Campaigns/Elections

Michigan Libertarian Says He Was Roughed Up By Campus Cops For Trying to Document Election Irregularities

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Perpetual Libertarian Party candidate and former chair of the Michigan L.P. Scott Boman says he was roughed up by campus cops–on a campus where he teaches!–just for photographing what he thinks were election law violations.

Account from the Examiner:

A popular Michigan math and physics professor will soon stand trial in Detroit's 36th District Court for trespassing in a public space at his own place of employment…[Wayne County Community College District]

Scott Boman

Boman, Vice-Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Michigan, recently rejected the prosecutor's offer to drop the trespassing charge if he would concede that his arrest was justified….

The professor's pre-trial hearing will be held on January 15, and he will have a jury trial on January 29….

What Boman says happened:

….after teaching class on July 30, Boman stopped by an absentee voting event being held at the WCCCD Northwest Campus.

…..Boman began taking pictures of signs that were posted by the incumbent City Clerk Janet Winfrey. These signs were in violation of election laws. For example, one sign was hanging over the entrance of the voting location's building entrance.

….WCCCD Security Officer Olivia Moss-Fort stormed out of the polling place and shouted, "What do you think you're doing?"

Boman responded that he was taking pictures, and continued to do so since the officer would not tell him which law he was violating…..

Boman then attempted to join other candidates and volunteers who were handing out campaign literature in the area. While Boman was passing out his cards, he says that Moss-Fort swatted his hand, and two or three additional officers threw him to the ground, breaking the skin on his right shoulder. He was then cuffed and led away.

"I lost control of my right arm," he said. "They kept me bound, isolated and without water for 3.25 hours, to intimidate me from attending a candidate forum." He also said that the officers laughed at him while he was stuck in handcuffs.

By the time his camera was returned, incriminating video he took of the police was deleted.

The campus cops deny Boman's account, and although there is generally a 24 hour security camera covering the area, they claim there is no video record of what really happened. They claim his real crime was taking pictures with students in them when students allegedly asked him not to take their picture.

Boman's own full account of the incident, which has nothing about being told to not photograph students, but has many details of being detained initially without charges in a closet, cuffed painfully, and denied water.

Boman has run for some statewide office every election year since 1994 in Michigan.