On July 25, 2017, Thomas More Society Special Counsel Martin Cannon was victorious in a jury trial on charges brought against David Schmidt, a 74 year old blind, peaceful sidewalk counselor who was standing vigil outside the abortion clinic formerly run by late term abortionist George Tiller. Schmidt was charged with battery after he defended himself when a clinic escort tried to steal his sign. Schmidt is one of many sidewalk counselors who volunteer their time to the Kansas Coalition for Life. Using signs owned by the Coalition, about 75 volunteers rotate through the hours to provide a constant presence at the notorious abortion facility. Their purpose is to pray for and offer assistance to abortion-minded women entering the clinic who might be inclined to keep their babies if offered support and encouragement.
The charges arose after a clinic security guard approached Mr. Schmidt’s sign, which had been positioned on the ground near Schmidt, and announced his intention to take it. Schmidt physically resisted the guard’s effort and was charged with assault. A judge ruled the guard had no right to interfere with Schmidt’s sign, and that Schmidt had the right to use reasonable physical force in defense of it. The jury found that Schmidt’s use of force was, in fact, reasonable. As a result, David Schmidt was acquitted – another victory for the Thomas More Society – and for life!
Thomas More Society attorney Martin Cannon who defended Schmidt says, “This is a wakeup call to clinic escorts and the entire abortion industry that the Thomas More Society will not stand idly by when sidewalk counselors are mistreated.”