SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned the South Bend Police Department arrested a disabled veteran who was expressing his pro-life beliefs at a public park on Sunday. The officer cited what appeared to be a non-existent city ordinance before placing the 40-year-old father of 8 into handcuffs and carting him off to jail.
Mike Gulley of Mishawaka was part of a small group of 6 or 7 people who were carrying pro-life signage when they were asked to leave the property due to it being a “private event.” While the event was permitted for the annual Rebel Art Fest, it was open to the public with free admission. Video shows Gulley, a 12 year Air Force Veteran, and the rest of the group leaving the park after being asked to exit under threat of arrest. Gully is later standing on the shoulder of the road after following orders to leave the park. He was standing on the side of Wall Street when officers approached him again, telling him to cross the road or he would be arrested for trespassing.
“There’s a city ordinance with the Parks Department that if they have an event that’s sanctioned with over 50 people and people have to pay, like these booths pay…” The officer states before Gully asks him to cite the actual ordinance.
“I don’t know what ordinance it is,” the officer responds.
“I need to ordinance number sir,” Gully says.
“I need you to go across the street or I’m going to arrest you for trespassing,” The officer said.
“You’re going to have to give me the ordinance,” Gully states again.
“Okay, I’ll put it in my arrest report. You’re under arrest,” The officer says as he quickly lunges at Gully who is standing in the road, off of park property.
Video of the group following police orders and leaving the property before the arrest can be seen below.
REAL News Michiana has not been able to find the “ordinance” in which the officer was referencing. However, we did track down an ordinance that states when a permit is or is not required for a “demonstration” — which appears to be a butchered version of what the officer was trying to say.
In that ordinance, folks putting together a demonstration of less than 25 people where attendees do not have to pay to be involved do not need to get a permit. Nobody had to pay to be involved in the demonstration being put on by Gulley and his small group of pro-life activists.
The South Bend Police Department has also historically ignored the ordinance in the past when it has to deal with things involving the LGBTQ community. According to the ordinance, folks involved in a demonstration cannot wear a mask or carry anything that can be reasonably determined to be used as a weapon. In June, a large crowd of LGBTQ protesters blocked a public sidewalk outside of The Well Coffee House during a drag show for children. They carried metal bars, pepper spray and many wore masks. The SBPD did not make any arrests or force the crowd to disperse. One of the transgender activists even called for the murder of Christians during that event.
The entire ordinance can be read below.
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