WASHINGTON D.C.—Around 6 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officials stopped the pro-life group Students for Life of America from writing “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” on the street in front of a Planned Parenthood facility and subsequently arrested two members of the group.
Authorities arrested Erica Caporaletti, a 22 year-old student at Towson University, and Warner DePriest, a 29 year-old DC resident, for writing that message in chalk on a sidewalk. The police charged both individuals for defacing public or private property, and held them in custody for an hour before releasing them.
Members of this activist group claimed that they had a permit from the district’s government allowing them to carry out the street painting with temporary paint during the event they held to spotlight the impact of abortion on black communities. Students for Life of America cited the precedent of those protestors who were able to paint the slogans “Defund the Police” and “Black Lives Matter” in the streets during their permit application process.
“We were told verbally that we would not be prevented from painting and what kind of paint to buy,” said Students for Life spokesperson Kristi Hamrick in an email to The Washington Times.
Alaina Gertz of the Metropolitan Police Department reported that the group had a permit to hold a rally, not to paint.
According to Emily Davies of The Washington Post, representatives of Students for Life of America plan to sue D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser because the activists think that their first amendment rights were violated by how the police treated them at their event.