By Scotty Boman
Editor’s note: This article concerns a Libertarian candidate who was nominated through the primary system. The Michigan Libertarian provides fair coverage of any Libertarian Party of Michigan candidate without endorsing the candidate’s views.
Royal Oak, MI – On the morning of August 23rd Eighth District Congressional Candidate Brian Ellison was arrested the second time for protesting this year’s homicides in Royal Oak, both of which were carried out by police officers. The most recent protest was at the “I Dig Royal Oak” event at the site where the City of Royal Oak plans to build its new City Hall and Police Headquarters. Ellison was holding a sign that read “Free Parking for Corrigan” A reference to Police Chief Corrigan’s failure to pay a large number of parking tickets.
Brian Ellison recorded part of the protest and arrest,
and handed his video camera (or phone) to fellow protesters [ https://www.facebook.com/brian.ellison.9484/videos/274748246584706/ ]. The officers took his sign, arrested him, and confiscated his side-arm. The arresting officer who first challenged Ellison’s right to protest was Al Carter, but another officer’s name was on the citation. Ellison redacted the other name before publishing an image of the ticket. He said that he did so because he thought it was unfair to embarrass an officer that didn’t do anything to him.
The charge was disorderly conduct, but the citation read…
“DEF ORGANIZED A PROTEST AT A PUBLIC EVENT. DEF WAS GIVEN AN AREA TO PROTEST AND WAS WARNED MULTIPLE TIMES TO STAY IN THAT AREA WHILE PROTESTIG. DEF HELD A SIGN AT THE EVENT AS PROTES”
He was released in less than 24 hours under some unusual conditions.
Ellison’s bond was modified in compliance with an emergency motion by Royal Oaks City Attorney David W. Gillam on August 24th . The motion reads…
Wherefore, the people of the City of Royal Oak respectfully request that Defendant’s bond be modified pursuant to MCR 6.106(D) to prohibit Defendant and/or any other person acting on his behalf from coming within fifty feet (50’) of any uniformed police officer, unless Defendant has reasonable cause to believe that he has been the victim of a crime.
The motion took the form of an order signed by Judge Derek W. Meinecke on August 29th.
In response to the broad reach of this order, many people have chosen to defy the order by posting photos of themselves with police and the hash-tag caption “#BrianEllisonSaysHi” Thereby showing themselves to be less than 50 feet from the officer while claiming to do so on Brian Ellison’s behalf. Ellison has posted comments on FB insisting that he is not asking people to do this. He has also posted comments in which he addresses the possibility that he may be forced to break traffic laws to comply with the order, since he would need to keep himself 50 feet away from any uniformed approaching officer.
Since receiving the order he has received multiple traffic tickets in the mail, the validity of which he disputes.
The police haven’t been the only people objecting to Ellison’s activism. After he submitted multiple Freedom of Information Act requests Ellison claims police began harassing he and his wife. After filing a lawsuit against the city Ellison lost his job. The reason given for his dismissal was that his, “outside activities with the city are affecting the company’s business in the city.”
In a related development, on August 1st Livingston County Prosecutor David Leyton (D) ruled that Officer Keith Bierenga was justified in his killing of unarmed motorist Antonino Gordon. On August 16th the Oakland County Prosecutor determined that Officer Ryan Addis was justified in shooting unarmed motorist Cody Reynolds.
Brian Ellison’s campaign page is https://www.ellison4congress.com/
His issue related campaign in Royal Oak is https://www.professionalbully.org/
To help Brian with his legal expenses visit https://www.gofundme.com/60g0wfc