Libertarian Petitions Confiscated In Delco

Libertarian Petitions Confiscated In Delco — In an exceedingly boneheaded move, Saturday evening (July 16), Delaware County Park Police stopped Libertarians from circulating petitions for 7th District congressional candidate Patrick Henry Sellers in the county’s Rose Tree Park in Upper Providence. Police confiscated the petitions and later chased down the circulators with intent to cite them for disorderly conduct. Libertarian Petitions Confiscated In Delco

“I was asked to leave the park and complied,” said Dale Kerns.  “I went to (the nearby) Wawa. After leaving Wawa on 252 by the Route 1 bypass, the Park Police pulled me over outside their jurisdiction on Route 1 heading toward the Blue Route.”

The encounter shortly before 8 p.m. was recorded by Kerns. One of the  officers says the action was taken at the behest of County Council member Mario Civera just after explaining why the citation is being issued.

Tough break, kid. You are young and there are many other police departments in the nation.

Solicitation is prohibited in county parks albeit this is generally understood to be for commercial matters and not for things like collecting signatures for candidate petitions.

Regardless, that the petitions were confiscated is drastically overstepping all reasonable bounds of law enforcement.

At least American law enforcement.

Kerns says that police ultimately decided not to file the criminal citations but they have yet to return his petitions with the names he collected.

He says he has been in contact with a civil rights attorney.

Among those with whom Sellers will be contending this fall — assuming he gets enough signatures to get on the ballot — will be GOP incumbent Pat Meehan.

I plan on voting for Meehan, but then I planned on voting for him in the primary too.

He doesn’t make it easy.

Here is Kerns video. You can see  why.

Libertarian Petitions Confiscated

17 thoughts on “Libertarian Petitions Confiscated In Delco”

  1. If no solicitation is an ordinance, then they shouldn’t have been there collecting signatures. I am not surprised this happened because sometimes there are people who look for trouble. IMO the police officers were very respectful, did what they were told to do, and explained that the matter would be taken up with the solicitor and if no citations should have been issued, they’d be withdrawn. IMO the person who was gathering the signatures was well aware of the rule and did it anyway to see what would happen.

    1. The Delaware County Park Police have always been a heavy handed bunch. It’s as though they were trained by the Gestopo.

      1. That entire encounter was not heavy handed. The person with the issue was treated at all times with respect and courtesy. I’m not sure what part of it you think was heavy handed. I also suspect that those out getting the signatures knew exactly what the ordinance was and were looking to get some publicity. And they succeeded. And all will forget about it by tomorrow.

        1. “And all will forget about it by tomorrow.”
          You will forget it, but you probably have forgotten Buchenwald and
          Dachau. We don’t need storm troopers in Delaware County.

    2. The legal definition of solicitation is limited to commercial transactions or appeals for donations. Gathering signatures on petitions in public parks is a first amendment right with a lot of case law to back it up. These police should be well aware of that. Perhaps that is why they failed to issue citations. There was no law they could cite. So, they settled for harassment and intimidation under color of law.

      1. The younger cop said they were going to issue citations and if the county solicitor said they were issued in error, they’d be rescinded. I really didn’t see anybody acting in a harassing or intimidating manner.

    3. Collecting signatures for political petitions is protected under the First Amendment, and the First Amendment trumps local ordinances. These police were clearly ignorant of the law, but as they like to say ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  2. The petitioner went through this two nights prior, was told by parks and recreation no such ordinance existed. Parks and recreation was advised by the solicitor not to tell us to leave because it was a 1st amendment violation.

    That being said, when the officers were offered to be shown court rulings, precedent, they refused saying “county council signs my checks not the supreme court”.

    Furthermore, the petitioner complied and left the grounds. After leaving the offucers were instructed to leave their jurisdiction to find the petitioner at a nearby Wawa.

    The officers were forced to commit crimes. They had an option but chose not to take an alternate option. I imagine due to their jobs being on the line, so I can understand the predicament Mario Civera pit them in.

    The GOP in DELCO makes rules up as they go. Every year they have political speeches in that park. They collect signatures in that park. And yes they hold fundraisers-solicitation.

  3. Well you neglected to record the whole encounter then. I would just like to say that in light of what has happened today in Baton Rouge, your petitions are of no import whatsoever. Your timing in trying to bash the police comes on a very bad day when no one is going to feel sorry for you. The police, per YOUR recording, treated you with courtesy and respect. Meantime 3 police officers in Louisiana were gunned down in cold blood while you were trying to prove your point. Nobody cares about your point today.

    1. Nobody is bashing police, in fact the bashing is of County Councilman Mario Civera. That is where the ultimate problem lies. The officers could just use a little education in law, precedent, and civil liberties. The officers and I had very peaceful dialect, which can be seen in the final video.

  4. Well, referring to them as being trained by the Gestapo constitutes bashing in my mind. Your encounter was very peaceful which is why I guess I’m put off by the headline. To me it seemed a non-issue.

  5. Furthermore, Baton Rouge or anywhere else has zero to do with this particular situation. All individuals involved are different than the ones in Baton Rouge, and the scenario is completely different.

  6. It was a very bad day for anyone on any thread to refer to the police the way they were referred to on this one.

    1. Some said good things some said bad- you will have this.
      Nobody can nor should control the way another thinks or expresses.

      Met with the Chief today too, very nice man. He seems to want to work this out and do right by it.

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