Angry by officials’ efforts to have a “F- — Biden” sign removed from a local resident’s property, a caravan drove through parts of Kokomo and in front of Mayor Tyler Moore’s house in protest Saturday.
The caravan, organized by Evansville politician Gabe Whitley, was a dozen vehicles long. Participants also drove past the house belonging to Greg Sheline, executive director of the Kokomo-Howard County Plan Commission, in protest of the commission and city’s efforts to fine Brandon Adams if he doesn’t remove the flag from his property.
“The government has no right to fine and intimidate and send government officials to their houses and tell them they cannot exercise their First Amendment, God-given right,” Whitley said.
The caravan was in support of Adams’ lawsuit against the city and county regarding his “F- — Biden and f- — you for voting for him!” flag. Adams placed the flag outside his house as a response to President Joe Biden’s directive to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to write a rule requiring employers with at least 100 workers to force employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine or produce weekly test results showing they are virus free.
As previously reported by the Tribune, Adams is suing both the city and county over their attempts to remove the flag for violating the city’s zoning ordinance and nuisance laws, alleging they’re violating his First Amendment right of free speech. In his complaint filed late last month, Adams is asking for a jury trial and $250,000 in damages.
Adams was in attendance Saturday afternoon and spoke to caravan participants, thanking them for their support and vowing to continue his legal fight.
“I never thought it was going to get this big, so I’m a little humbled by the experience,” Adams said, before urging others to resist if their employers mandate the COVID-19 vaccine and leading the group in a “F- — Joe Biden” chant.
The caravan’s route lead them first through the Old Silk Stocking neighborhood, then to the westside for Moore’s house and then back downtown to city hall and the courthouse. Participants were instructed to stay in their vehicles.
Moore was landscaping his yard when the caravan drove past his house. The mayor was lighthearted throughout the entire experience, recording the caravan with his cell phone. He also jokingly expressed his happiness that more than one person showed up for the protest.
“Clearly, I’m not as offended by what they’re doing than they are offended by what (the city) is trying to do,” Moore told the Tribune after the caravan passed his house.
The litigation between Adams and the city and county is ongoing. According to the case docket, the two sides are currently discussing a possible settlement and, by Oct. 29, must file a “status report” regarding the settlement discussions.