Campus Police Officer Sues Pennsylvania College for Wrongful Discipline

KUTZTOWN, Pa.

A Kutztown University police officer, who was suspended for five days for refusing to remove anti-LGBT demonstrators during an April 2007 incident, has filed a federal lawsuit against the university, claiming he was wrongfully disciplined, according to Philadelphia Gay News.

According to his lawsuit, Cpl. Steven Armbruster refused to remove 20 members of Repent America from the Day of Silence commemoration, an annual event that spotlights anti-LGBT harassment and discrimination, because it was a violation of the U.S. Constitution. During the incident, the officer was ordered by his superior to have the group removed.

Two of the members from Repent America were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Arbruster’s lawyer, Randall Wenger, said if the plaintiff had removed the demonstrators, he would have violated their free-speech rights and their right to be free of unlawful seizure and/or arrest.

Armbruster claims he was suspended for five days and a disciplinary letter was placed in his personnel file. Additionally, he lost $600 in wages due to his suspension. In the suit, he says he was passed over for training and promotional opportunities.

Armbruster seeks an unspecified amount in compensatory damages, which will be determined by a jury, according to the lawsuit.

Furthermore, Armbuster has requested the judge issue a permanent injunction requiring university officials to remove the disciplinary letter from his records. He also asks that officials will not punish him in the future if he refuses to remove protestors from campus, per the lawsuit.

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