Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Man Ticketed While 'Honking for Peace'

A nuisance or freedom of speech? A Burnsville man says he got a ticket for honking too much during the weekly "Honk for Peace" event. Burnsville Police says they started getting complaints about the Thursday event and began taking photographs of the scene at Burnsville Parkway and Nicolette Avenue. "Just like that, you heard it beep-beep. That's what I did, a lot of those and that's what got me the ticket," said Bob Palmer. Palmer says he believed he was free to honk because last year, the ACLU reached an agreement with Burnsville that police wouldn't ticket people honking for peace.One of the group members snapped pictures of police taking pictures of them and passed them along to the American Civil Liberties Union. "Having two officers standing out taking photographs you is incredibly chilling," said Teresa Nelson with the group. Police say their cameras caught one driver honking more than 50 times. "We certainly don't mean to be chilling. I can see that's one interpretation of us. We're just trying to document accurately what's going down," explained Police Cpt. Eric Gieseke. The ACLU says they haven't decided whether to get involved in Palmer's case, but they have sent a letter to the police department requesting they stop ticketing people.