Houstonian Natalie Plummer was arrested on Thursday, June 21, for standing on the sidewalk and holding a paper sign. While riding her bike down West Dallas on her way home from the grocery store, Plummer noticed HPD pulling over cars that were allegedly speeding. She took videotape of this happening near downtown because she believed HPD was wrongly pulling over random people that were not even speeding. In attempt to prevent any other drivers from being pulled over, Plummer created a sign that read, “Speed Trap!!” and held it up to cars that passed by while she stood on the sidewalk.
Rather than helping other drivers like she had intended, Plummer was arrested on the corner of West Dallas and Nash. She says that an HPD officer jumped out of his car and pulled at her backpack before searching it without consent. Court documents state that HPD made the arrest based on the fact that she was in the street, thus a danger to herself and others and obstructing justice– which is an arrestable offense and would result in an automatic three to five year sentence in jail.
After her arrest, Plummer spent 12 hours in jail before bonding out. She claims that her arrest was wrongful and that the cop arrested her under made-up false charges, because he was displeased at her act of warning about a speed trap– and the only way he could arrest her was if it were under alternate charges.
Plummer stands by the claim that she was never in the street and only stood on the sidewalk, therefore presenting no potential danger to herself or others. The fact that she was arrested after holding up a paper sign is a violation of her 1st amendment rights to free speech and to protest.
HPD has disrespected and wrongly charged Natalie Plummer. This Saturday, July 7, at 2pm there will be a protest held at the location where Plummer was arrested– on the corner of West Dallas and Nash, near downtown Houston. Join the protest to remind HPD of our constitutional rights and their obligation to defend our rights.