A pro-life activist who was accosted by police in Melrose Park, Ill., was wearing a body camera as he handed out anti-abortion literature on a public sidewalk outside Walther Christian Academy earlier this week, and now that video is the subject of a police internal investigation.
Matthew Wiersema was handing out the flyers to parents as they dropped their kids off at school when he was confronted by a school official who incorrectly told him he was on private property and had to leave. The school official, also captured on video, used vulgar language directed at the pro-life activist.
When Wiersema correctly pointed out that he was on public property and his actions were entirely legal, and further refused to leave, police were called. According to the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, he was eventually handcuffed, put in a police car, and driven to a neighboring town, where he was released—but police kept his camera.
Hours later, he returned to the Melrose Park police station to file a complaint and retrieve his camera. His video, which contains explicit language, was posted online.
Asked about the matter by the Sun-Times, a spokesman for the police department said the officer’s actions are now the subject of an internal investigation. The spokesman further said that if Wiersema’s account is accurate, the officer’s actions were “unorthodox and potentially much more than that.”
The pro-life activist asserts that he was kidnapped, and that the officers involved should be punished.