Kerns, Sellers Statements Update — Dale Kerns Jr. says Park Police Chief Samuel S. Ziviello has said they intend to return his petitions but can’t find them. Chief, you could be looking at some serious legal aggravation if they can’t be found. Kerns also said Ziviello is waiting upon a ruling by their solicitor as to whether they can canvass in the park.
Kerns, Sellers Statements — Here are statements by Dale Kerns Jr. and Patrick Henry Sellers regarding the incident, July 16, in Rose Tree Park in which they petitions they were circulating for Libertarian candidates were confiscated and Kerns was later subject to a car stop and threatened with arrest.
Dale Kerns Jr, Ridley Township Pa.
Dear Chief Samuel S. Ziviello, I am writing to you about a matter that occurred in your jurisdiction very recently involving the Delaware County Park Police, Mario Civera and County Council, and individuals on staff at the Summer Festival and Parks and Recreation. The matter involved an abuse of power, jurisdictional violations, violations of the 1st Amendment rights of individuals and political parties from the State and Federal levels, a violation of Federal Code Chapter 29 Section 529, violation of numerous Supreme Court rulings and the violation of the oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from both officers and County officials.
On Thursday July 15th 2016, while petitioning with several individuals for the office of President, United States Senate, Pennsylvania Attorney General, U.S. Congress, and other offices; I was first approached by Mark Manfre who identified himself as the guy in charge of the division of Parks and Recreation. At that time Mr. Manfre insisted that we leave the property because solicitation was not something that was allowed in the park. It was then that I informed Mr. Manfre that we were exercising our right to free speech and at no time were we selling anything. Mr. Manfre said he knows exactly what we are doing because he also does the same thing on many occasions. After a rather short discussion and my insisting that Mr. Manfre show me the law that says I cannot exercise my right to free speech, Mr. Manfre headed to his office to find out more information. By this time Mr. Manfre had held us up so much that we were not very successful with our collections- the whole operation was compromised.
Upon his return, Mr. Manfre said that he could find no law, and that he spoke to his solicitor. Mr. Manfre informed me that the solicitor agreed, and that he was not to have us removed from the park because it would violate my first amendment rights. It was then that Mr. Manfre wished us luck, told us that he did not agree with us being there but the solicitor gave him legal direction. Mr. Manfre then told me that within the next week he would have a law passed that would keep us from proceeding the next week.
Just two days later on July 17th 2016, after gathering signatures for about an hour with Patrick Henry Sellers, the Libertarian Congressional Candidate, at approximately 6:30 PM we were approached by a female officer with the Delaware County Park Police who referred to herself as the Lieutenant. The Lieutenant said we have to stop what we are doing because there is no political stuff allowed on the Park Grounds. Patrick Sellers and I informed her that we were just exercising our right to free speech, and not soliciting anything of any kind. We also informed her that we had the same approach taken by Mark Manfre just two days prior. She said she had direction from Mario Civera of County Council and Mark Manfre of the Parks and Recreation to have us removed and cited if we did not comply. After the Lieutenant informed us, I offered to show her Supreme Court Precedent that protects our actions under the United States Constitution. The Lieutenant replied that the United States Constitution and the Supreme Court does not sign her paychecks and the County Council does. It was at that point that she said we had to stop collection of signatures, remove any signs that we had on or near our person and any literature or face citations and possibly jail.
At that time, Pat Sellers and I stopped all exercising of rights as we felt that the situation was very threatening. As the Lieutenant pulled away in her vehicle, a second vehicle approached with another officer who identified himself as officer Lasina or Masina as we were packing up. This officer said that we were breaking law, committing a crime, and asked if we had identification. We told him that identification was not on us but in our cars. Pat Sellers and I had not even made it to our cars yet from when the Lieutenant pulled away. The officer then told us to head to our cars.
I then went to my car, and Pat Sellers did the same. I pulled away first, and headed out of the park. When I realized that I did not have all of my clipboards I stopped in the circle to gather everything. The Lieutenant was there and said I was not following orders. When I told her I only wanted my signatures and I was leaving, she said they are now evidence and she was directed to confiscate them. She said to see County Council if I want to know the law and to find out how to get my nomination papers back. At that point, I saw officers pulling over Pat Sellers.
I then went south on 252 towards Chester Pennsylvania. I stopped at Wawa just after the route 1 bypass. I purchased my order to take home for which I have a receipt. Upon leaving the premises of Wawa and heading in the direction of 476 in the route 1 bypass, I was pulled over by the Delaware County Park Police, officers Masina or Lasina and Lieutenant Berkey, another unidentified officer was also on the scene at one point. It was at this time I began to film.
I was told that I was being pulled over for committing a crime, which was solicitation and disorderly conduct. I was told that this stop was a direct order and was at the direction of County Council Chairman Mario Civera. The rest can be found on the footage of the video tapes (which you probably have seen to this point and has had over 30,000 views in the first 24 hours). Additionally, the nomination papers have yet to be returned, even though on the video the officers said they were on their way with them.
Consequently, after the whole ordeal there were no charges, but I am unable to regain my first amendment rights back for that evening, I am unable to undo what was done with respect to the way it appeared we were guilty to over 300 individuals in that park. I also cannot undo the fact that the officers in the Delaware County Park have an allegiance to the Delaware County Council and the Chief of Police before serving under their oath to Protect and Defend the United States and Pennsylvania Constitution. Unfortunately, that latter can only be initiated by you.
I would like to move toward rectifying these matters diplomatically. I would like to have the nomination papers that I circulated returned. I would like to have full faith in the fact that nobody exercising their right to free speech in county parks will have to go through what I went through ever again with respect to the harassment, threats, intimidation, and ignorance of my rights as a free individual. And, I would like to know that the officers that are out there protecting us are not following direct orders from a single person in power instead of the law of the land The United States and Pennsylvania Constitution.
I thank you for your time in this matter and look forward to hearing from you immediately so that we can resolve this matter in a gentleman like fashion.
Patrick Henry Sellers, Libertarian candidate for Congress, 7th District, Pennsylvania.
I can attest that everything Dale Kerns said about what happened in Rose Tree Park on Thursday and Saturday 7/14/16, 7/16/16 is accurate.
I also share Dale’s desire for a quick resolution to this. I am extremely dismayed over the very bad publicity this caused for my campaign and the other candidates on our petitions. How are we now going to change the opinion of all those people who walked by us, me holding my “Sellers for Congress” sign, as the officers probably appeared to be arresting us?