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Library Worker Beaten and Arrested for Peacefully Defending Free Speech of Patron

Kansas City, KS — Since 9/11, the American police state has been constantly trying to outdo itself in the oppression of civil rights. From the Patriot Act to National Security Letters to warrantless wiretapping to militarized protest crackdowns, the State has been unable to hide its authoritarian desires.

The oppression of rights and free speech was put on full display recently at the Kansas City Public Library, where a senior library staff member was brutally taken down and arrested by police and private security officers — for peacefully intervening in the harassment of a library patron.

The armed guards were present as security detail for Dennis Ross, champion of the Israeli lobby and former Bush official who pushed for the Iraq invasion. Ross was giving a talk called “Truman and Israel.”

Steve Woolfolk, director of public relations at the library, became the victim of abuse when he tried to remind the security detail of library policy after an audience member was forcibly removed from the microphone during the Q&A session.

The library hosts several speaking events every month, and Woolfolk knew this would be one of the more controversial events where the library makes a rare exception allowing armed security guards. The library has conditions when security details are brought in for speakers.

According to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BRDC):

“First, nobody could be forcibly removed for asking an unpopular question. Second, nobody could be removed at all without consulting with the library staff, who would only allow an individual to be removed if staff concluded they were an imminent threat.”

Woolfolk had positioned himself near the stage where people ask questions, prepared to ask those who went on too long to give up the microphone for the next person. Jeremy Rothe-Kushel was first up.

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According to an official statement from the Kansas City Public Library issued on September 30:

The activist, Jeremy Rothe-Kushel, was first to the microphone when Ross’ presentation turned to Q&A, and his question inferred that the U.S. and Israel have engaged in state-sponsored terrorism. Ross responded and, when Rothe-Kushel attempted to follow up, he was grabbed by one of the private security guards and then by others in the private security detail. Steven Woolfolk, the Library’s director of programming and marketing, attempted to intervene, noting that public discourse is accepted and encouraged at a public event held in a public library.

Woolfolk thought he had successfully defused the situation, noting that Rothe-Kushel said he would leave voluntarily, which he attempted to do.

But these off-duty police officers, along with private security guards from the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF), couldn’t stop themselves from initiating violence once they had caught the scent.

The BRDC describes how Woolfolk, seeking to keep the peace and the commitment to free and lively discourse, became the victim of brutality by agents of the State and the Israeli lobby.

“Woolfolk wanted to make clear that this was a public event at a public library and thus Rothe-Kushel was not trespassing. He went to find his supervisor, but before he could do so Woolfolk says an off-duty and out of uniform police officer grabbed him from behind and threw him against a pillar. Per Woolfolk, the officer never announced who he was or told Woolfolk he was under arrest, but just kept telling him to “stop resisting.” As Woolfolk told the Dissent NewsWire, he informed the officer, “I’d be happy to do whatever he wanted, and that all I was resisting was the urge to fall face first onto the floor.”  According to Woolfolk, a second police officer, this one in uniform, delivered several blows to Woolfolk’s knee, causing him to be diagnosed with grade 1 torn MCL. Eventually he was thrown over a chair and handcuffed. When he asked what he was being arrested for, the officer told him he didn’t know.”

One can only imagine how other members of the audience felt as they watched this shameless assault by armed security on a library worker who did nothing more than peaceably calm down a volatile situation.

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Woolfolk was charged with interfering with the arrest of Rothe-Kushel, who was himself charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. Library director Crosby Kemper says the arrests were unwarranted and “an egregious violation of First Amendment rights.”

“The First Amendment’s protection of the rights of free speech and assembly is cherished by all Americans but particularly by libraries and their patrons,” he says. “An overzealous off-duty police officer violated the rights of one of our patrons at Ambassador Ross’ talk in the Library and doubled down by arresting Steve Woolfolk, who was trying to explain the Library’s rules to the officer.

In defense of the freedom of speech, the Library stands fully in support of Steve.”

For someone to be assaulted and then arrested for asking a question, in a public library of all places, is abhorrent. The library should be a place where people of all points of view can feel safe and welcome,” said Woolfolk. “Nobody, be it an individual or an agent of the state, should be able to take it upon themselves to silence a point of view simply because they disagree.

The security detail for Dennis Ross – who held important diplomatic positions in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations – was certainly tapped into the surveillance state and most likely knew about the activism of Rothe-Kushel. He and an associate were the only ones searched before being allowed to enter, according to Rothe-Kushel.

Ross has a notorious history in pushing the “statecraft” behind America’s military hegemony focused on the Middle East. He worked under neocon war-monger Paul Wolfowitz early in his career, and signed two letters in March 2003 by the Project for a New American Century supporting an invasion of Iraq.

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Ross served in various “special” roles involving the Middle East and Southwest Asia under three presidents and is a “distinguished fellow” at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which is funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Considering this background, it’s no wonder Ross didn’t stop his jackboots from pouncing on a peace activist challenging the narrative, or assaulting a member of the library staff who dared defend free speech. Stifling dissent is crucial to the message that invading countries and drone bombing women and children is necessary to secure the peace.

  • reddragon696

    The conduct of the police in this instance should not be all that surprising. They did what they intended to do, stifle free speech. Some LEO’s will often arrest people when they know that no law has been broken, and charges will ultimately be dropped or suspects/victims will be vindicated in court. They do this in part to stop other people/sheeple from challenging their perceived authority. Some LEO’s really could care less about violating people’s rights, they just want their authority to go unquestioned and in today’s world, post 9/11 and the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, failure to obey a LEO without question can and will get you killed. America has been building up to a Police State for many years without challenge and now that the LEO’s have become militarized, citizens will see more and more of this. People have become so complacent and apathetic about their rights that they will sit by and watch them all disappear just like Nazi Germany in the 1920’s. Only when people’s rights have completely disappeared beyond reinstatement will one hear citizens complain ‘where did my rights go and why were they not protected’? We put these anti-freedom politicians in office and refuse to remove them despite the most egregious displays of authoritarianism and so we, as a society, deserve what we get. If We, The People, really cared that much about freedom we would collectively stand up and do something about it instead of just sitting back and letting it happen.

    • kiljoy616

      Reason why peaceful demonstration are worthless.

      • Razedbywolvs

        Consumer based economic warfare is more practical. Unfortunately the word “economic” seems to cause Narcolepsy in mot people.

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        • Tom Lowe

          Because “economics” sounds too much like “work”.

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      • Agreed, protesting just gives coproaches overtime pay (in most states) and an excuse for the state to send in rabble rosers to make said protests violent. There are other ways go about it

      • Tom Lowe

        I agree 100%.

    • JennaTrull

      Police often arrest people knowing full well that the charges won’t stick, just to hassle them. They even have a cute little slogan for the practice: “You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride.”

      • reddragon696

        You’re so right. Here in San Antonio it is called the POP law [pissed off policeman]. Since we are only 150 miles from the border, whenever you piss off a cop here they sometimes take all of your ID and deport you to Mexico. Just try to get back into America without ID and/or proof of citizenship. The Republican Government tries to keep that quiet and the Republican papers won’t print it but people that live here still know about it.

    • Tom Lowe

      Nazis did not come to power until 1933.

      Nazis never violated anyone’s civil rights–that is the lie that some criminal jews in Germany and elsewhere used to take power over the USA through WW2 and the phony holohoax. Those same criminal jews are now the “zionists”, and the KC library was attacked by some of them. That is what happened here.

      See how brainwashed you are. You have the right approach, but need to study the historical facts more, and assume less about history.

      Dennis Ross is a capital war criminal and will not be eligible for Camp FEMA. Dennis Ross must be executed by any one of several to many nations, including USA, for his vast war crimes.

      Dennis Ross will not go down in history as having been a good person.

      • Steve Rusk

        In the 20s, the Nazis were only beating heads in, by the 30s they had the power to actively disappear and cull dissenters. You should study your history more, civil rights violations were only their beginning act and yes the cops gleefully supported it.

      • reddragon696

        The Nazi Party was formed in 1926 and, through force and intimidation, took over the country in 1936 when Hitler managed to force President Von Hindenburg to give him the Chancellorship. He combined the office of President and Chancellorship into one office and ruled as Fuhrer after the SA burned down the Reichstag [German House of Congress] later that year thus allowing him to pass the Enabling Act consolidating the two offices. The Nazi Party started with 8 seats and by intimidating the other members of the Reichstag he was able to increase his standing to include all the seats which allowed him to pass the EA giving him absolute power and dissolving all civil rights of German citizens.

      • billdeserthills

        So you never heard of the Nuremberg laws, which violated jews and other minorities rights, eh?
        It’s either that or you are a fat piece of fake nazi garbage–So which is it Tom??

    • billdeserthills

      I agree, but what the hell can we do? I personally cannot afford any more contact with the law

      • reddragon696

        Unfortunately there is not a whole lot one can do as an individual against an organized tyrannical government. It takes a collective of people that will work together to defeat politicians and other organizations that run ruff-shod over our freedoms and rights. With the advent of social media this type of cooperation has become easier but people today are so wound up in their own personal dramas that they are unwilling to upset the ‘status quo’ and defend their rights. They either don’t realize or don’t care that any time a government entity steps on our rights or freedoms, in whatever form, it will eventually affect us all. The government is far less likely to use draconian attacks/methods such as mass arrests or killings against a collective of citizens protesting these violations of freedoms and rights as the government has a public image to protect by giving the impression, often false, that it does ultimately believe in the belief of the citizens that We, The People, have a constitutional right to be free of oppression from our elected government.

  • Razedbywolvs

    Criticizing Israeli is wrong think. If you criticize Israeli you hate Jews and America and democracy and love Islam and are left wing.
    It’s a false dichotomy setup to keep everyone from understanding and reaching real solutions.

    • Anonymous

      No, you are wrong. If you cannot criticize something, then there is something wrong. Why is Israel so above criticism? They occupy another country, but that is ok? They kill with impunity, but there is nothing wrong with that? Even the citizens of Israel and the media in Israel can criticize Israel. You are the one who is presenting a false dichotomy.

      • Tom Lowe

        He was being sarcastic, but your reading comprehension was not good enough to catch it.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe for you, but we constantly deal with people who REALLY say that you cannot criticize Israel. Or was Netanyahoo being “sarcastic” when he said “criticism of Israel IS anti-Semitism”?

      • Razedbywolvs

        That was pretty obvious sarcasm. But i don’t know if it’s your fault for not understand sarcasm or we have reached the point of all sarcasm falls under Poe’s law.
        Voltaire: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise”
        But don’t use that quot because some one tried to erase it from history and you will be labeled a white supremacist if you do. Even if you are an Attack Helicopter or Purple Penguin.

        • Anonymous

          Actually, it really wasn’t obvious for a couple of reasons.

          1. We have actually run into people, who, as soon as you say something critical of Israel, start literally SCREAMING at you that you are “anti-Semitic.” To these people, you REALLY SERIOUSLY can NOT say ANYTHING that is in ANY way critical of Israel. They will blame the Palestinians or the Arabs for EVERYTHING!!! “Israel is the only country with democracy in the Middle East!” To put it in the words of Netanyahoo, “To criticize Israel IS anti-Semitism.” He was NOT be sarcastic.

          2. All people have is text, no inflection, no intonation, just the words. It is for that reason that some people will put a note on it to indicate sarcasm, such as “sarcasm” sarcastic comment “/sarcasm”. It may seem clear as day to you, but not so clear to someone else.

          As an aside, you know that Israel is on the offensive when it comes to criticizing them. In our state they are debating a bill to ban any company that is critical of Israel from doing business with the state. (It really strikes us as entirely unconstitutional, but they are trying it anyway). We don’t think that this legislation is in anyway sarcastic.

    • Tom Lowe

      That is indeed a well known zionist conflation tactic.

      Another one:

      Joe: “Hey Bob, are you Jewish?”

      Bob: “Uhhh, I think we are Italian.”

    • Steve Rusk

      They sure have you brainwashed, the Jews are the new Nazis. The shoe is now on the other foot, as long as they are backed up by the biggest bully on the planet they will continue to get away with it.

      • junktex

        Zionists are the new Nazis.Not all Jews are Zionists just as all Germans were not Nazis.

        • Steve Rusk

          Good point. However, as always too many of the “Not Nazis” never do anything about it.

      • Razedbywolvs

        That explains the Hitler did nothing wrong meme.

        • Steve Rusk

          Hitler did plenty of wrong, however like so many other despots he was figurehead in life and a scapegoat after death. Hitler sure as hell wasn’t the only one responsible, but they certainly gave him all of the blame.

  • Giovanni Pincoletti

    The protection of the criminal Zionist and fascist, Dennis Ross, is an overt and obvious sign as to the power wielded by this fascist organization. They have infiltrated the highest levels of government and banking and have also polluted the thoughts of our local Gestapo agents, those we call the police. It is no coincidence that many AmeriKKKan policemen are trained in Israel.

    Zionism is the reason for persecution of people, not their religion. Zionists are irreligious, but one of their tactics is to hide behind Judaism in a vain attempt to convince the public that Zionism IS Judaism so they can erroneously shout the word “anti-semitic” ad nauseam hoping to shut down any dialog and truth.

    • Tom Lowe

      That is absolutely correct:

      “Zionists are irreligious, but one of their tactics is to hide behind
      Judaism in a vain attempt to convince the public that Zionism IS Judaism
      so they can erroneously shout the word “anti-semitic” ad nauseam hoping
      to shut down any dialog and truth.”

      Write that down, everyone, and read it every single day.

      Jews are not a problem. Zionists ARE a problem.

  • Johnny Canuck

    Typical of the Zionist Khazarian Mobster-trained vicious dogs. They need to be put down.

  • Bert Tweetering


    • Tom Lowe

      It shows how Israel and the zionist war criminals connect to US cops. Take note.

  • Butler Mark

    1) Sue the police ‘retirement fund’ (nothing to look forward to for retirement) this will be their reality check .. it will also make the good cops step up to stop the criminals in their ranks ..

    2) Sue to have the criminal cops, “Bond To Carry” removed (can’t work law enforcement in 47 states without it) ..

  • Ibcamn

    once i sat in the shitter at an applebees and had a cigarette while i took a shit…lucky the cops didn’t come in and beat the piss outta me for it and drag me out the door and arrest me….what a law breaker i am….cops are pure fascist criminals,all cops are.

  • Tammy Porter

    Do you have to be a card carrying NAZI to join this discussion or is it good enough just to hate law and order?

    • Giovanni Pincoletti

      Nazis? No. But, it would help if your eyes were open and you knew what was going on. Since when is criticizing the police a Nazi issue? I thought it was more about freedom and rights. It is the police who are the card carrying Nazis — go talk to them, but be careful. If you ask too many questions they may just shoot you or arrest you where you may be later found deceased in the holding cell.

    • Tom Lowe

      Anyone is free to join this discussion. Even an ugly skank like you.

      Law and order was broken by Israeli thugs in a public library in my nation. That is not acceptable.

  • Chris LaRose

    So who is pressing charges against these two men? The cops that arrested them? The prosecutor? Who filed the complaint accusing the first guy with trespassing? Certainly NOT the library or library staff.

  • Steve Rusk

    Legal or illegal doesn’t really matter, what does matter is that they effectively shut down any dissent to their message at this public discussion. It’s the current policy in America, say something those in power don’t like, get your head beat in. Then it’s an uphill battle in the courts to try to prove that you had any rights in the first place.

  • Rick Elizzo

    White Nazis have taken over so vote for Trump and kill yourselves