Skip to comments.Nebraska town denies funeral protest request
Posted on 07/24/2007 3:00:10 PM PDT by StarCMC
BELLEVUE, Neb. The Bellevue City Council won't let members of a Topeka church protest next week outside the funeral of a sailor killed in Iraq. Print Reply E-mail
A Bellevue permit application form filed Monday with the city said a maximum 15 people affiliated with Westboro Baptist Church wanted to hold a "religious demonstration" on Monday morning near the Bellevue Christian Center.
A funeral has been scheduled there for Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Chaney, 35, a 1990 graduate of Bellevue West High School. The Defense Department says he and another sailor were killed by a roadside bomb last Tuesday in Iraq's Salah Ad Din Province.
Chaney's body arrived Monday at Offutt Air Force Base in a flag-draped casket, escorted by his brother, Petty Officer 2nd Class Randy Chaney. The base sits on the southeastern corner of Bellevue.
Listed on the application were Jonathan Phelps and his sister, Shirley Phelps-Roper.
She faces four misdemeanor charges in connection with a demonstration last month outside a Bellevue soldier's funeral. Her 10-year-old son allegedly stomped on an American flag during the protest.
Westboro Baptist Church says that troop deaths are God's judgment against America for tolerating homosexuals. Phelps-Roper's father founded the church, which has protested at military funerals in Nebraska and across the nation.
On Monday, Bellevue Police Capt. Herb Evers told the City Council that the church group had broken the law at the last protest, so he wanted the council to reject the new application.
After a discussion, the council voted 8-0 to deny the permit.
The church can appeal the denial by filing a lawsuit, said Tim Kenny, a city attorney.
City Councilman Gary Mixan said the council "might be opening up a Pandora's Box here" by denying the permit. He suggested approving the permit with conditions on the protest.
But, said council president Gus Erickson, "Either way, they're going to go to court."
The council eventually voted 8-0 to reject the church's permit request.
Reached Tuesday, Phelps-Roper, 49, said church leaders had yet to discuss whether they would launch another court fight.
But, she said, "It's a constitutionally protected right to stand on the street and protest. ... They (the council members) know doggone well they don't have the right to reject the application."
Phelps-Roper has acknowledged that she let her son stand on the flag last month, saying the act qualifies as freedom of expression.
She has promised to challenge the constitutionality of the flag-mutilation charge, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down laws forbidding flag desecration.
Nebraska's flag law defines flag mutilation as when a "person intentionally casts contempt or ridicule upon a flag by mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon such flag."
The June 5 funeral in Bellevue was for Nebraska Army National Guard Spc. William "Bill" Bailey, who was killed May 25 when an explosive device struck his vehicle in Iraq.
WTG, City Council.
About time that someone is standing up to that filth.
Oohrah, Bellevue City Council members!
When these protesters were in my area for a funeral the police kept them on a patch of concrete on the other side of the funeral home where they were out of sight of the people attending the funeral and the media. They were none too happy but didn’t put up much of a fight.
Many Freepers also mistakenly believe it is a right.
I’d much rather see their heads explode and yours left intact.
I say let ‘em attend and sic the Partiot Guard Riders on ‘em........
I already disapprove of this guy... Pandora's box indeed... The WBC needs to be denied the right to upset/protest funerals. We all should should protest the WBC as much as possible in front of their so called cult/church . I wish they weren't so far from NJ or I would be glad to let this Pandora loose on them. ~P~
And I say round them all up and transport them to Iraq.
Yeah - you and me both, friend.
I have it on good authority that G-d Hates Phelps.
At LT Ben Britt’s services in Wheeler, TX in Jan 2006 we were put right in front of the idiots where we could touch them if we’d wanted to. A couple of Banditos (1%ers) stood with us and I think it was Shirley who was standing on the flag.
Finally one of the Bandits had enough of that and turned around and grabbed the flag and yanked it away from her. She almost fell on her broad butt.
I looked down to where the LEO was standing and suddenly they all happened to be looking the other direction.
The best thing everyone can do with this idiots is totally ignore them. Make sure that the family of the fallen doesn’t see them or hear them and totally ignore the slimeballs. They aren’t worth my time and trouble and I am there to honor the family and the fallen and not pay attention to a clown show.
I have long suspected as much. ;-)
I would have paid money to see that! LOL And you’re right. Shield the families and then ignore.
Priceless,God Bless you!!!!
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