On April 29th, 2010, Mitch Kahle of the Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church and Kevin Hughes protested an invocation prayer in the Hawaii State Legislature.
Long story short, the Sergeant at Arms wanted him to leave, Kahle resisted, the resulting skirmish was all caught on tape, Kahle and Hughes were roughed up in the process, and both men were arrested for disorderly conduct.
All this for what was actually a very peaceful protest.
Thankfully, in December of 2010, a judge found Kahle not guilty.
Kahle and Hughes decided to sue government officials over how they were treated, and we finally have word about the settlement:
Mitch Kahle and colleague Kevin Hughes are $100,000 richer, thanks to a settlement in their favor regarding a lawsuit against the state Senate sergeant-at-arms, staff and state sheriff’s deputies.
“We’re pleased with the settlement, primarily because it sends a message to government that peaceful protest cannot be treated violently,” he [said]. “And now that the sergeant-at-arms and sheriff’s deputies have received training as a result of our lawsuit, we hope that this type of experience never happens again.”
While the Hawaii House continues having invocation prayers, the state Senate has put a stop to the practice. But both the House and Senate are considering bills that would put a stop to “disorderly or contemptuous behavior”… in other words, they’re trying to make sure people like Kahle and Hughes can’t protest in a similar way in the future.
(Thanks to Randall for the link!)