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David Benham, pro-life activists are advancing expenses of alleged illegal arrests

David Benham and other pro-life activists filed an amended complaint to their lawsuit against North Carolina officials after they were arrested a year ago.

Recently, an amended lawsuit was filed against a handful of North Carolina officials for the arrest of David Benham and other pro-life activists outside an abortion clinic last year. At the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, Benham and various other sidewalk consultants visited an abortion clinic in Charlotte in 2020 “to try to get mothers seeking an abortion to change their minds”. Shortly after they arrived, they were summoned and arrested by the police.

Handcuffs with key on a fingerprint sheet; Image by Bill Oxford, via Unsplash.com.

The amended lawsuit was filed Monday in the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, against the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg Counties. The Alliance Defending Freedom represents the activists. In recent years, the conservative law firm has “successfully negotiated cases before the US Supreme Court”.

Denise Harle, Senior Counsel at ADF, commenting on the decision to file the rectification suit, saying the decision to do so was “strengthened by the fact that the charges against Benham and the others were later dropped”. Harle added:

“Dropping the charges underscores why this amended complaint should take precedence … What we added in this amended complaint are Claims of the Fourth Amendment based on the Illegal Stop, Illegal Detention and Arrest, the fact that the City and county were dropped on charges against David Benham showing that these arrests were inappropriate. “

She continued:

“The fact that they don’t even prosecute the charges is a pretty straightforward admission that there is nothing there. And that is exactly what we are bringing to the federal court in this amended complaint that these arrests themselves were in violation of the fourth amendment. “

Harle also noted that she “believed that the arrests of Benham and the sidewalk advisors were in violation of the First Amendment and were motivated by a deliberate focus on freedom of speech and hostility to certain religious beliefs … The government is certainly welcome, the public Protect health but if it is “To do this, it must do so in an impartial manner that has a rational basis … What it cannot do is make a law and then unfairly apply it only to select groups of people whose position the government does not share. “

But why were Benham and the other activists arrested? Well, according to the authorities, the “arrests were made in April 2020 because Benham and the others allegedly violated government lockdown orders”. After the incident and throughout the legal process, Benham and the other activists denied any wrongdoing.

The lawsuit alleges that “police were selective in enforcing orders,” noting that “the abortion clinic was filling with customers and numerous people roaming the parks and sidewalks to relax and exercise.” The complaint goes on to say:

“[We] praying on the sidewalk, keeping a safe distance from each other and others, and helping women interested in the important charitable services they offered … Despite the health and safety motives underlying COVID-19 restrictions, government officials cannot and should not selectively enforce them Regulations. They should also prohibit unconstitutional activities that do not endanger public health or safety. “

Sources:

David Benham, pro-life activist, is advancing litigation over “illegal” arrests

“These arrests were inappropriate”: Pro-Life activist David Benham is pushing the lawsuit against NC officials

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