On Jan. 16, two Eastern faculty members were arrested in Philadelphia for participating in a non-violent protest against gun violence at Colisimo’s Gun Center.
Professor Drick Boyd and Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education staff member Melissa DeLong (pictured right) were arrested with 10 other protesters at the shop, located on Spring Garden Street. The group is part of Christian organization called “Heeding God’s Call: A Gathering on Peace” that raises awareness about gun violence.
Boyd and DeLong went to trial on May 26 and were found not guilty by the judge.
The following is an excerpt of Dr. Drick Boyd’s written account.
“The irony of this whole affair is that the police who arrested me and who blocked our entrance to Mr. Colisimo’s shop are the ones on the front lines suffering from the presence of illegal guns on our streets. I can’t imagine what it must be like for them to go out on some calls knowing they could be fired at. I admire their courage. Yet how ironic that they arrested me for trying to stop the flow of the illegal guns being fired at them. I pointed this out to one of the officers just before I was arrested, but he was not hearing any of it.
“It is also ironic that the D.A.’s office is bringing this case, when they have testified on behalf of the very laws I too would like to see passed: the lost and stolen, and one handgun a month bills. It is further ironic that I am being tried in a court in Philadelphia, which itself has passed these laws, but has been prevented by legal challenges to enforce these laws I too would like to see enforced.
“I am not the offender in this court. I am not the criminal. The criminals in this case are those who block the passage of sane laws, and who object to signing a simple code of conduct that would slow down the process of straw buying. Those are the ones who should be on trial, not the twelve of us who stand before you today.”