Lt. Dan Choi threatened with arrest in Topeka, Kansas


Lt. Choi’s fundraiser

Video of anti-choice protesters with Governor Brownback carrying large flags

Lt. Dan Choi was in Topeka, Kansas today in support of gay and lesbian rights when Capitol Police officers nearly arrested him outside the state capitol for refusing to surrender his American flag. One witness reports that the police claimed that flags could be used as weapons.

The flags that were referred to as weapons by Topeka Capitol Police

The police threatened to arrest those who would not turn in their American flags. Choi dared the police officers to take his flag.

Police backed down when challenged by Choi and other protesters who claimed their First Amendment rights to express themselves through the American flag. There is video of the incident, as well as photos that I will be obtaining, likely by tomorrow.

Jon Powell, of Hutchison, Kansas and the Kansas Equality Coalition were at the protest and captured video and photographs of the incident.

The protesters did have a permit, issued by the city of Topeka, allowing them to hold their demonstration outside the capitol building. The flags in question were small, parade style flags. No one was arrested.

More to follow…

14 thoughts on “Lt. Dan Choi threatened with arrest in Topeka, Kansas

  1. Look out, he’s got a No.2 pencil!

    OMG, they’ve got nail files!

    I’m sorry sir, you’ll have to get off the streets. You are really built, and if you wanted to throw one of the smaller officers into traffic you could do it, so it’s not safe for you to be allowed outside among people.

    It’s stories like this that make good cops – the ones with common sense who I’m sure were as annoyed as the protesters at being told to claim the flags were potential weapons – look like morons with Napoleon-complexes.

    1. the guy who talked to Obama was an idiot so to have him rreseepnt me and other youth makes my skin crawland with all do respect who ever wrote this article is times have changed thats all i can say .. i want a job, i go out every day looking for a job , every day sure ill find one eventually i don’t let it keep me down i was charged with having pills in my car i wasn’t robbing people i wasn’t hurting any one but my self. with one bad decision, at the time i was in a tech school doing well i was living on my own and was working.then find my self thrown in the system i was offered probation i took it i had a chance to get my record cleaned up.i lost my job when i got out the school dropped me i had to reapply for financial aid and was deniedwell i had 3 drug classes a week in the middle of the day 2 drug test a week at random 1 visit to the PO a month and had a monthly court evaluation, did i mention i had to pay for all this? good you say dose not come out of tax payer money fare enough, but then i had to find a job ok i looked and looked but no one could accommodate my busy schedule , then as the bills for classes and drug test added up when my monthly court visit came up the judge would throw me in jail for 3 days next 5 days then a week purely over the financial aspect well your taxes end up paying for it anyway other than that i was doing well on probation finally 2 years go by i told the judge i cannot find let alone hold a job no one want to hire a 18yo now 20yo kid on probation that has an obligation every other day i was sentenced to a year in prison i did my time finished parole, on a side note other prisoners were constantly pointing what are you doing here your not like us they royally F* you i mean here i am never smoked pot didn’t drink didn’t know what smack was, was in school was workingand now i have a number no rights and am ostracised from my family, over what? a few pills i was taking for anxiety that my mother gave me .im 23 and have my whole life ahead of me i dont want a hand out or a program for felons all i want is a chance and im denied that every day thus farReply

      1. I suspect you may have posted your comment on the wrong blog post – nothing in this article, or my comment, has anything to do with issues of drug possession, imprisonment, the parole/probation system, or the inabilities of felons to acquire work.

        While I of course sympathize with your situation – hopefully when they do start looking at retroactive review of drug convictions, yours will be among the first to be reviewed, since yours is clearly one of the cases that most demonstrates the ludicrous inequity in our justice system – your comment is out of place.

  2. The Capitol police had no problem with flags being used when Brownback was addressing an anti-abortion crowd. People were holding flags on the same stage as Brownback. The “no flag” rule was created simply to disrupt the protest and complaints should be filed for the open discrimination against the protesters.

    Picture of anti-choice protest with Brownback and flags not being confiscated by police:
    http://www.nrlc.org/news_and_views/Jan2011/nv012511part3.html

  3. Dreggs: Lt. Dan Choi is referred to as such because his story broke headlines while he was still an active duty Lt. in the US Army, many of us came to know him as such. After my father’s retirement from the Navy, many who knew him then still refer to him as Chief (or Senior Chief). I do not see how this would be “incorrect” as that person had achieved that title and the use of it is in congruence with a sense of familiarity.

    1. Hardly. It’s a badly written and entirely biased blog post, defaming an American veteran based on minimal information and little grasp of the issue at hand. Hell the blog post thinks the problem was the governor attending a ‘prayer meeting’. And once again they accuse the left of picking and choosing what constitutes free-speech while not bothering to educate themselves remotely on just what the people were exercising their First Amendment rights for.

        1. Ruh roh. I could’ve sworn I double checked that the “All round well written blog post…” was a reply on the “This ain’t hell” link above. I remember because on the downstairs computer the indent wasn’t so obvious per tier. But apparently I goofed, and it wasn’t.

          To quote the Republican front-runner, oops.

          Please consider my comment merely a brief review of the trackback above.

          Thx michaelshatz, for pointing it out. At least I can look mildly less moronic but owning up to the oversight. :)

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