On October 4, 2018, attorneys Michael Goodwin and Erin Kennedy appeared before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio for oral arguments in the case of three protesters arrested by Kentucky State Police in 2015 for opposing the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s discriminatory policies at the Country Ham Breakfast.
Listen to oral arguments below!
As part of a silent protest against the Kentucky Farm Bureau organized by the ACLU of Kentucky, Fairness Campaign, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice, and Jefferson County Teachers Association, activists Sonja de Vries, Carla Wallace, and Chris Hartman were aggressively arrested by Kentucky State Troopers within seconds of standing silently at their assigned seats at the breakfast. Those jailed were among dozens of protesters who stood silently at tables purchased by the organizations to protest the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s discriminatory policies that are anti-LGBTQ, anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-choice, and more.
The three activists were charged with failure to disperse, and Hartman received the additional charge of disorderly conduct in the second degree. All activists’ charges were dropped at the request of the Jefferson County Attorney’s office. Kennedy and Goodwin then filed suit on behalf of the activists against the Kentucky State Police for false arrest, First Amendment free speech violation, First Amendment retaliation, and malicious prosecution.
A full copy of the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s discriminatory policies can be downloaded at Fairness.org/KFB.