‘In my day … if a grown man dressed up as a woman and read sex-stories to children, do you know what the police would be doing?’
(Brian Freimuth, Liberty Headlines) On June 15, police arrested Afhsin Yaghtin, a Baptist pastor, outside of a Drag Queen Story Hour event at a Spokane, Washington, public library.
An estimated 40 police officers were posted outside the event. Protestors and supporters posted photographs on social media of snipers stationed on the roof of the library, overlooking protestors and those who came to support the event.
Yaghtin was arrested after asking why he could not stand on the same side of the street as the library, as it was public property.
The Baptist pastor posted a video of his dialogue with the police.
After a brief discussion with several police officers, Yaghtin was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer. Yaghtin was released quickly and was not charged with any crime.
The police told Yaghtin and other protestors that they were required to stand on the side of the street opposite the library, while those who supported the event were allowed to demonstrate near the library.
“In my day, when I was a child growing up in the U.S.A., if a grown man dressed up as a woman and read sex-stories to children, do you know what the police would be doing?”
“It’s not that day, sir,” a police officer responded.
In the days leading up to the event, controversy grew between protest groups and supporters of the event on social media.
Spokane police pre-emptively assigned many officers to the event to ensure public safety. According to the Spokesman- Review, an estimated 400 people came out to support the event while 200 protestors demonstrated on the opposite side of the street.
Sgt. Terry Preuninger of the Spokane police told the Spokesman-Review that the additional police forces were necessary due to reports that stated that protestors on both sides planned to arm themselves before coming to the event.
“That elevated our presence,” Preuninger said. “It’s common practice, and you see that in communities across the country.”