Woman arrested for speaking too long at city council meeting

Eric Pfeiffer
October 29, 2012

A 60-year-old woman was arrested after exceeding her allotted three minutes of speaking time at a California city council meeting.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that Karen Wright's arrested was caught on video, when she was handcuffed by police and cited for disrupting a public meeting during a Riverside City Council meeting.

"Can you see my wrists? You're pulling and jerking on my wrists!" Wright says in the video, while police forcibly handcuff her while she is on her knees. "I cannot get up without putting my hands down!"

Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge and other council members denied ordering the arrest, which occurred when Wright was addressing a local sludge-hauling contract. When her time expired, one of the two attending police officers began to escort Wright away, who then resisted and shouted to the council, "I would like you to quit the harassment with the police."

During the video, someone can be heard off-camera shouting, "This is your legacy, Mayor." For his part, Mayor Loveridge says he has never heard of another speaker arrested at a city council meeting during his 32 years in public service.

Loveridge said the police officers will no longer be allowed to make arrests unless directed to do so by the council chair, which is the position he holds.