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Former Gary, Ind. Mayor Arrested

June 6, 2002

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GARY, Ind. (AP) _ Former Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher was arrested during a City Council meeting after he and the council president disagreed over whether Hatcher should be allowed to speak.

Hatcher wanted to speak to the council Tuesday about a request for $5 million for the National Civil Rights Hall of Fame, which he wants to build in Gary.

Council President Roy Pratt told Hatcher the council would take no speakers unless it was on an ordinance ready for a final vote that night. Still, Hatcher stood at a podium, using the microphone to interrupt Pratt and claiming he had a First Amendment right to speak anytime he wanted to the council.

A motion was defeated to suspend council rules allowing Hatcher to speak. Police then spent 10 minutes asking Hatcher to sit. He refused.

Though he was never handcuffed, he was escorted to the city jail and charged with disorderly conduct. He was released a short time later.

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