Here is an account of what took place in my previous post from one of the individuals that was at the receiving end of the arrest.
Written by Derek Jones:
My boyfriend and I were walking home from the Gallivan Center concert series and naturally had to walk down the pedestrian mall (it was a direct path to our house and we have walked it many times together). We were holding hands.
Matt paused to say something to me and hugged and kissed me.
At that moment, several LDS church security guards came up to us and asked us to leave because we were being inappropriate.
Matt moved in closer to me and put his arm around me and asked the security guards loudly “what are we doing wrong?” We were obviously annoyed that they singled us out, especially since we were just passing through and not spending considerable time there. And there were no other people on the easement that we could see.
At this point they said that they wanted us to leave because of the public display of affection and that they do not allow any sorts of public displays of affection on the easement whatsoever. This especially irked the both of us because having walked through on a frequent basis (we often walk to work through there) and every time I have been through there are either marriage ceremonies going on, young mormon [sic] couples cuddling in front the fountain, hugging, holding hands, etc.
Matt then tried to get them to admit they were singling us out because they just didn’t approve of “gay” public displays of affection, baiting them into revealing their bigotry.
As all this was going on, several more security guards began showing up. I didn’t make an actual count but I would guess about 10 security guards were now surrounding us.
One of the security guards then got in Matt’s face and expressed very forcefully that “we (meaning straight people?) don’t come to your house and make-out on our property.” At this point Matt called him on his [expletive deleted] and mentioned that every time he has been through, he’s seen brides and grooms, couples holding hands on the pavement etc.
The security guards then changed their strategy and went the route of telling us that the easement is privately owned by the church and they can basically kick-out anyone they deem being offensive or inappropriate. This is technically true, but at the time I thought that it was a public easement and they had no rights to kick us out for holding hands (I didn’t really follow the controversy back in 2003 when the City ended up caving into the Mormon Church’s request to make the easement private property).
At this point they then split us up and forced me onto the ground on my stomach. They put my face against the pavement and handcuffed my hands behind my back. They then did a search and took everything out of our pockets. They did the same to Matt, although he resisted (not violently) and they weren’t able to get him on the ground because he’s a big guy and it took four or five of their guys to get him handcuffed. Matt remembers asking “what are you doing? Why are you doing this?” Then Matt launched into them verbally, telling them that they were hypocrites and did not have the authority to be arresting us. Matt never threatened them, nor was he ever violent. He even explicitly told them that we were not being violent and that handcuffing was completely unnecessary. Neither of us are violent people. We were just trying to get them to have a civil conversation with us about the real reasons they wanted us to leave. Matt then asked if what they are doing was legal. The security guards tried to claim that they were the cops. One of them even pulled out a fake badge and said he used to be a cop.
Matt then asked where the real cops were and they then said we could either leave, or they would get the cops. While we waited for the cops to arrive, the security guards kept trying to take pictures of us with their digital cameras. They also tried to accuse us being intoxicated although we were not. I admitted to have A beer at the gallivant, but that was hours before.
The cops finally showed up and talked to the church security away from while we still sat in cuffs. The police then escorted off the easement and took off our cuffs. We answered their questions and the one cop tried to shame us by pointing out we had been drinking, at which point Matt said “of course I have been we were at the Gallivan and took the responsible route by walking
The cop then dropped that line of attack that [sic].
The cops then issued us both citations for trespassing and let us go.
Update: Some of the commenters seem to be under the impression that I, as author of this blog, was one of the victims of the preceding incidents – I wish to clarify that I am simply reporting the information as I have received it from the two directly. It is for this reason that I have not answered what I plan to do because I have no direct connection to the case – other than the fact that people I know and care about have been directly affected by it. My appologies for any confusion.