November 1st, 2009

Police Officer Honored At OK Conference For Upholding The Law


armbrusterCorporal Steven Armbruster won an Oath Keeper of the year award at the first Oath Keepers conference in October 2009. In April 2007Armbruster refused to violate the constitutional rights of a group of Christians peacefully assembling on the Kutztown University campus.

Video from the protest/rally

Armbruster is not able to discuss the case but the ADF has put out a press release about the issue.

Penn. police officer punished for upholding the law
ADF-allied attorneys file suit to defend officer who wouldn’t violate First Amendment rights of Christians at Kutztown University

PHILADELPHIA — ADF-allied attorneys filed a lawsuit against officials of Kutztown University and its police chief Monday on behalf of a police officer who refused to violate the constitutional rights of a group of Christians peacefully communicating on various issues on campus.  As a result of Corporal Steven Armbruster’s objection to forcefully removing them from the campus, the Kutztown Univ. Police Dept. suspended him without pay for five days, issued him a disciplinary letter, and threatened him with termination if he takes a similar stand in the future.

“Police officers who understand and respect the constitutional rights of American citizens should be commended, not punished,” said ADF-allied attorney Randall L. Wenger, chief counsel for the Harrisburg-based Independence Law Center.  “Corporal Armbruster honored his conscience as a Christian and his duty as a civil servant to protect–not violate–these citizens’ free speech rights.  He knew that he was being asked to punish the wrong party in the situation.”

On April 18, 2007, approximately 15 members of a Christian group peacefully shared their faith on the KU campus, including speaking about moral issues such as abortion and homosexual behavior.  As the members shared their message, about 300 protesters from several organizations and clubs appeared on the scene and loudly opposed the message, causing KU President F. Javier Cevallos and the chief of the KU Police Dept., William Mioskie, to insist the Christian group leave campus.

Shortly after one member of the group was arrested, Armbruster became concerned when Mioskie ordered the officers to “push” others in the group off campus for “disorderly conduct.”  Armbruster understood that this would involve arresting or threatening to arrest the rest of the group upon whom the protesters had descended, though he saw no evidence of disorderly conduct among the members of the Christian group.

Armbruster explained to Mioskie that he believed such action would violate the group’s civil rights.  Mioskie immediately relieved Armbruster of his duties and told him to leave the scene while other officers executed his orders.  After hearing the evidence, the court dismissed the charges against members of the Christian group who were arrested.

Armbruster was placed on paid administrative leave.  Following a pre-discipline conference, he was suspended without pay for five working days and warned that he will face termination if he makes a similar decision in the future.  He currently has a disciplinary letter on file that jeopardizes his promotion to sergeant.

  • Complaint in lawsuit Armbruster v. Cavanaugh filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

www.telladf.org




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76 Responses to “Police Officer Honored At OK Conference For Upholding The Law”

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  1. 1
    Abbie Says:

    Thank you so much for upholding our Constitution when others failed. That took great courage. You are truly a great patriot.

  2. 2
    Mr. Smith Says:

    Mr. Armbruster, I have said this in the past and I am going to be saying it in the future, your service, dedication and sacrifices will never fall upon deaf ears when it comes to my children, thank you so much for what you have done, and are continuing to do, even though it always is not going to be the popular decision amongst your peers, hopefully with a lot of hard work we can change that last part..

  3. 3
    Mr. Smith Says:

    Mr. Armbruster, I have said this in the past and I am going to be saying it in the future, your service, dedication and sacrifices will never fall upon deaf ears when it comes to my children, thank you so much for what you have done, and are continuing to do, even though it always is not going to be the popular decision amongst your peers, hopefully with a lot of hard work we can change that last part..
    LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC!!!

  4. 4
    Doug Kemerer Says:

    Mr. Armbruster,

    Thank you so much for standing for what is right. It’s sad that those who actually stand up for something that is a right provided under our constitution, must suffer such injustice as you have. Please know and take heart that many of us support you and believe in what you have done. Thank you for taking the risks and having the great moral courage you have shown.

  5. 5
    David Haggard Says:

    Mr. Armbruster thank you so much!Disgusting what is happening leftest decieding what is and what is not legitamite speech according to them!Throwing rocks through the window at North Carolina and shutting down Tom Tancredo speech is aanother sick example!

  6. 6
    Rand Cardwell Says:

    Steve,

    It is with great honor that I call you my friend.

    Rand

  7. 7
    RanDomino Says:

    These people come onto campuses for the sole purpose of inciting an angry reaction. That’s disorderly conduct if I’ve ever heard it.

  8. 8
    Reis Kash Says:

    Corporal Armbruster – It is very difficult to stand up for not doing the wrong thing and I congratulate you on your conduct and your award. My brother – in Korea during the early days of the war there – and I met in some God-forsaken town once during the war and he told me he had refused a direct order to shoot Chinese prisoners. I was proud of him then for showing the right stuff and you and he are in the same formation. Good on you.

  9. 9
    Nancy Major Says:

    What a blessing to know a man who stands on his convictions – Thank you for standing with us on that day. May many others follow in your footsteps!

  10. 10
    Terry Flink Says:

    It is difficult to watch the video without getting angry. I sit there and wonder what happened to my country. It was an honor to me Corporal Armbruster at the conference and it strengthens my faith to see him boldly stand up for the Constitution and his faith.

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