Opine I will

I am a retired elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing

First Amendment Rights in Jeopardy

‎This kid held a march with 50 people ( mostly high school students) and the Floral Park Police Commissioner in the Village Floral Park, NY just did this.

The march went off without a hitch and the participants walked on the sidewalks from one high school to another one in the same village. Disclaimer:This used to be my home town. Please spread the news of this unjustifiable bullying tactic to shut down First Amendment Rights.

This is Dylan’s post as copied off Facebook…

Dylan Slavin‎ toOpen Floral Park17h

On July 2nd, I contacted the Floral Park Police department about organizing a protest march in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement. Over the course of a week, through emails and phone calls, SGT. Mayo, the Police Commissioner Stephen McAllister, and I agreed to terms for the march. I felt confident that I had the support of the police department. I posted the details of the march on social media and almost immediately I received a phone call from the Commissioner asking me to meet with him at the police station.

On July 6th we had concerns over weather and safety of the protest. I was unable to reach the Police Commissioner through phone, so I had emailed SGT. Dean Mayo with a new flyer, updated route, and time/date of where we would be having the protest. I got confirmation from SGT Mayo who had said, “Thanks. I did alert the Commissioner to the change. It is likely that you will hear from him tomorrow.”. We took this as confirmation that the Commissioner understood the information provided to him and was okay with it since there was no indication from SGT Mayo that there was a problem, so we had posted the new info on social media.

It was not until the next day that the Commissioner’s tone towards me had changed. I was reprimanded for posting the event on social media without “directly talking to him” and suddenly the terms of the march had changed. So, with this I had told the Commissioner that this would be organized through Nassau County Police instead. Subsequently, I also contacted the Nassau County Police Department for guidance and the plans were well received. The police chief informed me that he had already spoken with the Floral Park Police Commissioner and was aware of the day’s sequence of events. Again, with no contest from the Commissioner.

The Black Lives Matter march was a success! We had tremendous support from the community. Our voices were heard and amplified in unison, rallying a need for change for our friends, family and neighbors of color. It was a proud day to know that our community can and will effect change. It was a peaceful and respectful exercise in our First Amendment rights.

Immediately after the protest, my friends were notifying me that summonses were being issued. Within a day, a Floral Park police officer delivered the summons pictured below to appear in Village court in September for violating code 32-2: “§ 32-2 Disorderly and noisy conduct. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to indulge in disorderly, noisy or riotous conduct at any place in the Village tending to disturb the peace and quiet in the Village or tending to disrupt or disturb any meeting or lawful assemblage therein.”

Not at any time during my conversations with the Police Commissioner or the Sergeant was I told that I, or any activity of the march, would be in violation of village code. I have spoken with the organizers of the two BLM marches in the Village that occurred on June 4th(at Veterans Memorial Park), and June 14th titled “Fists Up for BLM”, and they were not required to apply for permits nor did they receive any village code violations.

I truly believe that I was “punished” for organizing our right to protest. I believe that this summons is supposed to discourage future plans for BLM marches and protests in the Village. I believe the Police Commissioner exhibited abuse of power simply out of spite. We will continue to raise our voices. We will continue to speak up. We will cooperate with law enforcement to practice our right to protest, but we will not be intimidated.

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