FIJA Demonstration of 11/16/09

UPDATE: Bile of the Blog of Bile videotaped my recent confrontation. See the video here. Bile also called into Free Talk Live to talk about the situation on Tuesday.


I arrived at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan at 11:45 am on Monday, November 16, 2009. The weather was perfect: warm and sunny. I stood in the middle of the plaza in front of the courthouse.

I started to pass out the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) pamphlet entitled "A Primer for Prospective Jurors" along with my handout. Two photographers, whom I do not know, were present. At 11:48 am, I was approached by two federal marshals, who informed me that I had to leave. I demurred. They said that they would have to report me and left.

I passed out about 8 flyers, when three police officers from the Department of Homeland Security approached me at about 11:58 am. The leader was my friend Officer Barnes from previous encounters. After we exchanged the usual pleasantries, he placed me under arrest, and I fell to the ground. He confiscated my remaining brochures and my JURY INFO sign. He left a receipt and a citation 41 CFR, Sub C Section 102 #74.415(c), the same as previously. He unarrested me at 12:05 pm, and the police left the scene.

The Homeland Security Police also approached the photographers. Apparently one left, but the other would not. He was taking pictures of my arrest.  He was placed under arrest. However, he apparently had a permit to photograph a trial, which was the reason he was there. He identified himself as a photographer for the "Post." He was not cited nor any of his property confiscated.

Another pedestrian was standing about 20 feet away observing events. The police approached him and told him that he had to leave. Apparently standing on federal property is also an offense. However,  apparently he left and was not cited.

- Julian Heicklen