Terry Jones’ planned visit sparks fears of violence, hopes for solidarity
Jones summoned to district court for hearing
J. Patrick Pepper|Press & Guide Newspapers
DEARBORN — Hopes for solidarity and fears of violence are ramping up in the remaining days before anti-Islam Pastor Terry Jones comes to town.
Citing worst-case concerns of a gun battle breaking out, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday filed a verified complaint in Dearborn district court to require Jones post a peace bond, money that would go toward public safety costs for event security.
A peace bond is a relatively infrequently used legal construct that requires a person to post cash or surety in the name of ensuring good behavior and discouraging disorderly conduct. Judge Mark Somers on Monday ordered Jones to appear in his courtroom Thursday at 3 p.m. to determine whether or not to require the peace bond.
“It’s helpful to look at it like a personal protection order, which are much more common and are filed between individuals to prevent one party from contacting one another or seeing one another,” said Somers.
Somers explained the question he will have to rule on thusly:
“This is not based on the content of the speech that is being proposed or presumed, it’s based on a threat to hold a protest where they were denied a permit and they need a permit,” he said.
Prosecutor’s Office officials declined comment.
Jones, leader of a small Gainesville, Florida church that burned a Quran last month, has plans to protest in front of the Islamic Center of America on Good Friday. In a previous interview, Jones told The Press & Guide that he is protesting against sharia and jihad, tenets of Islam that he believes threaten individual liberties protected by the United States Constitution.