Gov’t Officials Deploy 700 Police, Spend $3 Million to Lockdown City Only to Arrest Disabled Veteran for Buying Canned Iced Tea – The Rutherford Institute
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Denouncing a Virginia town’s draconian lockdown measures as a clear example of a dysfunctional, excessive government that overreaches, overspends, and is out of sync with the Constitution, The Rutherford Institute has asked a federal court to hold government officials responsible for adopting costly security protocols lacking in common sense and intended to chill First Amendment activity.
The Rutherford Institute’s actions come in response to a motion filed by the City of Charlottesville to dismiss a Fourth Amendment lawsuit against the City over its August 2018 “state of emergency” lockdown measures. In accordance with the emergency declaration, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies locked down portions of the small college town, deployed 700 police officers—many in riot gear—to patrol portions of the downtown area, restricted the free movement of persons on public streets, and imposed a broad ban on innocuous items such as metal food and beverage containers, aerosol sprays, glass bottles, skateboards, masks and hoods. The Institute’s lawsuit arose after police swarmed a disabled war veteran and arrested him for lawfully purchasing canned iced tea, bug spray, lightbulbs and razor blades, which were banned as part of the city’s pre-emptive measures to discourage civil unrest, all the while allowing him to carry two firearms—which were not among the city’s prohibited items—through a security checkpoint.