw Footage Of Protester's Arrest/Assault
See video's more info [right column] for complete story and links to documents.
Edit: Also, be sure and Digg.