Detroit, MI, 7/31/2013 – Campaigning has become dangerous for Detroit City Clerk candidate Scotty Boman. According to Boman, a member of the WCCCD campus police attempted to intimidate him while he was taking pictures of his opponent’s (Janice Winfrey) signage at the early voting location at the Northwest Campus of WCCCD on Tuesday July 30th. After he moved to where volunteers for other candidates were handing out literature, he was assaulted by the officer, then thrown to the ground by additional officers as he attempted to hand campaign literature to a passers-by. Boman said he was then held prisoner until a campaign forum, that the officers knew he was scheduled to attend, was nearly over.
“As soon as I took out my camera and pointed it at Janice Winfrey’s banner (which was draped over the voting location’s entrance) this one officer stormed out of the polling place and shouted, ‘What do you think your doing!’ I responded that I was taking a picture of the banner.” Boman went on to say, “I then went to take a picture of another nearby sign that read ‘Vote here Janice Winfrey City Clerk.’ At this point a poll-worker, came out to where I was taking the picture. I started recording video of our conversation regarding Winfrey’s signage when the Officer who previously shouted at me came out and told me to put away the camera. I asked if my photography was illegal, and which law it violated. I emphatically stated that I would follow her instructions immediately if she asserted I was breaking the law, but she could not cite any.”
After walking to where volunteers for other candidates were handing out literature, Boman says his efforts to do likewise were met with physical force. “I pulled one of my campaign cards out of my pocket as I said, ‘Scotty Boman for City Clerk.’ The same officer (who wore no identification) swatted my hand, and I said, ‘Don’t touch me.’ As I continued to extend my arm (to hand the card to a passer-by) two or three additional officers pounced on me and threw me to the ground (breaking skin on my right shoulder).” Boman went on to say, “While I was pinned to the ground I pleaded to be let go so I could get to my car.” The officer said, ‘We are past that’ As I was cuffed and lead away.
Boman claims he repeatedly asked if he was under arrest, and what law he had broken. “When I realized they were not asserting any lawful basis for their actions, I realized all bets were off; this wasn’t about law, it was about brute force and dirty politics.” Boman said. I told them that people knew I was at the Northwest campus and that my absence would be noticed if I failed to show up for a 5:00 PM candidate forum. “Some of them chuckled and made remarks like ‘that’s politics to one another.” Boman said. He says they then made him sit in a closet. “After I overheard someone saying it was 4:00 PM I opened the door and told them that I really needed to get to the forum, and if I wasn’t under arrest, that I had a right to leave.” Boman went on to sad, “They told me to sit down and I complied. After a while my legs were getting a bit numb so I stood up to stretch my legs and paced back and fourth, while staying in the closet. At this point a couple of officers came in threw me against the wall and pushed me into the chair, cuffing me in a painful position that made it impossible to sit comfortably and causing continuous pressure on my wrists.”
Boman continued, “I complained that I was in pain, but each adjustment just made it worse. Eventually my hands went numb. My requests for water were repeatedly rejected as I became faint. After being captive for over 2.5 hours I was told, ironically, that I was finally placed under arrest for trespassing. One officer said they were charging me with this because I didn’t leave when asked – An obvious lie since the exact opposite was the truth. I had spent a couple hours begging to leave and was repeatedly denied.”
After about another hour Boman said he was escorted to his car by three officers, who placed his camera in the trunk of his car, and told him that if he was seen taking pictures on campus again he would be arrested. “I was determined to not let them win,” said Boman, “I did a B-line to the candidate forum, and was able to tell people what happened, before it ended. I then realized that my right hand was still immobile and numb.” Boman went to the hospital. (As of 7/30/13) use of his right hand has not returned.
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Media Relations Director
Libertarian Party of Michigan
(Lansing, MI) – As Chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan and a concerned citizen, I am shocked and angered by the treatment of the candidate for Detroit City Clerk, Scott Boman.
He was acting completely within his rights as a taxpayer, citizen and political candidate. He was not trespassing, as he was outside the legal boundary of a polling station.
I have many questions, but primarily: was it the fact he was taking photographs? Or was it the object of his photographs that was cause for concern?
The conduct of the Wayne County Community College District Security Police Authority was abusive, unprofessional and not within the high standards the department sets for itself.
The Libertarian Party is dedicated to preserving the civil liberties of all citizens, and exposing government waste, fraud and abuse when we see it.
We will not be intimidated by those who choose to misuse their authority. We will be filing a formal complaint, and expect the people involved in the abusive treatment of Mr. Boman to face disciplinary action.
Chair, Libertarian Party of Michigan