www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-trueheart-letter-20130208,0,6911237.story

baltimoresun.com

Trueheart did nothing wrong

9:45 AM EST, February 8, 2013

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I read with keen interest The Sun's editorial, "An unjustified ban" (Feb 4), regarding efforts to keep Baltimore activist Kim Trueheart out of City Hall. The editorial makes several interesting, solid and instructive points for Ms. Trueheart and other private citizens who regularly attend City Hall seeking to hold top officials accountable.

I was totally dismayed, however, as to how The Sun could side with City Hall and the police over Ms. Trueheart, inasmuch as the facts in the case clearly show that Ms. Trueheart did nothing wrong or unlawful to warrant the police placing her under arrest.

Admittedly, Ms. Trueheart, at times, raises her voice and asks pointed and provocative questions to elected officials in an effort to hold them accountable. However, never is she boisterous, threatening, "rude and disruptive" as your editorial so wrongly asserted. I have known and worked closely with Ms. Trueheart over the years and have found her to be very rational and responsible in her endeavors. I have observed her closely and I am thoroughly convinced that her speech and conduct at City Hall were within acceptable parameters of First Amendment protection. Surely, First Amendment guaranteed rights to free speech, assembly and petition are sufficiently broad and fundamental to shield Ms. Trueheart from this clearly punitive arrest.

Ms. Trueheart is to be commended for her fearless and tireless activist efforts to hold City Hall officials accountable, as there are many things wrong with City Hall. The Sun's attempt to cast blame on Ms. Trueheart, rather than on City Hall, in this matter is a classic case of blaming the victim and embracing the culprit. City Hall and its top officials must accept full responsibility for this most unfortunate matter, while The Sun must endeavor to be a stronger and more enlightened advocate, defender and protector of citizens' First Amendment guarantees.

Arnold M. Jolivet, Baltimore

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