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The Price I Paid for Fighting for a Library Free of Porn and Sex Offenders

When did "To Protect and Serve" become "To Harass and Punish?" My experience with police harassment coming soon to communities near you...

by
Megan Fox

Bio

January 6, 2014 - 3:00 pm
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police-militarized1

I’ll never forget watching the manhunt for one teenager after the Boston bombing while militarized storm trooper police raided neighborhoods and dragged people (some of them nearly naked) from their homes with their hands over their heads without warrants. The idea that our police drive armored tanks down suburban streets with gun turrets carrying weapons that not even Saddam Hussein owned made me far more terrified than the idea of a lone bomber on the loose. Watching my fellow Americans be ripped out of their homes without cause and forced to run down the street without looking back while police invaded their lives and privacy was chilling. This was all in the name of safety. I remember at the time I thought, “Oh, the lawsuits are going to be expensive!” but I don’t think anyone sued, or if they did, no one cared enough to report it. It was the definition of illegal search and seizure on television! But instead of outrage, the television was covered in people so thankful to the police for their heroic actions in finding one wounded teen hiding in a boat. (Who, by the way, was actually found by a guy who looked into his backyard and noticed something odd. The tanks and the hysterics didn’t contribute one iota to finding the bomber. Just an alert citizen.)

Since then, I’ve noticed more stories about the militarization of local police and harassment of citizens happening at an alarming rate across this country. Salinas, California just got an armored police vehicle which is disturbing its residents. They don’t understand why their police need such a thing in such a little town. Places like Boulder, Colorado and Preston, Idaho also received these vehicles, disturbing their inhabitants too. Stories of police acting above the law, searching without warrants and abusing their power are on the rise also. There are videos all over YouTube of concealed weapons permit holders being forced to the ground and threatened with a bullet to the head over a legally carried weapon by officers too caught up in their own power to abide by the law. It’s a frightening time to be a private citizen. The government power has reached epic levels and the bloat is infecting even small municipalities and villages.

If you don’t think it could happen to you, let me give you a personal example of what’s been happening to me for the last three months as I contend with a local police force that’s been used as a harassment tool by local elected officials on the library board, of all things.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I'm a bit conflicted here.

Taken as completely true (I have no reason to dispute these facts as presented at this moment nor do I possess a single fact that suggest anything else), this represents a pattern and practice of harassment and attempts at false arrest and malicious prosecution by state actors...who are acting in concert in order to deprive a citizen of her constitutionally protected federal rights.

This could amount to a violation of USC SECTION 1983 and other concurrent state laws as well.

There are civil rights attorneys who take these cases and there is a provision in that same code for the prevailing plaintiff to obtain attorneys fees and costs.

My personal conflict comes in the manner of personal knowledge of family members of some of these people named. If this is the same McCarthy ( he may not be), he took a bullet protecting Ronald Reagan and I knew his father, an an extremely nice man. George Wendt is also an extremely nice man.

While there may have been a way to address the issue that didn't antagonize at the outset, that simply does not excuse or give license to abuse a citizen's clearly mandated rights to protest unseemly and illegal behavior.

Ms. Fox has a claim and Tim is a good enough man to handle this in a way that would do his father proud. He should reach out to Ms. Fox and offer to mediate this claim, finding a solution that has honor ...as soon as humanly possible.

She is owed an apology. And justice.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're a hero, Megan! Keep fighting the good fight to protect women and children from public pervs. Apparently the men in your community are content to let a woman fight this battle. Sad commentary on our culture all the way around.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks. Yes, my next step is to force the police department to create a record of the disorderly conduct made against me by the board members and their attorney. If they can get reports on me, surely I should be able to get reports on them.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (53)
All Comments   (53)
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It might work, Ms. Fox. I wrote to my Attorney General in Minnesota last year, and they responded very quickly.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find it very interesting that the name of the library director is "Weimar". Because as I read this piece, it seems to me that Megan is experiencing the Weimar Republic80+ years after it was suppressing dissent in Germany, just before the Nazis came to power.

Megan, keep up the fight. I don't get where the ACLU, the ACLJ and any other so-called "civil rights" groups get off not standing by you. Moms who take their kids to public libraries have every right to expect a safe and congenial environment, in which will engender a love of libraries and reading in her children. Instead, they see porn, men aroused by watching it and no doubt, leering at either the children or their parent. God help us.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Simple solution here:

1) video/photograph the inappropriate behavior (if you can, have friends/family do same) at a time when children are likely to use the library (bonus if you get photo of children in the library while said activities are taking place).

2) FIle lawsuit for violation of CIPA (Chidlren's Internet Protection Act). It was passed in 2000 and specifically requires public schools and libraries to use an internet safety policy that among other things must address childreen's access to inappropriate matter on the internet. Even better if you name names in the lawsuit; organizations tend to feel nothing, individuals however are exquisitely sensitive to financial butt-hurt.

There may be other relevant laws to consider as well. The key to all of it is to name names! organizations feel no pain, people do.


14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dave Savini of CBS (I think) proved that your number 1 idea won't work. He did an expose with video of all the hardcore porn going on in the Harold Washington Library. No one cared enough to stop it. It is still going on. The American Library Association threatens to sue any library that puts filters on the computers. Your second idea, although a good one, is misinformed. CIPA only requires libraries and schools who take federal E-rate grants to filter computers. If you don't take the grant (and OPPL doesn't) you are not in violation of the law and thus can have unfiltered computer access. The reason that CIPA is important here though is that the Supreme Court decided that filters DO NOT violate the 1st amendment. This is what OPPL continues to lie to the public along with the ALA...they keep saying filters are a violation of the First Amendment. They are wrong. The Supreme Court says so. But there is no recourse with lawsuits citing CIPA.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ms. Fox, Your situation is beyond appalling!

It does seem to me unlikely you’ll be able to accomplish much if you continue as the Lone Ranger here, and it’s my opinion that you are putting yourself and your family at risk as well. IMHO, you need to enlist the help of some big-time legal gun(s) and fast. Here’s a possibility for you to consider:

The Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor has a "Request for Legal Help" form on their web site.

They describe themselves as “the Christian response to the ACLU.” Your situation sounds like something right up their alley and I would think you have little to lose by filling one out. It appears they maintain a registry of pro bono attorneys, so at worst, they could probably be a good source for a referral. Please do yourself a favor and browse their site.



14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is an incredible story of "bureaucrats gone wild" - a rapidly increasing problem from what I can tell during occasional interactions over the years.

I must admit that I had a hard time fully getting my head around the men watching porn in a public library UNTIL I witnessed the SAME thing over Xmas! Looking for a place to hide during family Xmas shopping - I ducked into the local branch of our Public Library (in Edmonton AB) and was checking my email when one of the staff came over to the rather scuzzy fellow in the cubicle beside me to tell him that he was being EJECTED. He has been viewing porn (how is this possible with all the filters I don't know) all the time he was beside me - and a couple of others notified staff.

Of course it was the only male who worked there who was tasked with this task - probably the only reason they keep one on temp staff - as the place is over-run with women librarians - eve though a large part of their "customers" seem to be down-on-their-luck/homeless men.

This article immediately came to mind -so thank-you for keeping us all up-to-date.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Okay, this arrticle caught my eye and so i did some digging. I'm shocked by what's been going on here. This woman, Megan, complained about what she saw happening and instead of responding to her appropriately the library called the police and tried to have her arrested! When she would not shut up like they wanted these people called the cops on her some more. This is a civil rights issue at this point. Police being used as thugs to scare off this woman can't be tolerated. What can we do to help you Megan? I belong to a group at school that has an action committee and I want to help.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Megan, have you brought your story to the local press? I bet THEY would be interested in this story. It's stunning that a library board could act in such a despicable manner and use the police as their private harassment force. Just stunning!
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
No disrespect but I lost faith in "the press" long ago. Seems to me their agenda would be to side with the porn viewers and the pedophiles, not with a soccer mom in the suburbs. I think the press see Megan as a suburban Sara Palin and want to help the people who are attacking her, not help her. Just my take on it. Wish I was wrong.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're probably right, Ms Aubergine. Just trying to think of any way that Ms. Fox can get publicity about this atrocious activity in libraries.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I tend to agree with Freckleface. Where I live, it takes a lot of digging but there always seems to be someone on TV or even with the newspaper that is willing to expose (no pun intended) intimidation against local citizens. Don't leave any stone unturned. God Bless, and good luck!
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it can't hurt to go tgo the press, but don't expect nothing from them. I think the press lies and twists stories.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the Peoples Republic of Illinois. Does this surprise anyone?
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
We all know that the ACLU is only interested in helping perverts access free porn in libraries. They don't care about police harassing people, unless the people are perverts accessing free porn in the library or the pervert lovers who appear to run the library.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems to me you need to be calling the police on them. Retaliate in kind.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
She can't do that. Based upon what she has been writing, the police have been coming after her when they know she has done nothing illegal. Were she to step out of line for just a second they would land on her with both thug-booted feet, with the city attorney right behind.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
@David77 -- if what's in this article is correct then making a false police report is disorderly conduct under that statute Megan cited. So I think she has a right to ask why the peopel making false police reports on her arent charged with disorderly conduct.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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