UPDATED: Local attorney Kirk Freeman made stunning allegations recently on his “Kirk Freeman Law” Facebook page. The original post, dated June 12, 2017, provided an intriguing status about a public records request that he submitted to county officials concerning the existence of a courtroom that he had heard about. It was allegedly located in the basement at 111 North 4th Street, across from the Tippecanoe County Courthouse.
In a blog posted dated June 12, he wrote:
“Won first skirmish. Received answer to my APRA/FOIA inquiry into the ‘courtroom’ at 111 North 4th Street in Lafayette. As I suspected, courtroom was a nullity.
Included as well was County’s decision to enforce ‘security’ at 111 North 4th Street pursuant to 35-47-11.1.4(13). Thus, if you have a license to carry a handgun regardless of the kabuki dance up front, you can carry at 111 North 4th Street, Lafayette, Ind.
June 26th my request to take depositions is set for hearing. Need to find out who made the false allegations to attempt to get me to drop my APRA/FOIA requests. It’s nice to start off with a minor win, but ending this interference with my civil rights and my First Amendment rights is the real battle.”
According to Freeman, on May 2, 2017, he was given a tour of the new facility by one of the public defenders who told him about a new courtroom located in the basement of the building. At this point he was merely curious about the existence of such a courtroom so began asking questions about who created it, and what its purpose was. He also asked to see it; however, it was locked.
Ironically, Freeman had just returned from an NRA meeting in Atlanta when he first toured the annex. Indiana Law (35-47-11-1-4(13) allows citizens with gun permits to carry in public buildings as long as there are no court rooms, so the questions about the courtroom were logical ones for law-abiding citizens who exercise their right to carry a gun as permitted by law.
“It was intellectual curiosity at that point,” said Freeman. “I asked questions about who created the court.” Freeman said that after looking through a locked door it became obvious that there wasn’t a courtroom set up. “There were boxes and furniture in the room,” he said. At this point, he became more curious and submitted a request for public information about the courtroom on or about May 15, 2017. That’s when the trouble began.
On or about May 17, 2017, Freeman was pulled into a restroom and questioned by courthouse deputies. Someone had accused him of carrying a gun in the courthouse and ranting about it on Facebook. Freeman knew that was nonsense, so asked the officers who made those allegations and who ordered them to question him. They reportedly told him they could not tell him. Freeman believes someone may have intended to intimidate him for raising questions and asking for public information.
The timing seems suspicious to Freeman. He said he doesn’t blame the deputies.
“They were just doing their job,” he said. Freeman wants to know who ordered them to question him and who made the false allegations against him.
“Was it a concerted effort to obstruct my freedom of information request,” he asked.
Freeman received a letter from county officials last week, which confirmed his suspicions. A courtroom was not operating in the building, which would affect a person’s gun-carrying status.
Freeman answered several inquiries from citizens on his Facebook page. He explained the situation further with this answer:
“Think of a courtroom as a “poison pill” which radiates a gun ban.
The courtroom that the county attempted to foist on us is dark and unused. I filed a APRA/FOIA request for more info on the “courtroom”.
Someone got wind of this request and moved to stop me by making false allegations against me to put me in fear. Problem is that I don’t scare and I fight. Whoever did this will not get anyone with this.
Remember, if they attack you, make certain you mark them in way that when they look in the mirror and see your mark, they always remember you.”
Freeman wants answers, so he filed a motion to compel the officers to submit to a deposition in accordance with Trial Rule 27, which allows petitioners to take depositions for discovery purposes prior to filing a potential lawsuit. A hearing on his motion is set for June 26, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. in the Tippecanoe County Circuit Court.
“I am a little stunned why they would do this to me,” he questioned. As a Nobel Peace Prize winner once said, “If they punch me, I will punch back twice as hard.”