Big Time Dick Screws An Entire City!

From Holden:

City officials in Evansville, Indiana, are feeling used. Ordered by the Secret Service to erect a 500 foot “no protest zone” around a convention hall where Dick Cheney was to appear in support of Republican Rep. John Hostettler, the Hoosiers thought that the Bush Justice Department would support them when an activist who was arrested for penetrating Cheney’s Cone of Silence sued.

They were wrong.

City officials plan to appeal a federal court ruling that police officers violated a protester’s rights when they arrested him during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney.

City Attorney David Jones said the decision to appeal came after the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to acknowledge the Secret Service mandated a no-protest zone for Cheney’s appearance at a 2002 campaign fund-raiser for Republican Rep. John Hostettler.

The Justice Department had refused to assist the city after the Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit claiming that officers violated environmental activist John Blair’s constitutional rights by arresting him for leaving the protest area.

“It wasn’t fair to put local law enforcement in the position of having to enforce the plan and then not back our Police Department,” Jones said. “The Secret Service left us holding the bag.”

Federal Judge Larry J. McKinney ruled last month that forcing protesters to stay 500 feet away from the only entrance used by those attending the event went beyond what was needed for security.

Officers arrested Blair about 100 feet from the entrance to The Centre convention hall in downtown Evansville. Authorities dropped all charges against Blair two weeks later.

To defend the city in the lawsuit, Jones said he had to rely on a classified document about the Secret Service security plan that was found in a file drawer at a city office.

“It was supposed to be destroyed (after the Cheney visit), but somebody threw it in a file and fortunately we found it,” Jones said. “It’s how we were able to reconstruct the plan that the police had to follow.”