UPDATE October 3, 2016 ALA President Julie Todaro Responds to Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Free Speech Arrests
Kansas City Public Library officials said Friday they are outraged that the city continues to pursue the prosecution of an employee and a patron arrested at a public event earlier this year.
The arrests occurred after a provocative question was asked at the question-and-answer period of a May 9 talk by diplomat Dennis Ross. For months, library officials protested that the arrests and charges were a violation of the First Amendment.
The library did not go public with its opposition until recently, with city prosecutors appearing determined to pursue charges.
Police have stood by the arrests, saying that off-duty officers hired by an event sponsor acted properly in helping private security stop an audience member from asking follow-up questions after a short exchange with Ross.