www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-activist-arrested-at-city-hall-20130123,0,7701873.story

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Activist arrested at City Hall

Police say frequent critic of Baltimore mayor behaved 'disorderly'

By Luke Broadwater

The Baltimore Sun

12:39 PM EST, January 23, 2013

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A frequent critic of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration was arrested Wednesday when she tried to enter Baltimore's City Hall.

Kim A. Trueheart, 55, of Baltimore, was arrested Wednesday morning as she tried to attend the city's 9 a.m. Board of Estimates meeting. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said he had few details about the arrest, but said Trueheart was being "disorderly."

"City Hall is a public building, but we have an obligation to make sure that citizens that come to conduct business don't pose any type of threat and they're also respectful," Guglielmi said. "There's a certain decorum that's expected at City Hall." 

It was not immediately clear what charges Trueheart was facing, or where she was taken after the arrest.

Fellow citizen activist Mike McGuire, 40, of Baltimore, said he witnessed the arrest. He said the officers told Trueheart she was banned from City Hall for 30 days because of an incident that occurred last week.

He said officers told Trueheart, "You know you can't be here," and Trueheart responded, "Why can't I be here? What law have I broken?"

McGuire said officers were forcing Trueheart from the building when they arrested her.

Last week, Rawlings-Blake abruptly ended a news conference when Trueheart began to interrupt the mayor's responses to reporters' questions.

As a police officer stood between Trueheart and the mayor, Trueheart began to question the officer in a loud voice.

"Why are you pushing me?" she asked. "Why are you pushing me? I think police harassment is going on right here. I’m not sure why you’re pushing me. You need to move away from me. You need to stop pushing me."

Trueheart then began to question Rawlings-Blake about Comptroller Joan Pratt's allegations that the city is wasting millions of dollars on a problematic upgrade of its aging, expensive phone system.

"Why are you wasting $400,000 a month?" Trueheart asked. "$400,000 a month is being wasted. Are you going to do something about it?" 

Rawlings-Blake then ended the press conference, and later answered reporters' questions upstairs behind a locked door.

Guglielmi said security asked Trueheart to leave City Hall after that incident.

"Officers last week had asked her to leave the building," he said. "Today, she came back to City Hall and became disorderly again. She was asked to leave numerous times. Officers placed her under arrest for her disorderly behavior." 

After last week's encounter, Trueheart wrote a message on Twitter, saying she had been ejected from the building.

"Guess who got themself BANNED from City Hall today? #NoTransparency #NoIntegrity," she wrote.

Luke.Broadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater