Virginia police suspended the First Amendment at a parade this weekend, violently arresting a journalist for cursing while he attempted to question GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, who many say is running a racist campaign.
“You’re in the road,” a Fairfax County Mason District cop barked at reporter Mike Stark on October 26 during a verbal confrontation at the annual parade in Annandale, which was attended by Gillespie.
Stark, who is not in the road but rather standing in the entrance of a parking lot, begins to protest.
“I’m a fucking reporter doing my job,” Stark says.
“If you curse again in front of us you’re going to jail,” another cop threatens the reporter.
“Fuck this,” Stark protests.
“Get on the sidewalk.”
“Go to jail,” the second officer says.
That’s when things began to escalate.
Two Fairfax County Mason District police officers can be seen pushing Stark into a fence while attempting to handcuff him.
Even though Stark does not appear to be resisting, officers feign a struggle while trying to cuff the reporter.
The first officer yanks Stark’s foot, pulling him to the ground.
“Stop, I will give you my arm,” the reporter pleas with the officers who jump on top of him, pinning his arm between his chest and the ground.
“Put you hands up,” an officer demands.
“I can’t,” Stark replies to the officers piled on top of him.
“You have your weight on top of me. I cannot give you my hand. My hand is stuck beneath me.”
Four more officers join in on the arrest.
“What’s in his hand? What’s in his hand?” one officer can be heard alarming the others.
“Nothing!” Stark shouts.
Eventually, Stark is cuffed and rolled over onto his side.
“So do you always arrest people for cursing?” he asks the officers.
“Yes,” one cop replies.
“It’s called curse and abuse: 5-1-1. It’s a county code.”
Although the officers can be heard admitting Stark was arrested for cursing, Fairfax court records show he was booked on resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges.
According to Shareblue Media, Gillespie has repeatedly dodged questions from Stark about his endorsement from Donald Trump, his apparent racist campaign ads and using his position in the Bush White House where he secretly lobbied for his corporate clients in the big tobacco, pharmacy, energy and banking industries.
Although Gillespie avoids the term “lobbyist” on the campaign trail.
A central theme of Gillespie’s campaign ads has been if you vote for his opposition, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, that you may be killed by brown people with tattoos.
I’ll ensure that sanctuary cities-safe havens for violent criminals here illegally-are never allowed & work to eradicate gangs like MS-13. pic.twitter.com/gIhzUB64UK
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) September 20, 2017
Gillespie claims Northam increased the “threat of MS-13,” a Salvadorian street gang, by blocking a ban on “sanctuary cities” in Virginia.
While Virginia does have some sanctuary protections, there are no actual sanctuary cities in Virginia, so a ban would have done nothing to decrease a threat from MS-13.
In another ad Gillespie ran shortly after the attack at a white nationalists’ rally in Charlottesville, he claims if Northam were elected he would “take our statues down” and civil war monuments.
In response to that ad, the Latino Victory Fund ran an ad countering Gellespie’s position that begins with a pickup truck bearing a Confederate flag with an “Ed Gillespie for Governor” bumper sticker driving down a street chasing a Latino kid.
The boy stops to catch his breath then runs to warn other black, brown, white and Muslim kids that they should run too.
It shows the truck slow as the driver cases through the neighborhood before speeding up again and chasing the children into an alley where they’re trapped, frantically trying to climb a fence to escape the truck.
The ad concludes with the children waking up from a nightmare and parents watching the Charlottesville attack on television.
“Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American dream?” the ad asks viewers.
After being released from the Fairfax County jail, Stark awaited Gillespie in the hallway of a strip mall where he held a public event to speak with Virginians about voting for him.
When he asked Gillespie why he was so afraid to answer questions about ads for his campaign, the gubernatorial hopeful ignored him.
During his drive home, after being released from jail and retrieving his car from the alley, which he had parked next to Gillespie, Stark discovered his front passenger tire had been punctured.
Watch the video of his arrest below.