By Editorial Staff
Published April 28, 1999
By Bridget Hall, Staff Writer, Ocala Star-Banner
OCALA – A federal judge has ruled that the Ocala Police Department cannot refuse to assign special duty officers to the abortion clinic, saying the denial of such officers violates the clinic’s right to equal protection.
That ruling was a temporary injunction that will ensure police protection for the Ocala Women’s Center while it pursues its federal suit against OPD, the city, the county, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the past and current sheriff, and a dozen protesters.
The suit, filed last December, for permanent police protection, damages from local government, and law enforcement, and restrictions on the activities of anti-abortion protesters.
“Getting the police protection is a really, important step. Having the police around there will make the (anti-abortion protesters) behave a lot better, said Roy Lucas, attorney for clinic owner Dr. James Pendergraft. “It’s also a nice, important precedent. It’s the first time this issue’s’ come up, so it’s good to have it on the books:”
Both the police and sheriff’s office allow officers to work special security assignments in addition to their regular hours. The officers are me uniformed, armed and have full arrest powers, but they are paid by the businesses that requested them.
OPD has had special duty officers work at rodeos, restaurants and church carnivals in the past year, but Chief Morrey Deen declined Pendergraft’s requests last year for an officer at the abortion clinic for the two days each week that procedures are performed.
City attorney Pat Gilligan defended Deen’s decision before U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges earlier this month, saying the chief relied on his own discretion in assigning officers. In the case of the abortion clinic, Gilligan said, the presence of a police officer could give the appearance that law enforcement was taking sides in the controversial abortion debate.
In a 19-page ruling dated April 26, Hodges rejected that reasoning saying the special duty program was not being administered in a “non-discriminatory, non-arbitrary manner if assignments were made according to the chief’s “completely undefined and subjective policy.”
Gilligan’s argument that police guarding the clinic might appear to be not neutral, Hodges added, is “wholly irrational.”
“One would suppose, in terms of sound law enforcement objectives, that the greater the likelihood of a public clash of adversaries, the greater the justification for a police presence to maintain peace and good order,” Hodges wrote. “To disapprove the presence of police officers in such a case merely because some members of the public – even a majority of the public – may not like it, is nothing less than a complete abandonment of, law enforcement responsibility.”
“After reviewing the court order, Gilligan said he wished the judge would have taken into account that the clinic receives police protection through other means, including periodic surveillance and security patrols.
“Chief Deen believes that the protection (the clinic) gets should be more low-key, but it has been ongoing and it has been continuous,” Gilligan said. They get more ongoing protection than any other business-in Ocala.
Gilligan said the city and OPD would fully comply with the Court’s order, but that it would be up Deen, Mayor E.L Foster and the city council as to whether they would appeal the judge’s ruling.
Lucas also asked the court to limit anti-abortion protesters’ activities around the clinic, prevent them from copying license plate information or videotaping within 1,500 feet of the clinic, as well as limiting the times, numbers of protesters and signs used in anti-abortion picketing.
The Rev. Ed Martin, an anti-abortion protester named in the suit, said none of the protesters have copied license plate information or harassed patients or staff, although he said he carries a video camera to document that clinic personnel were photographing the protesters.
The judge denied Lucas’ request saying the protesters have acted, within their First Amendment rights and that their words and presence do not constitute a threat of force.
“I’m tickled to death over the ruling,” Martin said. “ We’re just moms and dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, and young people who come out there because we feel abortion is wrong and we want to offer assistance to women going in.”
Lucas said he will appeal this part of the judge’s ruling in the hopes that a higher court will limit the protesters’ activities.
“We’re still very much concerned about the videotaping and photographing of patients and license plates,” Lucas said. “From the patient’s point of view that’s a pretty serious invasion of privacy.”
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)