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Anger over bill to fallen Marine's dad

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by ronduke, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. ronduke

    ronduke

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    Anger over bill to Marine's dad
    Money sent man told to pay court costs in suit against pickets at son’s funeral
    By Robbie Whelan | robbie.whelan@baltsun.com

    10:08 PM EDT, March 30, 2010

    Outraged that the father of a dead U.S. Marine was ordered to pay the court costs incurred by a group that he had sued for picketing his son's funeral, people from across the country have launched a grass roots fundraising effort to help the grieving family.

    "I was appalled," said Sally Giannini, a 72-year-old retired bookkeeper from Spokane, Wash., who had called The Baltimore Sun after seeing its story about the court decision against Albert Snyder. "I believe in free speech, but this goes too far."

    Living on fixed income, Giannini said she could only send $10 toward the $16,510.80 that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Snyder to pay to Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., an anti-gay group that travels the country picketing military funerals. The group says soldier deaths are God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality.

    Snyder sued Westboro because its members waved signs saying "God hates fags" and "God hates the USA" at the 2006 funeral in Westminster of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who had been killed in Iraq. A federal jury in Baltimore awarded Snyder $11 million in damages in 2007, saying that Phelps' group intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the family. The award was later reduced to $5 million, and eventually overturned on appeal.

    As news of the order to pay Westboro's court costs spread through the media and online, strangers were moved to send money and set up funds to support Snyder's court battle.

    On Tuesday, Mark C. Seavey, new media director for the American Legion, posted a message on his Legion-affiliated blog, The Burn Pit, urging readers to donate to the Albert Snyder Fund. The American Legion's message was picked up by conservative political blogger Michelle Malkin, who called the Westboro protesters "evil miscreants" and urged readers to donate.

    "Regardless of how you feel about the merits of the Snyders' suit, the Snyders deserve to know that Americans are forever grateful for their son's heroism and for the family's sacrifice. We shouldn't stand by and watch them bankrupted," Malkin wrote.

    Money from donations will go toward covering the money owed to Phelps, and beyond that, toward preparing further appeals, Seavey said.

    "As soon as we heard this we just knew that it was going to go through the roof, and people were going to be upset. We seized on it," Seavey said. "On an issue like this that cuts across political lines, it's relatively easy, and it's the kind of fight we want to wade into because it's not right or left, it's right or wrong. We're going to do the best we can to make sure that Mr. Snyder doesn't have to deal with this. We're going to make sure he doesn't have to pay a red cent."

    In a phone interview Tuesday, Snyder said he was "exhausted" by the long legal ordeal, but heartened by the outpouring of support. He said he has received about 3,000 e-mail messages from people across the country who wanted to show their support and planned to contribute.

    "It kind of restores your faith in mankind after dealing with this wacko church," Snyder said. "Win or lose, I'll know that I did everything I could for Matt, and for all the soldiers and Marines who are still coming home dying."

    From Web sites to Twitter pages, people were galled that the grieving father of a fallen Marine would have to pay a group that uses such inflammatory tactics. A Facebook group called "I support Al Snyder in His fight against Westboro Baptist Church" had drawn nearly 12,000 members by the end of the day Tuesday.

    In September, the 4th Circuit Court threw out the Baltimore jury's award to Snyder on free speech grounds. A month later, Westboro filed a motion to recoup court costs from both the original suit and the appeal, for a total of $96,740.21. Friday's judgment covers only costs from the appeal.

    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this month to hear a new appeal of the case, which experts say is being closely watched by 1st Amendment advocates. If the Supreme Court sides with Snyder, he won't have to pay Westboro's court costs.

    "The most alarming part is that [the 4th Circuit] sat on it for months, and only ruled on it after the Supreme Court agreed to hear it," said Sean E. Summers, Snyder's York, Pa.-based lawyer. "The other troubling fact was that we were trying to raise about $20,000 to file a Supreme Court brief. Now we have [to raise] another $16,500. ...There are definitely extenuating circumstances, given that Mr. Snyder doesn't have the resources to pay."

    Snyder, who lives in York, does in-house sales for a small electronics firm and, according to court filings, earns $43,000 a year.

    Gene Policinski, executive director of the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tenn., predicted that the Supreme Court will not address issues of where protesters are permitted to demonstrate, as it has in the past in the case of abortion protesters. Instead, he said, the case is important because "it has the potential to define whether we're going to create a new exemption to freedom of speech that is emotionally distressing."

    "You can imagine that Martin Luther King and others inflicted emotional distress on people, if they were committed to segregation," he said. "I shudder to think if those people were armed with the weapon of suing him because the issue itself was repugnant to them."

    For some supporters, the issue is not so much the right to free speech as the right to a peaceful burial of the fallen soldiers.

    Alice M. Johnson, 56, of Lynbrook, N.Y., said she donated $50 to Snyder's cause. Since 2008, Johnson has been a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, a group that sends supporters to troops' funerals to shield their families from protesters.

    "I agree that people have the right to free speech," she said, "but that should not be allowed in a place where people are laying their children to rest who died for their country."

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/03/3...ly-of-fallen-marine-lance-cpl-matthew-snyder/

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bal-westboro0330,0,5223370,print.story
     
  2. ronduke

    ronduke

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    Let me see if I understand this correctly. Two guys engage in what many people consider to be a college prank, and leave cotton balls outside the black student center at college, and they get charged with a felony. Some kid gets on the P.A. at Wal Mart, and says for all blacks to leave the store, and he has several charges filed against him. However, this scumbag, from a fake church, can engage in the most sick and vile form of hate speech at the funeral of a fallen hero and face no legal repercussions?
     

  3. AngryBassets

    AngryBassets Jagenden Übel

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    No, you are incorrect.

    The victim of the vile and sick form of hate speech now has to pay these pieces of garbage $16000.

    You missed that.
     
  4. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    And, quite frankly I am pissed that they are allowed to even name the name of Christ. But, they are not the first group who do things in God's Name, and He not approve of those.
     
  5. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    I would refuse to pay, even with the donated monies.
     
  6. msu_grad_121

    msu_grad_121 BOOSH

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    If this is the group that I'm thinking of, they have shown up at soldiers funerals with signs saying things like "Thank God for IEDs" and the like. I used to work with a guy that did a tour in Iraq that since the people were allowed to protest, but only within some designated area, that he would find it terribly ironic if an IED went off right in the middle of their protest.

    I have to agree. :supergrin:
     
  7. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

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    Absolutely.

    Moreover, it seems that the groups behavior and place is likely to provoke a violent response. Why are local LE not filing DOC charges everywhere they show up?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  8. HoldHard

    HoldHard

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    .....
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  9. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    I got this from my FB sources.

    Recent News


    News:
    Supreme court takes Case.
    Al Snyder is now responsible for paying over $16,000 in legal fees for the Westboro Baptist Church. To donate to help Mr. Snyder please click on the website above and click How to Help and Make a Donation Online, we really appreciate it.

    GREAT NEWS! Bill O'Reilly has just announced that he will pay the entire amount that AL SNYDER owes to those people!!!!

    PLEASE keep in mind that any donations in excess will be used to begin the Matt Snyder Fund!
     
  10. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    Pretty much everything you mentioned concerning this group is spot on. They have been a sore in the side of Kansas for some time now. They have tried to pass some laws concerning this group in the Kansas Legislature but they cannot do but so much of course, in that they do have a certain amount of Free Speech protection.

    Don't worry, they're going to get theirs at some point. I think they just don't understand the genie that they have unleashed currently, with the publicity that has been recently generated.
     
  11. chance3290

    chance3290 Fear Dli

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    I no longer care about the westbury scum and the *****1ng Phelps Phamily. Thanks to the great folks at the Patriot Guard Riders and the Warriors Watch, these scum rarely get anywhere near the families of the fallen. I joined the Patriot Guard after we had a funeral in my city. The scum announced they would attend, and I witnessed a beautiful sight.....100s of bikers rolling into town wearingthe blue and yellow to protect the family and block the scum. GOD bless, everyone.

    What P1sses me off is that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Mister Snyder to pay. WTF!?!?!?!?!
     
  12. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    Court costs and attorney fees IIRC. Bad I know, but they are going to get the money from someone.
     
  13. chance3290

    chance3290 Fear Dli

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    I know, but they should pick up old Fred by his ankles and shake the money out of his tight *****.
     
  14. degoodman

    degoodman Out of Columbus

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    Be more fitting if they picked him up by the neck. With a rope. Makes his tight cornhole relax so much faster than by shaking him upside down.


    I'm just saying...
     
  15. chance3290

    chance3290 Fear Dli

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    Ohhhh, I like your idea better.
     
  16. FM12

    FM12 I need AMMO!

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    Thee people are pimples on the backside of humanity.

    I'm just saying is all.
     
  17. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    It would be terrible if something befalls the Phelps clan... hmmm... karma is a *****, after all.
     
  18. Cav

    Cav

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    I will be happy to take a DOC charge for a mutual fight. Fighting words by them, and fists of furry by me. We can both pay fines. I will take the three days off from my work for it, and ask for a jury to decided my fate for the charges.

    Screw them!
     
  19. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    Do it down there at night. Take them down one at a time. Hide in an undisclosed location and make them wonder. Don't let them die, keep them alive. Placed in a nice little swamp full of their own kind.

    Ooh I can be mean. Unfortunately it would be highly illegal.
     
  20. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    Yes, the best way to fight people who hide behind the 1st A is to attack with more 1st A.

    BTW, IMHO "God Bless America" should be our national anthem. It's a beautiful, beautiful song and the lyrics are easily learned.