Steve Armbruster of Lehighton, a police officer at Kutztown University, was disciplined after refusing to remove peaceful campus demonstrators.
of Lehighton, a police officer at Kutztown University, was disciplined after refusing to remove peaceful campus demonstrators.
It involved Steve Armbruster
Armbruster works as a police officer with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
"The university president asked that they be removed from campus," Armbruster
"They didn't break the law.
It's a public school, so they didn't need any permits.
Anybody could set up a display in the quad and talk about anything they chose."
The Kutztown University
police chief told Armbruster
to arrest the demonstrators.
"I told him that I can't arrest them because they hadn't broken any laws-but it was so politically charged with the university president being there.
I left and they arrested the demonstrators."
"They tried to discipline me," Armbruster
"The issue from my point of view was Freedom Of Speech.
I didn't care if they were left-wing or right-wing or whatever-it didn't matter.
As a police officer, I took an oath to defend everyone's Constitutional rights."
sued the university with support from the Alliance Defense Fund
and the ACLU.
currently continues in his
job, as he
patiently nears retirement.
court case attracted the attention of the Oath Keepers, a group organizing at the time.
"They stand for protecting the rights of U.S. citizens by supporting members of the police and the military if they choose to disobey unlawful orders," Ambruster explained.
The Oath Keepers flew Armbruster
to Las Vegas, where he
was presented with the Police Officer of the Year Award.
Excited to be among like-minded souls, Ambruster became involved in the Oath Keepers and worked his way to become the Pennsylvania chapter president.
He is currently on its Board of Directors.
"We have over 100,000 members that are either active military, retired military, or members of law enforcement," he
"The Oath Keepers are not a Tea Party group," he
"It's a group of libertarian-minded people-Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians.
They're against the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act-laws that allow people to be arrested and detained if they are suspected to be involved in terror.
People should have "due process".
These acts took the rules of war and extended them to homeland America."
In November 2011, Armbruster
ran as a Republican for the office of Carbon County Sheriff-and lost.
feels the system needs to be changed.
"The politics in Carbon County
is not about ideas, it's about people who have established their political dynasties," Armbruster
believes that Carbon County
has long-term politicians, and extended families in both political parties that make it difficult for outsiders to get elected.
feels that the county lacks diversity.
Ambruster said that if he were he elected Sheriff of Carbon County, he would refuse to enforce any law that would violate the rights of its citizens.
"Take foreclosure as an example," Armbruster
noted, "A sheriff just can't rubber stamp a foreclosure.