Occupy MN: Melissa Hill sues Sheriff Richard Stanek over trespassing arrest

Categories: Protest News
melissa hill mug.jpg
The booking photo from Occupy MN's first arrest.
Just a week into the Occupy MN demonstrations at Hennepin County Government Plaza, the movement got its first arrest. Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies hauled away Melissa Hill, a well-known local activist and the founder of the anti-Sheriff Richard Stanek Facebook page "Kitten for Sheriff."

While the arrest was an important footnote for the movement's history, it was also a violation of her constitutional rights, according to a new lawsuit filed against Sheriff Stanek, Hennepin County, and the officers involved in the incident.

On October 13, while at an Occupy MN event, Hill was given a notice of trespass by a security officer, barring her from the Government Center plaza, building, parking lot, and other property. According to the lawsuit, no reason was given for the arrest, though it may have had something to do with the political slogans Hill had written on the plaza in chalk.

Two days later, Hill was standing on the sidewalk just outside of the plaza during a tent-building action. She was there as a "legal observer" and was standing far away from the main action of the protest. About an hour into the demonstration, she was approached by Hennepin County security officers and told that she was violating her trespassing order. They were joined soon after by a sheriff's deputy. Watch the arrest go down below:

Attorney Jordan Kushner says that Hill saw Sheriff Stanek watching her from his SUV before she was arrested. He argues that both her original trespass order and arrest were unconstitutional.

"She was arrested and put in jail for no reason but for retaliation by the sheriff for being a political activist," says Kushner.

Hennepin County Sheriff's spokeswoman Lisa Kiava says she cannot comment on pending litigation.

Read the whole lawsuit here.

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23 comments
Aveda
Aveda

Her roots are showing...

Bitme
Bitme

She was previously cited for trespassing, and at event she was told she was in violation before she was arrested. Sounds like she got what she wanted. Too bad she has no other point to make other than complaining about the very treatment she is requesting. Occupy groups really need to learn a new song.

nickmeister
nickmeister

Ron Paul would not stand for this kind of abuse of power!

RonPaulRETWEET
RonPaulRETWEET

We have this all taken care of guys... YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME!  Get off the damn street and VOTE FOR RON PAUL - SPREAD THE WORD OF RON PAUL! He is OUR only hope!

Stephansonprop
Stephansonprop

Ms. Hill should find a job and be a productive part of this country OR just move to Canada.

novenator
novenator

She should. Her arrest is literally political persecution. Out of hundreds of people that were adding chalk art to the People's Plaza, the Sheriff singled her out because she is a critic of his. Without due process she was arbitrarily banned from Hennepin County (ie. The People's) Plaza for a year based on his wanting to silence her.

THEN, he ordered her arrest for being on a CITY sidewalk next to the People's Plaza during our first tent action (we set up protest tents which the deputies destroyed in a 1am raid right after the press left). I was there. I saw the whole thing.

Even if you disagree with her message, you have to admit that the political suppression of dissent like this is dangerous. It puts us on par with Soviet Russia, China, and Iran.

Randell
Randell

Well, first, I think that since she had not been read her rights they are in the wrong.  But hey, I am just a guy that thinks that fair treatment and correct behavior by one and all should be beaten into those that abuse their authority.

ZangKoo2
ZangKoo2

lol, bring in the bottom feeding, blood sucking attorneys lol.www.Total-Privacy dot US

Scoops
Scoops

Stanek is such a racist, self serving piece of garbage. Hey Stanek, why dont you make another "training" (campaign) video with 30,000 dollars of tax payer money about how awesome you are and how you personally saved all of the 35W bridge collapse victims. http://minnesota.publicradio.o...

Stevelydon
Stevelydon

Commence the nation wide beat down on the stinky protesters. For I'm Sheriff Bob Fletcher, oops, I'm not the sheriff anymore. I'll  just go beat my wife.  

Tkelly17
Tkelly17

Without a doubt her arrest was illegal. Legal behavior by law enforcement is clearly not something they concern themselves with these days. That's been demonstrated over and over, across the country, at Occupy demonstrations.

Pigs are people too?
Pigs are people too?

The security guard talking looks like a giant penis with sunglasses. We all now those "security guards" are just hired thugs by the city.

Troy
Troy

Now let's turn all this attention into POSITIVE attention instead of gawking, 'I can't believe they are willing to do that' attention by doing something other than be conspicuously A) arrested in public B) standing there in public.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

I actually kinda admire her, if you can believe that. Might not agree with the movement, but appreciate the passion. Maybe I'm coming around on this, haha

naturesgood
naturesgood

She has a job, oh uninformed one. Quit running your mouth before checking the facts.

noonecaresanymore
noonecaresanymore

Really? on "Par with Soviet Russia, China, and Iran" have you seen how they treat protest in those countries? Cause im pretty sure we havent shot anybody or imprisoned them for years. 

Idiots like you that say the US is just like those countries are about 85% of whats wrong with society. Lack of education and common sense + arm chair activist + out of work bums wanting handouts = OWS. 

noonecaresanymore
noonecaresanymore

What credentials do you have that allow you to say "Without a doubt"? Just curious as these comment sections for these articles seem to be full of "experts" and "lawyers". 

I wonder who is running all the frivolous lawsuits in the courts if all the "experts" are here commenting on something that should have died months ago but you idiots keep feeding into it.

The__ghost
The__ghost

You are being just as much of a bully and a$$ as the police officer who arrested Melissa Hill. If you listen to the video instead of jumping to conclusions you will hear that the security guard just came over warn her again that she is not allowed on the property - at no time did he try to arrest her. 

Andyt
Andyt

If you do just a little research on the reasons for the "movement", I think you'll join us,,,,,and welcome!

novenator
novenator

You do understand that the United States of America has BY FAR the largest incarceration rate in the world, don't you?  We surpassed Russia, China, and Iran years ago thanks to authoritarian conservatism.  The authorities here are too smart to kill people though (except Kent State years ago).  They are more insidious than that, as is their propaganda.

Jtveit
Jtveit

If you don't believe America is turning into a fascist communist dictatorship check out the 10 planks of communism meant to determine if a country is already communist. http://www.libertyzone.com/Com...

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