Westport is an old, cool KC area of shops and bars. And, apparently, over-zealous cops and security guards.
The rest, with video, at kcfox4.com link below:
Westport Man Wins Fight Over Right to Walk on Public Sidewalk
KANSAS CITY, Mo.— A Westport resident fought the law, and with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, he won after he was arrested and issued a ticket for walking on a public sidewalk.
"Several police officers and security guards came over and said everyone go home, the bars have closed we need you to get off the streets, and off the sidewalks," said Thomas, who says that he walked away like he was told. But he also told officers that he had a right to be on a public sidewalk.
The ACLU represented Thomas in court, saying that his arrest and prosecution violated his constitutional right to move about in public. On Monday, the city prosecutor dismissed the tresspassing charge against Thomas
Cops and guards are there to protect Westport business-owners's property and the "reputation" of the district,
primarily. Money talks, the Bill of Rights walks - property and profit over people's basic rights. Insane.
Funny- I was just thinking about something that happened to me back in the early 70's. I was living in an affluent area of Scottsdale, AZ, and this was a time in which joggers were looked upon as up to no good by police. Anyway I was out jogging/walking one evening after dark, no sidewalks in the area, you apparently were supposed to drive your car everywhere. I had noticed for awhile that whenever I went out I was greeted with barking dogs, people looking out the windows, etc. One night I was stopped by the police who offered me a ride home. I was told to do my walking/jogging in a park someplace and that they didnt want to see me in the area again. I think my 'hippie' appearence had something to do with it.
I think Scottsdale is much more progressive now, but it still rankles that I was told I couldn't walk as a pedestrian on a city street. Surprised this stuff stillhappens. I think it is sort of a class snobbery thing.
'Never stop fighting..never give up'
Kevin Kostner as Eliott Ness in 'The Untouchables'
I am wondering if the police officers/security guards had dealt with something relatively bad/scary before dealing with this guy. I used to go to Westport quite often but I won't go there anymore. It's gotten very scary, IMO. The last few times I was there, on our walk back to find a cab or get our car, we had to walk through hundreds and hundreds of kids just standing on the sidewalks, screaming at each other, and even a few fights broke out. It was very dangerous and I hate to think what would happen if someone just walking by got in the middle of one of those fights.
I'm doubting this is a problem guy. Sure, it's judging from just one TV appearance, but he looks as docile as they come.
Oh, I agree....that definitely wasn't my point, to insinuate that he was in the wrong. I just meant that perhaps the officers had dealt with something serious earlier that night and were at their wits end. Then when this kid told them to calm down, that they just kind of snapped. I'm definitely not saying what they did was right, just kind of wondering what else went on that night.
This guy just had the "nerve" to tell the police that, hey, I'm not doing anything wrong. It's what happens when we let people in authority take away our rights without questioning it.
I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left.
Ft. Lauderdale, College-- many years ago, one could not stand on the streets along the beach. Maybe this is the same thing but I remember walking around, (that was so much fun wearing a string bikini ) and the Ft. Lauderdale LE stopping people if we just stood still on the strip for a second even though it was daylight. It was stupid, as we were going to college right there.
I am glad too when people stand up for their rights. Someone has to do it.