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Sign-toting librarian ticketed for trespassing at Denver McCain event

4:21 PM, Jul 10, 2008   |    comments
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The incident was videotaped and posted on YouTube. It shows Denver Police officers approaching Carol Kreck, identified in the video as a librarian, outside the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The officers said she could get rid of the sign and go on into the event, or keep the sign and get ticketed for trespassing.

A Denver police spokesperson tells 9NEWS that police issued the ticket and removed the protester, after someone gave a signed complaint about the sign to a security guard. The guard turned the complaint over to police. In the video, the security guard says the complaint was from representatives of the Secret Service.

In the video, Kreck questions why she couldn't bring the sign inside.

"Why is that offensive? Why would Republicans who voted for Bush find it offensive that a sign says Bush equals McCain or McCain equals Bush?" she said.

The legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, Mark Silverstein, said "It's too bad they couldn't carry a sign at the event." 

Silverstein at first told 9NEWS the Republican Party had the right to ban signs because the center was rented for a private event, but he's since stated he thinks Kreck has a case.

"I think that Carol has a very good argument that under the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling in Bock v. Westminster Mall, she had a right under the Colorado Constitution to hold her sign, even if she might not have had such a right under the federal constitution," Silverstein later added.

David Lane, an attorney representing Kreck, says he expects to take legal action.

"I believe we'll be having a lawsuit against the police officers and any Secret Service agents who have violated her First Amendment rights," said Lane. "She was on public property and Denver Police officers were censoring her."

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