Two brothers, arrested weeks ago for impeding the rights of others, say they were wrongfully arrested for demonstrating in Annapolis.
The two were arrested on ‘Lawyers Mall,’ right outside the state house. The charges were dropped, but now they want to make sure that something similar acts don’t happen to them or anyone else ever again.
Jeff Hulbert and his twin, Kevin, are in Annapolis every Monday. They’re behind ‘Patriot Picket’ – a second amendment advocacy group that challenges lawmakers and their proposed bills that they feel may affect their right to bear arms.
“We are arrested out of the blue. It is beyond shocking to me that this ever happened. That we would be arrested on a public sidewalk when we know we have a right to be here,” Jeff said.
Cell phone video from spectators captured the moments after the twins were put in handcuffs and into squad cars.
Jeff says seeing as though they were doing what dozens do daily during General Assembly – they feel their arrests weren’t right.
“Those folks are never hassled. They’re not put in handcuffs. Three days later, we arrive with our signs that are critical of the folks up here at the state house – we’re put in handcuffs,” Jeff said.
The brothers’ charges included disobeying a lawful order and impeding the rights of others.
The charges were ultimately dropped.
The brothers’ lawyer says this should have never happened.
“Well the argument is that they were somehow treading on the rights of others – impeding on the rights of others, impeding traffic and the like. But video tape from the event shows that’s absolutely false. There was no one anywhere near them. No one trying to get by,” Cary Hansel, the brother’s attorney, said.
So the group that’s usual main concern backs the second amendment has now found itself championing the first and looking for court orders to stop future violations and compensatory damages so this doesn’t happen again.
“Our message is for millions of Marylanders who support our message, but who are not listened to here in Annapolis and so we feel like bringing the message here,” Kevin said.
A statement from Maryland Capitol Police:
“The Maryland Capitol Police are committed to providing a safe working environment for state employees and visitors that frequent state properties, and to secure buildings that are located on state property. Ensuring that citizens are able to exercise their constitutional rights is and will always be a top priority. The department is unaware of any lawsuit being filed against the Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) or the Maryland Capitol Police (MCP).”