Pro-Life Action League executive director Eric Scheidler has been cleared of criminal trespassing charges for protesting a Planned Parenthood fundraiser at Chicago, Illinois’s Navy Pier, the organization reports.
Describing the situation in April, Scheidler wrote that Pro-Life Action League’s protest took place on public property outside Navy Pier, which is considered private because the city leases it to the non-profit Navy Pier, Inc.
Security reluctantly allowed him to enter the Pier as an individual as long as he did not protest on the grounds, but after he walked near the Grand Ballroom where the pro-abortion fundraiser was being held, guards approached him, demanding to see his identification.
“By this time I was back on the sidewalk along Grand Avenue, and I saw a Chicago police officer approaching,” Scheidler wrote. “The officer falsely insisted that I’m required to carry an I.D. and said that if I didn’t hand it to him, he would arrest me for trespassing.” Scheidler was arrested and given a “trespass notice” banning him from Navy Pier for life on false “protest” grounds.
Scheidler also notes that someone, either Chicago PD or Navy Pier security, had removed a memory card from his GoPro belt camera, which he says “would have shown me innocently walking through the building… being followed by security and then falsely arrested.” He also accuses the arresting officer of claiming, “If Navy Pier wants it erased, it will be erased.”
In today’s update on the case, Matt Yonke writes that the case against Scheidler “was so flimsy that the defense didn’t have to call a single witness or explain their case to the judge. Navy Pier security’s account of the incident was so hazy, contradictory and full of holes that the judge ruled not guilty before our attorneys had to defend Eric.”
The memory card was never recovered.