DEARBORN (WWJ) – A jury trial has been ordered to decide whether Koran-burning Florida pastor, Terry T. Jones should pay for the police presence at his planned protest in front of a Dearborn mosque on Good Friday.
Jones was called to a Dearborn courtroom to answer a local lawman’s charges that his planned demonstration will incite a riot.
Jones captured headlines last September 11th, by threatening to burn a Koran on the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. Though it didn’t happen, he did burn a Koran earlier this month that sparked violence in Afghanistan.
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said he has reason to believe Jones will do it again as part of Friday’s demonstration in front of the Islamic Center of America, but Jones denies having such plans.
He said he will protest even if the city denies a permit.
The Wayne County Prosecutor will ask a Dearborn District Judge, Thursday, to make the controversial Florida pastor pay thousands of dollars for extra security for his planned protest in front of a Dearborn mosque.
The prosecutor said it will cover the extra cost police will incur for a helicopter, barricades and overtime for police officers. Prosecutors want a peace bond from Jones for fear the protest could lead to violence.
How do Metro Detroiters feel about Jones’ visit? Dan Fogal of St. Clair County said Jones should have the right to protest, as long as they’re peaceful about it.
“I know people around here don’t have any ill intentions. As far as I know, it doesn’t seem like he’s going to get out of control. He’s just trying to make a fool out of himself, as far as I’m concerned,” Fogal said.
“Marie,” talking to WWJ while filling up at a gas station next to the mosque, wasn’t sure what to think.
“Personally, I don’t really care either way. I mean, it is freedom of speech. But he should have respect for people who do believe in that religion,” she said.
“Somebody could get hurt, protection their believe. So, I think he should pay (for security),” Marie added.
An open letter from Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly to Jones urged the Florida Pastor to move his protest to the City Hall and away from the mosque. And, O’Reilly says he wants anti-Jones groups to stay away from the mosque as well. “We are going to be very cautious with groups that come together and clash, initially, with aggressive verbal because we’ll be watching closely the minute that crosses the line into any physical violence. It’ll be dealt with sharply and quickly,” says O’Reilly.
Rallies and counter-protests have also been planned.
The Dearborn mayor said if any group protests in an area where they would have needed a permit, they will be ticketed and asked to leave. He planned to have extra police on duty.