John Gilmore sues Mpls for "baseless" arrest making him seem "prejudiced toward Muslims"
Gilmore's mugshot following his June 16, 2011 arrest.
Conservative activist, blogger, and lawyer John Gilmore has sued the city of Minneapolis for $10 million over a "baseless" June 2011 arrest that made him seem "bigoted, intolerant and prejudiced toward Muslims... Muslim women in particular," the Downtown Journal, citing court filings, reports.
On that June evening, Gilmore was in downtown Minneapolis for a conservative conference headlined by Andrew Breitbart when he allegedly started harassing two women wearing Muslim headscarves. Witnesses and cops said Gilmore took photos of the women, demanded to know why they were in the U.S., and said things like, "This is America, welcome to America, this is the western world."
Bystanders intervened and tried to get Gilmore to leave the area. The tail end of the bizarre confrontation, including a scene where Gilmore apparently pretends to be on the phone with Breitbart himself, can be seen in this video clip:
Police arrested him after he allegedly threatened a bystander and wandered into The News Room bar. He was charged with disorderly conduct and being uncooperative during his arrest, but both charges were dropped a year later. Gilmore says the only thing he's guilty of is asking the women their opinion of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-Dutch activist who has been critical of Islam. (He also claims he "had just placed a vegetarian order when police 'manhandled' him out of [The News Room] in his Birkenstocks," the Journal reports.)
In his lawsuit, Gilmore, who is currently representing Andy Parrish during his involvement with an Iowa Senate ethics panel looking into allegations of wrongdoing involving Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign and an Iowa senator, claims his arrest and the ensuing negative publicity damaged his reputation.
Asked about the $10 million figure by the Journal, Gilmore's attorney, Mark Miller, said the allegations in the lawsuit "are pretty straightforward as to the serious affect this has had upon him."
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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