Ron Paul-Supporter Sues St. Peters Following Caucus Arrest

Brent Stafford has filed a lawsuit against the city of St. Peters following his 2012 arrest at the St. Charles County Caucus.

Moments after being acquitted of trespassing, Brent Stafford's lawyer said his client may file a lawsuit against the city of St. Peters. 

Now, more than nine months after St. Peters Municipal Judge Donald Kohl acquitted Stafford, the Ron Paul-supporter filed suit against the city and a police officer in federal court on Monday. Stafford is claiming false arrest, malicious prosecution and the violation of his Constitutional rights, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Stafford, 45, of O'Fallon, was arrested after things got out of control at a March 2012 St. Charles County GOP caucus. After a rules disagreement, St. Peters Police attempted to clear Francis Howell North High School and close the caucus. Stafford remained in the parking lot, trying to reconvene a meeting he said was improperly shut down, standing on a chair.

During his trial in July 2012, officers said that they did not order him to leave as he was standing on the chair, but arrested him for disobeying orders to leave, and they felt everyone knew they were to leave the area. Police arrested Stafford and charged him with trespassing. 

After Stafford was cleared of any wrongdoing, his attorney, David Roland of the Freedom Center of Missouri, thanked a group of supporters outside the St. Peters Justice Center and said the court battle may have just begun.

“This issue has not been finally resolved. He’s just been vindicated,” Roland said at the time. “Now that we’ve established that he was wrongfully arrested, Brent Stafford has the right to file a lawsuit for violating his constitutional rights in being arrested.”

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the suit alleges the St. Charles County Republican Central Committee conspired against Stafford. The suit claims the group was alarmed at the large pro-Ron Paul crowd and engaged in activities to shut down Paul's chances. The suit said that attendees were told they would be arrested if they stayed inside the building, however, no one who stayed inside was arrested. 

Stafford, who could have stayed inside as a member of the committee, went outside and was arrested. A St. Peters Police Officer, Tim Hickey, ordered Stafford's arrest, according to the suit. Stafford was detained for three hours and charged, but was ultimately acquitted in July. 

Stafford and the rest of the Paul supporters dominated the new caucus. Stafford was chosen as the chair of the event and Paul swept the delegates. 

For more information on the issue, see the following articles:

  • Ron Paul Campaign Leader Pleads Not Guilty to Caucus Trespassing Charge
  • Judge: Stafford Not Guilty of Trespassing After Republican Caucus
  • Ron Paul Sweeps St. Charles County Caucus Redo
  • Ron Paul Supporters Say St. Charles County Caucus Organizers Flouted Rules
  • Two People Arrested at Francis Howell North High School Caucus
Marshell April 16, 2013 at 04:49 PM
"After a rules disagreement", PLEASE! These scumbags were totally out of control and were, along with the rest of the public, asked to clear the building by the police. Then these scumbags decided to set up shop in the parking lot further preventing the rest of us from leaving, and in so doing, abiding by the instructions of the police. "Stafford remained in the parking lot, trying to reconvene a meeting he said was improperly shut down, standing on a chair." Again, PLEASE! These agitators were not interested in a "meeting"; their conduct with the police outside was identical to what they were doing inside. THESE BASTARDS DESERVE WHATEVER THEY GET HANDED TO THEM!
Terry Conklin April 16, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Calm down Marshell. You sound foolish.
Rick Racer April 16, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Marshell to bad for you that it's all on YouTube and people can see for themselves it was the old school Republicans breaking the rules.
Bambi April 17, 2013 at 04:37 PM
The arrest was the "establishment" response to the sudden realization that they were no longer the majority. The arrest was dirty politics. I hope Stafford pounds the city, the cops and most especially the antiquated and out-of-touch GOP "leadership".
John Durajczyk April 17, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Why distinguish Ron Paulists from the rest of the GOP? They're one and the same. St. Charles County Republicans couldn't buy this kind of PR; a gift that keeps on giving. BTW, stealing political signs is a federal electioneering crime.......if you can prove it. Was the caucus meeting called to order? By what right did Mr. Stafford have to convene the meeting? STP police just enabled Stafford to take this to the next level. Maybe next time the St. Charles Republicans will settle their disputes the right-wing-extremist way by adopting their much loved 2nd amendment remedies.


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