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.


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