DEARBORN (WWJ) – What’s next for Florida Pastor Terry Jones after a jury found Friday that he needed to post a peace bond if he wanted to protest outside the Islamic Center of America?
Jones and his associate Wayne Sapp at first refused to pay the $1 bond and went to jail for a few hours before posting it.
Jones is expected to leave Detroit today and he plans to protest next week in front of the Islamic Center.
He put out a news release saying that they posted the bond under protest. Jones said, “The arrests, the whole proceedings, were a definite violation of our Constitutional rights. As a matter of fact, we were arrested and had not even committed a crime. It is a complete violation of our First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech.”
Executive Director of the ACLU-Michigan, Kari Moss, does not disagree with Jones.
“We feel that the judge exceeded his authority. The first amendment allows anybody to engage in free speech even if it’s gonna be uncomfortable or cause controversy. And, really, what happened in Dearborn is pretty unprecedented,” Moss said.
Prosecutors had argued his past actions were evidence that the planned protest outside the Islamic Center of America could cause violence, and the jury agreed.
Jones and Sapp were released from the Wayne County Jail late Friday night after finally posting a $1 bond that they had initially refused to pay.
“The City of Dearborn used the court as an instrument to prevent our protest from taking place today as scheduled, and has now violated our civil liberties by preventing us from exercising our freedom of speech as planned,” Jones said in a release. “We will be in contact with legal representation and plan to protest next week in front of the Islamic Center.”