A couple of weeks ago the Daily Camera published my recommendation that the City of Boulder drop charges against Seth Brigham. Fortunately, the city did – a day before the publication. (Yes, this is not exactly breaking news, but the video is worth watching.)
Drop the charges. Even if Brigham’s refusing the police officer’s requests justified his arrest, it’s not worth it. Our tax dollars are better spent on prosecuting criminals who actually hurt people, rather than on an eccentric guy who might drag the city in a costly lawsuit for being silenced at a City Council meeting.
Two minutes. That’s how long the Council could have waited to avoid the controversy. Brigham spoke for one minute before Council members asked the arresting officer to, in the officer’s words, “remove Brigham from the room.” The Channel 8 video (on the Camera site) shows that Bringham remained polite when speaking and knew of his three-minute time allotment.
The City Council website says that members of the public “may address any city business” during the public participation segment. Before being cut off, the one issue Brigham explicitly mentioned concerned campaign contributions accepted by Council member Suzy Ageton. Mayor Osborne said “It’s not appropriate to call out any individual Council members.” This isn’t “city business”? Brigham wasn’t there to discuss a Council member’s hair style or taste in movies, after all.
Even if you think Brigham’s issue was not “city business,” there must have been a better way than to involve the police. Brigham was not intimidating or threatening anyone. Even rudeness would have been an improvement. For example, the Council members could have started texting or web-surfing on their phones while Brigham finished. We’d all be better off.