An officer from the Melrose Park Police Department is the subject of an internal investigation this week after he detained an anti-abortion activist, disparaged him and drove him to a neighboring suburb.
The activist, Matthew Wiersema, was handing out anti-abortion literature on a sidewalk outside Walther Christian Academy Tuesday morning when he was confronted by a school official who told him he was on private property and had to leave.
Wiersema, 26, of Wheaton, wore a video camera on his jacket that recorded the incident.
“Take it across the street…This is a private school, man, you’re trying to be an a–hat, you’re trying to be an a–hat, man, you’re screwing up the flow of traffic,” a school official told Wiersema in the video.
Wiersema was attempting to hand out literature to parents as they dropped their kids off at school.
School officials called police when Wiersema told them he had a right to be on the sidewalk and refused to leave.
Wiersema told the Chicago Sun-Times Thursday that he was handcuffed, put in a police car and driven to nearby Maywood, where police released him but kept his camera.
“This isn’t an arrest, so shut up with your bull—- and go show this garbage to somebody in f—— Wheaton,” a voice can be heard saying on Wiersema’s video.
Hours later, Wiersema returned to the Melrose Park police station to file a complaint and retrieve his camera. He later posted the video online.
An internal investigation into the officer’s behavior is underway, according to Melrose Park spokesman Gary Mack.
The officer’s catch-and-release tactic is “absolutely not a policy, and, shall we say, at the very least, it sounds unorthodox and potentially much more than that,” Mack said.
“I’d like justice. I’d like there to be some kind of punishment for the officers and what they did to me,” Wiersema said.
“I believe that I was kidnapped, and I hope that those police officers repented their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ,” added Wiersema, who regularly holds demonstrations in downtown Naperville and outside west suburban high schools.
Wiersema said it was the first time he “street preached” outside the school in Melrose Park.
Officials with the Walther Christian Academy could not be reached for comment.