Mark A. Adams was arrested for doing something that thousands of Americans do all the time: speaking at his local government board meeting about property rights.
An online video shows three large police officers restraining Adams and marching him out of a meeting of the Bridgeport Township (Michigan) Board of Supervisors meeting on March 4. Adams’ alleged crime: His presentation to the board exceeded a three-minute rule.
“Since you’ve chosen not to allow me to address my grievances and violate the due process,” Adams said as he was told to be quiet. “I think looking at all the police here I know what your intent is.”
Adams was arrested right after making that remark The Saginaw News reported. Adams attorney, Tom Frank, told the newspaper that his client was jailed and released but he didn’t elaborate.
‘I Have A Right To Redress My Grievances’
Adams and the board of the township a local government in Saginaw County, Michigan, have been in dispute over ordinances for three years. Adams leveled a series of very serious charges against the board in his presentation.
“You’ve ordered the destruction of everything that I built,” Adams said. “… You came for my barbecue grill, my bird feeders.”
He said the township had falsely accused him of living in an ice fishing shanty on land he owns in the jurisdiction.
“You’re making the township a laughing stock,” Adams said. “Who on earth is going to want to locate their business here or try to raise their family in a place that has so little regard for property owners’ rights.
“… I have a right to redress my grievances. But when I come up here for Freedom of Information Act documents, I’m refused. You’ve got a total lockdown on this government, and you don’t want it to go out.”
“Now you’ve succeeded in stealing my property,” Adams said.
He accused the township of violating Michigan’s state constitution and the US Constitution by committing usury and tax fraud.
“You’re engaging in all of these unlawful activities that are leaving the township now vulnerable for a federal takings lawsuit,” Adams said. “You’ve shut down my farming operations. You’re messing with a man’s fishing. And I don’t care where you go on Earth the lowest people on Earth are somebody that would mess with a guy’s fishing.”
This allegation apparently stems from the removal of a fishing dock on Adams’ property.
Three Minute Rule Broken
“Mr. Adams your three minutes is up,” an unidentified board member said. The member asked him to summarize his grievances. “Please sit down.”
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Adams said he had summarized his claims in a document he was handing out. He said he had requested 15 minutes to speak.
“Three minutes? This has been three years of harassment,” Adams said. “This materially affects everybody here.”
“Now you’re going to violate my rights,” Adams said. He appeared to be turning around to sit down when police arrested him.
“This is going on the Internet tonight,” an unidentified voice on the video then said.
Arrested But Not Charged
Police apparently booked Adams but didn’t charge him with any crime, The Saginaw News reported. Bridgeport Township Police Dave Duffett told the paper he had referred the matter to the prosecutor’s office which will make a decision about the charges.
Adams has been escorted out of board meetings on at least two other occasions, Bridgeport Township Manager Rose Licht told The News. This was the first time that Adams was arrested after a meeting.
Licht acknowledged that Adams and the township were in dispute over ordinances but did not elaborate. The News wasn’t able to locate Adams for further comments.
What do you think? Was the man’s arrest warranted? Let us know in the comments below.