As previously reported, on August 3, 2017, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) entered its appearance in the case of People of the City of Westland v. Calvin John Zastrow. In this criminal case, AFLC represented Cal Zastrow, a pro-life demonstrator who was unlawfully arrested by police officers from the City of Westland, Michigan for allegedly disturbing the peace.
On June 24, 2017, Zastrow and several other pro-life demonstrators were engaging in free speech activity on the public sidewalk outside of the Northland Family Planning Center, a notorious abortion facility located on Ford Road in the City of Westland.
According to the City’s police report, Zastrow was arrested because he “could be heard from over 50 [feet] away yelling about babies being murdered,” and his “actions were gaining the attention of people passing by and drawing the attention of employees at the location attempting to conduct business. . . .” The police also charged that Zastrow “continued to yell quotes of scripture and accusations of murder.”
In other words, Zastrow was arrested for engaging in First Amendment protected, pro-life, free speech activity. He was placed in handcuffs and detained in the police holding cell until he could post a bond.
Upon making its appearance, AFLC promptly filed a motion to dismiss the criminal charge on constitutional grounds. A hearing on the motion was set for September 6. However, shortly after filing the motion, the City prosecutor contacted AFLC to discuss dismissing the case.
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise commented:
“The Northland abortion mill might have the Westland police department on its side. But we have righteousness and the First Amendment on ours, and that is a potent combination for victory.”