Park police cite, handcuff gubernatorial candidate, then drop charge

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Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Chris Holbrook was cited and detained at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis on Thursday as he was seeking signatures to get on the ballot – but the citation was promptly dropped.

Minneapolis Park Police had cited Holbrook for “use of parks, parkways and waters for financial gain," but Holbrook wasn't pursuing a commercial enterprise and officers "misapplied" an ordinance in making the arrest, FOX 9 notes.

Later, on his Facebook page, Holbrook said the Minneapolis Parks Police Chief Jason Ohotto called him to apologize.

Parks police officials clarified that they fully recognize Holbrook's First Amendment right to campaign on public property, MPR News reported.

Video of the arrest (above, warning: strong language) had been posted to Facebook by state Libertarian Party Executive Director Andy Burns. In the video, four parks police officers and a Minneapolis police officer detain Holbrook and put him in a police vehicle.

Holbrook said he suffered "nerve impingement from tendon trauma" and was kept in a stuffy squad car, and he plans to seek legal counsel.

“This is exactly why I'm running for governor as a Libertarian,” Holbrook said in a statement. “Police shouldn't be harassing citizens while they're engaged in protected political activity.”

The party is seeking petition signatures to meet a June 3 filing deadline to get their candidates on the ballot for the fall elections.

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