A Gillespie resident is attracting lots of attention on social media by taking aim at the Gillespie Police Department and Gillespie City Council after he claims the city and its police force are violating residents’ constitutional rights, property rights, and the fourth amendment.
Mark Pullen, who says he lives in the southeast part of Gillespie, started protesting outside the Gillespie Police Department Monday afternoon after police visited his residence Monday morning. Pullen said a Gillespie police officer came on his property regarding “a camper and extortion fees” and that, he said, “crossed the line because [the police] have no reason in the world to come to my house”. Without hesitating, Pullen continued by saying his belief is Gillespie Police don’t have rights to come on his property because he lives in Cahokia Township and not within city limits.
Gillespie Police Chief Jared DePoppe said otherwise telling The BenGil Post that a Gillespie police officer was at Pullen’s residence earlier in the day on Monday regarding a city ordinance issue and he was only issued a warning.
“Police have been to his house twice in the last year,” DePoppe elaborated. “And he has received warnings for ordinance issues, no citations.”
Pullen said his mission by protesting outside the police department is to make people aware that Gillespie residents don’t approve of the city council and don’t approve of the police department, saying “Gillespie is the most unorganized, big-government corruption that there is. These are not even real cops. I’m making everyone aware of that.”
Chief DePoppe said he has directed his department to take no action that will violate Pullen’s right to peacefully protest explaining that he will be allowed to stay if he stays on the sidewalk, does not interfere with traffic, or bars anyone from entering the police department.
“I’m not no criminal,” Pullen told The BenGil Post. “I’m not anti-government and not anti-cop. I’m anti-tyrant politicians.” Despite claiming he’s not anti-police, Pullen was holding a large handcrafted sign reading “#fuk the police” with a pig illustration.
Although Chief DePoppe said he disagrees with the choice of words Pullen used on his sign, he said: “people have the right to peacefully protest, it is his right to voice them.”
“Not everyone is going to be happy all the time, but my job as an officer is to protect the city, and their rights, even if I disagree with them,” DePoppe concluded. “If police don’t follow the laws, how can we expect others to?”
Pullen was the only protestor taking aim at the police department on Monday although other people stood in his vicinity at times with signage in support of the police or against Pullen individually. It didn’t affect Pullen though, he said, notifying The BenGil Post he took off work all week to protest.