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Kansas City library officials ‘outraged’ over arrests made during library discussion

In the US, the executive director of the Kansas City Public Library Crosby Kemper III said he is ‘outraged’ that state prosecutors are pursuing charges against a man who was arrested after asking questions during a library discussion about the Middle East peace process, reports ABC News. This is the first time the library has commented publicly on its opposition to the charges despite the arrest occurring in May. The incident occurred during a speech in the library by author and diplomat Dennis Ross. Audience member Jeremy Rothe-Kushel asked Ross whether Jewish Americans such as Rothe-Kushel should be concerned about US and Israel action that amounted to ‘state-sponsored terrorism’, prompting a private security guard and an off-duty police officer, both employed by the Jewish Community Foundation, to grasp Rothe-Kushel’s arms. The library’s director of public programming was also arrested after trying to intervene and charged with interfering with an arrest. Kemper said ‘we’re going to be living in a different kind of country’ if people can be arrested for asking questions at a library. ‘If this kind of behaviour is unacceptable to the police, then I guess we’re going to have to shut the library down,’ said Kemper.


Category: Library news International