|No gays allowed? Water Street Vintage, LLC, (New London, |
Wisconsin), antique clerk accosts Madison man; phones police
who arrive and then cite John Quinlan with a disorderly
conduct citation, apparently for being gay and
living in Madison.
There's John Quinlan doing his weekly show on WORT-Radio, (Madison, Wisconsin).
There's John Quinlan receiving the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award.
There's John Quinlan working for marriage equity, and on and on.
Quinlan the gentle soul that he is visited his hometown in northeastern Wisconsin, New London, (pop. 7,295), and visited an antique store, Water Street Vintage, LLC, this week.
As reported by Quinlan, a fundamentalist, anti-choice Water Street Vintage clerk caught up with Quinlan while shopping and accosted the man about Donald Trump, Scott Walker, going to hell, being a "heathen" and so forth.
Quinlan complained to the owner, while the clerk phoned the New London, Wisconsin Police who arrived with three cops, including one chief Jeffrey A. Schlueter, and cite Quinlan! for disorderly conduct.
This municipal-citation bomb is a new tactic and now frequent occurrence by small-town Wisconsin fundamentalists and less-than-gifted police who tend to be corrupt, authoritarian and rightwing Trumpists.
An attempt to contact Water Street Vintage, LLC by phone was unsuccessful.
The registered agent of Water Street Vintage, LLC is Kelly Rickert, according to the Wisconsin Dept of Financial Institutions.
A Linked-in search of Rickert lists Rickert as "Business Owner at Water Street Vintage."
Quinlan has contacted the ACLU of Wisconsin and plans to contest the bogus disorderly conduct citation.
In a Facebook post this week, Quinlan recounts the experience, reproduced below.
POLICE ABUSE AND PERSONAL HATE-FILLED HARASSMENT I EXPERIENCED MONDAY, (MARCH 19, 2018), IN AN ANTIQUE STORE IN SMALL-TOWN WISCONSIN.
Yesterday, while visiting an antique store in downtown New London (one of my hometowns), the store clerk, a rabidly righteous self-identified "pro-lifer" started ranting and raving about Trump (he was her hero because he didn't take crap), Walker (a traitor because he didn't do enough to punish Planned Parenthood) and her rigidly dogmatic faith ("I can tell you're a hell-bound heathen, I can see it in your eyes," she shouted getting right up in my face). I managed to escape, but after a few minutes on the street I doubled back to inform the owner, with whom I'd had a decidedly friendlier interaction, that this was not a way to win over customers.
The ranting woman retaliated by calling the New London Police on me, and they detained me, frisked me and interrogated me in a cold and windy riverside parking lot for over an hour. I'd done nothing to provoke her, but they believed her and not me (probably because I was living now in Madison) and issued a citation for disorderly conduct, with a fine of $250, telling me I should be happy it was not more. No due process, abject humiliation, and blatant disrespect, all delivered with sarcasm and a smile. Spent this morning at the ACLU seeking recourse, and plans are coming into place. They're not getting away with this, and I'm not about to let this happen to anyone else. I have deeper roots in New London than anyone working in that store and in comparison with all 3 of the police involved, and there are countless people there who remember me and respect me, and loved my parents.
This was outrageous, and I'm still shaking and my back is spasming as this toxic moment replays itself in my thoughts and feelings again and again. The obnoxious "Christian" smarmily righteous ignorant paranoid demon-spawn woman (who's not even from New London herself) thinks she's clever and she's won; nothing could be further from the truth. I don't know how Kelly, the store's owner, let this happen. Too bad, because it's really a wonderful store, in my experience, one of the best of its kind in Wisconsin.
New London and its wonderful people are better than this, and the behavior displayed by this woman and the police as their police chief belligerently looked on, and in the end, justice shall prevail. They have no idea who they're dealing with, and the story is just beginning.
By the way, this woman brags that, working with bands of other "pro-life" extremists, she forcibly prevents women seeking health care from entering Planned Parenthood clinics, and that its doctors (and the police who protect them) deserve to die and face eternal damnation. But the police fell for her theatrics without thinking twice about her history or motivations. She was a whining conspiracy-minded hypocrite who claimed the world was out to get her, and who despised all authority. How's that for irony?
Many of my best friends are police officers, including a close friend who recently retired from the New London police force. Following their chief's shortsighted lead, these officers deeply dishonored their profession yesterday, staining the integrity and reputation of a beautiful town I'd been proud to call home. I'm not the only one there who feels this way, and with any luck, cooler heads will win the day. New London deserves better. We all deserve better.