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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Double Standards

I don't normally re-post items, but this one rather angers me.
I've been arrested and carted to jail for simply sitting in front of a clinic door.

Pro-Life Activist Assaulted, Police Allow Assailant to Walk.


By Michael Whitcraft

CONTACT: Michael Whitcraft (717) 451–5685

At 6:30 am on Saturday, December 22, while most were snug in bed, resting up for Christmas activities, veteran pro-lifer Ed Snell was arriving at Hillcrest Abortion Center, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He had come with two other activists to persuade women entering the clinic not to abort their pre-born children.

The group customarily meets at the clinic and has saved many lives. In fact, they have been so effective, that the clinic erected a 7-foot privacy fence to cut off all communication between the women and the pro-lifers. However, their efforts were scuttled, when the activists began bringing ladders so they could speak over the fence.

Mr. Snell, age 69, preferred to stand on a more solid foundation, so he constructed a plywood platform on the roof of his car to elevate him above the fence.

“This platform gives him a real steady base and a commanding view,” said fellow activist and eyewitness John McTernan. As Ed stood on his platform that morning, a man and woman exited a car in the parking lot and proceeded towards that door of the abortion mill.

When Mr. Snell tried to counsel the woman, his words were cut short when the man became furious, jumped the fence and, in the words of Mr. McTernan, “leaped on the vehicle with Ed and catapulted him off of the vehicle and onto the ground.” Mr. Snell hit his back and head on the pavement and was knocked unconscious.

His medical report outlines the extent of his injuries: “multiple trauma, right subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the area between the brain and the tissues that cover the brain), compression fractures of four vertebrae (T3, T4, T5 and T10), right scapula fracture and fracture of the fourth and fifth ribs.” Before doctors were able to stop the bleeding in his head, they even feared Mr. Snell would die.

When asked on the phone about the vicious attack, the receptionist at Hillcrest Abortion Clinic refused to give a recorded statement and angrily shouted: “He got what he deserved! He earned what he got!” She then hung up the phone.

Immediately after the attack, Mr. McTernan ran over to Ed and was frightened to see that he was unconscious and breathing irregularly. He reported the attack to “911” and then shouted to the assailant: “You assaulted him and he is unconscious.” Agitated, the man replied: “I did not assault him, I just pushed him,” with an aggressiveness that made Mr. McTernan fearful for his own safety.

Ed was taken away in an ambulance and three police officers arrived to investigate. They went into the clinic, where the assailant was waiting. After a few moments, the assailant and his companion left the clinic freely, got into their car and drove away.

Shocked, Mr. McTernan shouted to the police: “What are you doing? That’s him! That’s the assailant!”
One cop replied: “It is none of your business!”

Mr. McTernan: “I am making it my business, Ed Snell is my good friend!”

The officer then threatened to arrest Mr. McTernan for interfering with a criminal investigation. Mr. Mcternan replied: “Go ahead and arrest me, I am not afraid. I want to know why the assailant walked away from this scene where an elderly man was left unconscious. We have excellent attorneys and we will sue you if you do not do your job.”

She angrily responded: “Don’t threaten me or I will arrest you!” She then returned to the police car and drove away. At the time this article was written, the Harrisburg Police Department had not returned a phone call requesting a statement on the incident.

Once the extent of Mr. Snell’s injuries were discovered, the assailant was arrested. Nevertheless, as Mr. McTernan put it: “I cannot imagine me [as a pro-lifer], striking someone connected with Hillcrest [Abortion Center], knocking them unconscious, the police coming, the injured person being taken away in an ambulance and the police letting me go. There is something wrong with that.”

There is also something wrong with the lack of media coverage of the incident. At the time this article was written, a google search about the attack returned no results.

Ed returned home just in time to celebrate Christmas with his family. He was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve, just a couple of hours before Bishop Kevin Rhodes of Harrisburg arrived to pay him a visit.

Doctors expect him to make a full recovery, although it will take a long time. “Ed is very sore,” said Mrs. Snell in a telephone interview, “he is black and blue and the doctor said that it will be a full eight weeks before his bones heal completely.”

Mrs. Snell is thankful for the prayers that Ed has received and hopes these will continue. She feels confident that, supported by these prayers, he will recover well.

As for Mr. Snell, he is not yet accepting telephone calls, but feels humbled by all the prayers and attention he has received. A man of faith, he feels called to his work and remains undaunted. As Mrs. Snell aptly put it: “I know that the Devil is busy and that he does not like the work that Ed does, but if that is the case, then Ed is doing the right job.”

Please keep Mr. and Mrs. Snell in your prayers and, due to the lack of press coverage, please email this article to all your friends.


Dr.Dawg said...

Thgis story was invented--hence, no coverage. Everything goes back to Whitcraft--and the organization he works for. I wish you guys were a little more critical sometimes.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

If it was invented, you would have no trouble verifying this for us. So please do so - and let Newsbusters knows as well, as they are also carrying the story...

At the moment, I am much more inclined to believe Newsbusters than some joker called "Dr. Dawg."

Dr.Dawg said...

Proving a negative is not the easiest thing in the world to do, as you should know--prove the moon isn't made of green cheese.

If you had pried a little deeper, you would have noticed that Newsbusters got its info from the same person as everyone else--pne Michael Whitcraft, of Tradition, Family and Property. Ever occur to you that one reason it hasn't been reported, even by the local media, is--because it didn't happen?

Come on, put on your critical thinking cap here.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Dr. Dawg, I have protested in front of abortion clinics on numerous occasions and I have been arrested twice for doing so.

During the course of these demonstrations and both arrests, I witnessed numerous instances of similar police harassment and media silence. I have personal communications with literally dozens of other pro-lifers who have experienced or witnessed similar harassment.

You claim this is completely fabricated. I assume you make this claim on the basis of your extensive experience in abortion clinic protests, since you were not present at the time or place where the assault occurred, and therefore cannot state that it didn't happen.

So, sir, what in this account is at variance with the experiences YOU have had while YOU protested in front of abortion clinics? What marks it out as false?

You made the claim of falsehood - now back it up.

Dr.Dawg said...


You missed my point about proving a negative.

I have an in-built scepticism that comes alive when 1) a lurid story starts appearing everyhwere, but each iteration can be tracked back to a single source--in this case, the far-right Tradition, Family and Property outfit; b) it doesn't even get picked up by local media, however belatedly; and c) the conspiracy required to keep this thing under wraps would involve media, police and on-lookers.

There are two possibilities: a) the story happened, but a massive cover-up is in progress; or, b) it didn't happen, or at least not as advertised.

If someone tells me they've seen a ghost, I would ask them to prove it--I don't think the onus is on me to prove there isn't a ghost, and that he didn't, in fact, see one.

Occam's Razor is an excellent tool. I suggest you might need a shave about now. :)

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Dr. Dawg, I've seen exactly this happen on numerous occasions.

I've seen police officers treat pro-lifers with exactly this level of disdain, and I've heard of much worse from extremely reliable first-hand witnesses. I was personally treated this way by police officers during one of my arrests.

MSM reporters are just like everyone else - they pick and choose what they think is important, and simply ignore events that would put their friends in bad light.

When the whistle blows on the cops in a one-newspaper town, nobody listens to the whistle-blowers. You find this hard to believe? I don't see why.

In short, you have no evidence against except you don't like it. We are expected to believe you because... well, because.

Sorry, but I find the reasons to believe you far less compelling.

Dr.Dawg said...

I'm not asking you to believe anything. I'm asking for evidence for something you want me to believe. See the difference?

Possibly a single call to the local police department can put this matter to rest. You want to call, or shall I?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, Dawg, if you don't believe what I report on my blog, why would you believe what I report from a phone call?

Call him:

Police Chief Charles Keller
Phone: 717-255-3103
or 717.255.3131 for the general desk


The chief's personal phone is not being answered, the voice mail has been disconnected from the phone, and the police chief isn't answering e-mails.

The arresting officer is named Aldridge. The desk will be more than happy to put you in contact with him if you would like details from the officer interested in saving his job.

Dr.Dawg said...

With respect, Steve, all you "reported" on your blog was a third-hand story originating with Michael Whitcraft--just like everybody else.

But thank you for the coordinates. How did you get the officer's name, btw?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Dawg, you seem to think the original report was a lie unless proven otherwise.

You think I would recklessly post lies to my blog.

In fact, you seem to think all of the sources that have repeated the story (Lifesite News, Newsbusters, Christian News Wire), would - each and every one - report without regard to the facts.

In short, you apparently think pro-lifers in particular and Christians in general are either stupid or liars or both.

"With respect" - you're a bleeding idiot. Why don't you go find out how I discovered the arresting officer's name?

Dr.Dawg said...

You tell me.

In the meantime, all I've seen to date is the same story, from the same source, repeated over and over ad nauseam by people who seem to think there's a conspiracy against them and their cause, and will believe anything that reinforces that.

I am suspicious that no media, not even local media, have reported on this. It's a great story, from an "if it bleeds, it leads" point of view. Why isn't FOX News all over this, for example? Why aren't we getting independent confirmation from conservative news outlets?

To date we have not so much as a letter to the editor--just a thread on the Harrisburg newspaper's website that begins--you guessed it--with a reference to that same primary source.

I'm sure something happened. But I'm just as sure that there's more to it.

Have a good New Year. I'll be back once I get something out of the local police department.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Yeah, well, I won't hold my breath on you coming back then. The local police department is sitting on this just as tight as they can.

You clearly have never worked the pro-life angle on anything - the MSM is absolutely not interested in covering it. When they do, they tend to lie.

It doesn't need a deep, dark conspiracy to get the kind of non-response this has generated - all it needs is people who all have the same attitude on life (i.e, reporters), and who all share a common disinterest in the pro-life perspective.

Patrick said...

Knight Ridder took over the local newspaper in my area. One of the reporters that I went to school with was specifically told not to report any event that pro-lifers did at the local Planned Parenthood because it was against KR policy to report on "those nutjobs on the street". People who put their faith in MSM have to be clueless in the modern world. MSM has no reason to push pro-life events when it conflicts with their own propaganda.

Jordan Potter said...

Steve, you were far more patient with this pro-abortion puppet "Dr. Dawg" than I would have been. (Yeah, it's a guess on my part that he's pro-abortion, but I'm absolutely sure his skepticism is rooted in his support for killing unborn children.) It's hilarious how he jumps in with an assertion that the story was invented, but can't prove his assertion. "Can't prove a negative," he huffs. Yeah, but you can do a little research and find out if the police department are investigating the incident. The department ought to have a media relations contact who can help with that, and if the department is unhelpful, there's the Freedom of Information Act.

Having works the "cops and courts" beat as a journalist, I know firsthand the kinds of shenanigans that go on in newsrooms and, yes, in police departments. I wouldn't be surprised if that officer who let the perp walk off was pro-abortion, though the officer may have just been having a bad day, or might not be competent to do the job. As for the local news coverage, most newrooms today have very small staffs and very limited resources (because most people don't read newspapers anymore), so -- apart from the real problem of journalistic bias -- there's also the practical matter that many times the newspaper misses a story, and by the time they find out about the story it's no longer "news."

But enough of the silly antics of our pro-abortion puppet. What I really wanted to observe is that this incident illustrates the true spirit and character of the abortion industry. Those who do the good work of protesting and intervening at abortuaries are truly putting their own lives on the line. Remember what an abortuary is -- an institution that exists to destroy human lives and make a killing doing so. That guy who attacked the pro-lifer was there to make sure his unborn child, or someone else's unborn child, would never be born, and the pro-life witness there was too much for him to take -- how dare anyone try to interfere in his "freedom" to make sure that child dies. Having come out of a place of violence and death, it was easy for him to resort to violence and put someone else's life in jeopardy. Really, anyone who can countenance the death of unborn children shouldn't have too many qualms about other forms of killing. Pro-lifers just need to keep that in mind: when we put ourselves that close to the presence of abortion violence, somtimes we become "collateral damage" of the attacks on the unborn.

Jordan Potter said...

Well, so much for Dr. Dawg's claim that there was no media coverage because the story was invented. On Jan. 1, The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Penn., published a story about the incident and Ed Snell's injuries:

There are also a couple of discussion threads pertaining to this incident at the website of the local ABC affiliate:

It has been alleged by Ed Snell's opponents that his "sidewalk counseling" consists of his hurling nasty epithets and condemnations at the people who enter and leave the Hillcrest abortuary. I hope that is not true -- but if true, it could explain Mr. Richardson's violence and the unhelpfulness of the police (especially if the police have had prior experience with incidents involving Ed Snell and unkind words). But of course the allegations against Ed Snell could be lies.