|Pro-family activism that makes a difference!|
Criminal charges against pro-life activist Peter D'Attilio thrown out by judge.
Berates prosecutor for pursuing false charges! Civil Rights lawsuit coming up?
ALSO: D'Attilio followed through courthouse by apparent government agent -- even listened to his conversations with lawyer.
POSTED: February 13, 2012
A district court judge threw out the Franklin, MA police department's case against pro-life activist Peter D'Attilio, after sharply challenging the prosecutor regarding validity of the charges. At the hearing on Thursday, Feb. 9, in Wrentham District Court, Judge Stephen Ostrach berated the prosecutor for pursuing what were clearly false charges.
However, the government is apparently so intent on going after Peter that they had someone follow him and listen to his conversations with his attorney at the courthouse (See below).
The arrest: Police harassed and beat up D'Attilio, then stacked the deck with 'witnesses'
Peter D'Attilio was handing out pro-life bookmarks at a Catholic town fair on August 11, 2011 when police stopped him, arrested him, and beat him up so badly that he had a large black eye. He was then charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. [See our full report HERE.]
Peter strongly denies that he resisted arrest or was disorderly in any way. He was never even told to leave the area, and when he tried to leave on his own the police illegally detained him.
During the Aug. 11 incident, the police dispatched a total of 9 officers and staff to the scene to help arrest him. This is consistent, we were told, with a common tactic to make the "crime" appear much more severe. Eventually, if a trial were held, all of those officers would testify the same way, against Peter's word. Basically, as we were told by a veteran of these issues, the police would lie.
Judge confronted prosecutor over huge problems in police report
At the Feb. 9 hearing, the judge first took a few minutes to read the police report. Although the police report had numerous inaccuracies and misstatements in favor of the police, the judge was still able to see that there were serious problems with the charges against Peter.
What happened then was quite surprising. The judge challenged the prosecutor about -- and rebuked him -- on a number of points regarding the charges, including whether there was actually any "disturbing of the peace" and whether any "resisting arrest" legally took place. As the prosecutor attempted to defend the police actions, things just got worse for him. Finally, the judge dismissed the case, to the visible dismay of the prosecutor.
Here's what was said:
(NOTE: Despite numerous inquiries, both the Wrentham District Court and the Norfolk County District Attorney's office have refused to release the name of the prosecutor -- a seemingly trivial piece of information which is clearly part of the public record. Maybe we'll need to file a freedom of information request!)
A great victory: Two factors made a difference
This incident is yet another example of the growing hostility by police against pro-family (and especially pro-life) citizens.
Incidents of illegal harassment and false criminal charges by police against pro-family people have, sadly, become commonplace. On the other hand as we all constantly see "Occupy" activists, homosexual activists, and others on the Left routinely allowed to break laws with impunity in their public protests, demonstrations, and other activities. Police are not only cooperative with these people, but are friendly and supportive.
Two factors made a big difference here. The first is that Peter D'Attilio is calm, non-aggressive, and completely non-violent -- but fearless and committed to the pro-life cause.
The second is Peter's defense attorney, Stephen Foley, who is truly a gem. He often defends brave pro-life activists, including Operation Rescue. But unlike so many lawyers on our side, he is fearless, very smart, and passionate -- and he understands the big picture regarding civil liberties in America.
The next step - a Civil Rights lawsuit against the Franklin police?
What happened to Peter D'Attilio was so horribly egregious and illegal that a true Civil Rights lawsuit against the police is in order, according to legal experts we've talked to. Numerous state and federal laws were violated in this case. This kind of behavior against innocent citizens needs to stop, and unfortunately the only way to do it is to send a strong message to police.
As we've mentioned before, the renowned Thomas More Pro-Life Law Center has indicated that they will sponsor the Civil Rights lawsuit for Peter. We spoke with them on Thursday and they are very excited about getting started -- now that the criminal charges against him have been dismissed.
We will keep you informed on the progress!
Action you can take now:
We were stonewalled several times in our attempt to find out the name of the prosecutor in the Peter D'Attilio case, which would seem to be trivial and is certainly part of the common public record.
STALKED at courthouse: D'Attilio followed during court appearance by apparent government agent -- even listened to his conversations with lawyer.
This story is almost too strange and frightening to be true. But it is -- we saw it for ourselves.
As we've reported previously, pro-life activist Peter D'Attilio was told by the Franklin police (and also the Newton police) that he is on the US Department of Homeland Security's official list of suspected "domestic terrorists." This is absurd. There is no legal or logical reason this. In 2009 the Obama administration published a document revealing their plans to include pro-life activists and others on "terrorist watch lists."
Being trailed at the court house
On Thursday morning, Feb. 9, Peter D'Attilio was in his truck driving to the Wrentham District Courthouse for his hearing. He noticed a car following him closely. It followed him into the parking lot and parked near him. It wasn't an ordinary car. As he walked by it Peter noticed that there were police lights inside the back windows. A man came out and followed Peter into the building and continued to follow him while he was inside.
A bit later a few of us from MassResistance arrived, and Peter pointed out the man. Inside the hallway, we talked with Peter and his lawyer waiting for the hearing to begin. We moved to three different areas. Each time the man followed us and stood several feet away, usually looking into his cell phone.
When the hearing began, he followed us upstairs into the courtroom and sat not far away. He was not called up for anything and appeared to have no business of his own there. After our hearing we walked out of the courtroom, and he followed us out, and apparently assumed we had left the building, but we had lingered in the hallway.
We caught up with him and took some photos, but he looked the other way and did not react. He simply got into his car and drove off. But it was a pretty chilling experience, even for us.
Source: Federal government tracking Peter D'Attilio!
Later that day we got some startling information. A person we know with government security connections made some phone calls for us. A very reliable source who is connected with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), by coincidence, knew about this. He said that the Department of Homeland Security had recently assigned Peter's "case" to the ATF to investigate. He added that Peter's phone is also being tapped. Did the ATF send someone to follow him? He didn't know.
Here are the photos of the man who followed Peter into the building, through the hallways, into the courtroom, and then left immediately after he did, without conducting any apparent business there.
Serious questions need to be answered
Whatever the story is, something is going on and it's terribly wrong in a free society. How many more of us are "suspected terrorists"? (You can be sure that doesn't include the Left or Occupy people.) What kind of police state are we now living in?
There's no question that when the civil rights part of Peter's case begins, this whole things needs to be brought into the light of day and some serious questions answered.