KCFL

Project LPPPA Notable Incident Reports

Use the Back button on your browser to return to the Incident Report list.

The KANSAS COALITION FOR LIFE, Project Love, Prayer, and Persistent Political Action
5575 South Mosley Street, Wichita, KS 67216-3631      PHONE: (316) 522-8866      FAX: (316) 522-8833
INCIDENT REPORT:        Mark S. Gietzen
 
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Shift Start:Shift End:
12:01 AM8:45 AM
  After Ed Grob took his tent down and left around midnight, I climbed into my tent, which Terry Read had set up, being careful to comply with City Code 10.04.130. I made sure that it in no way blocked the sidewalk, (…the one on the west side of Bleckley Street that no one uses).

At 2:02 am, as expected, the police arrived. An officer, whose name I did not get, yelled in an intimidating voice, that I should get up and leave, or be arrested and taken to jail for vagrancy. I poked my head out of the back vent, and asked politely what ordinance I was being arrested under. The officer said that I would find out later in jail if I did not leave immediately. I happened to have my copy of 10.04.130, an ordinance against obstruction of streets and sidewalks, with me, and I showed it to him, telling him that I was on the phone much of the afternoon with the City Law Department, on behalf of Ed's right to set up a tent here. He took a look at 10.04.130 and said "No, not that one!"

His partner said that he would also issue a ticket for my parking in a no parking zone. I said that I could not stop him from writing the ticket, but that I was not illegally parked beside my tent. I explained the arrows and sign to them but both officers disagreed with my interpretation of the NO PARKING Sign. I accepted the ticket and said that I would set it for court, first thing in the morning.

Since I would not agree to leave, but rather simply asked for the ordinance which prevented me from being there, they called a Police Supervisor. The supervisor came and they went into a conference meeting, sitting in one car and using their cell phones and computer. I took off my shoes and climbed back in the tent and went back to bed.

Then at about 2:22 am, the belligerent officer shined his light into my vent hole, and I opened it to talk to him. He handed me a note with the ordinance 5.66.030 written on it. He said, here's the ordinance, but we are not going to arrest you tonight, because the wording is a bit ambiguous.

I took the note and thanked him and said "Good night." The officer then said: "Oh, by the way, do you have that parking ticket?" I said, "Sure, right here!" He said, "Why don't you give that back to me. I have been thinking about what you said and I can see how you could be confused by the signage." Trying not to sound cocky, yet glad to get rid of the ticket, I said: "Sir, I am not confused whatsoever by the NO PARKING Sign." He took the ticket and left.

By the grace of God, following several days and nights of extreme heat, we had a cold front move through Wichita, and the temperature dropped 20 degrees. It was cool enough that I felt most comfortable inside of the sleeping bag.

Without an alarm to get me up for a run at 4:44 am, and with no telephone ringing, I slept in like a lazy man until Terry and Ed woke me up at 7:05 am. It was the best sleep I had in a long time, but I missed my morning run and exercise routine.

By the time I got up, Terry, Ed, Jeff, and others were here, and they had the Crosses set without any help from me. All I did was disassemble my tent which Terry had set up better than I have ever been able to do on my own, and went to work.

Valid XHTML 1.1 Valid CSS

Copyright © 2004-2018 The Kansas Coalition for Life. All Rights Reserved.
This site has been viewed 9022 times and was generated in 0.02 seconds.