Protestor suing State and Senate staff - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Protestor suing State and Senate staff

Mitch Kahle (center in black shirt) protests prayer at a State Senate meeting Mitch Kahle (center in black shirt) protests prayer at a State Senate meeting
Sheriff's deputies restrain Kahle Sheriff's deputies restrain Kahle
Kahle on ground Kahle on ground
Mitch Kahle Mitch Kahle
James Bickerton James Bickerton

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An activist who was acquitted of disorderly conduct for protesting prayer in the state Senate is now suing the State.

That was the protest that got Mitch Kahle arrested during a Senate session in April.

He and his photographer, Kevin Hughes, filed a civil suit against the State, Senate staff and sheriff's deputies.

Among the 14 allegations: assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment and conspiracy.

A video shot by Hughes shows Senate Sergeant at Arms, Bienvenido Villaflor, allegedly punching the camera.

Villaflor is a former professional boxer, and Kahle's attorney says that made for an explosive situation.

"When you put somebody with the training of Mr. Villaflor, who has a violent skill, and put him in charge of security, without the right training, it's a recipe for disaster," plaintiff's attorney James Bickerton said.

"The lasting effect for me, is now the understanding that I might be attacked when I go to the capitol to exercise my first amendment rights, for whatever reason that I might be there," Kahle said.

Attorney Bickerton says the photographer is still recovering from his physical injuries and suffers from anxiety and stress.

 

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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