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The Cop Who Arrested John Kerry

Tuesday, 19 October 2004 12:00 AM

My vote for President Bush is as much a vote in opposition to Sen. John Kerry.

Specifically, it is the behavior of Kerry after he returned from four months in Vietnam that makes me angry.

Two days before President Bush’s visit, I shared a "Bloomin’ Onion" at the Outback restaurant in west Lantana, Fla. with a neighbor, a retired police chief.

Jim Corr, now a resident of Palm Beach County, once arrested and handcuffed Kerry, jailed him overnight, and then threatened to put him back in the lockup for a second night.

It’s a story never told by the mainstream media during this campaign, though it was well documented at the time.

A photograph of Kerry surrounded by helmeted Lexington police has been shown on national television countless times but never identified as his arrest.

Corr served on the Lexington, Mass., police force for 34 years, his last 16 as chief. Historic Lexington is where the first battle of the American Revolution was fought.

Kerry had just returned home from Vietnam.

He was an organizer of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The group wanted to bivouac on the Battle Green of Lexington over the Memorial Day weekend, 1971.

"It is sacred land," Corr told me.

Kerry went to the Board of Selectmen (similar to municipal government commissions or councils) for permission to camp on the battleground.

They unanimously turned down Kerry’s request. Trying to be helpful, the board offered Kerry another site.

Defying the law, Kerry and his anti-war friends gathered on the Lexington Green in spite of the board’s refusal of permission.

"That’s when they [the board] called me in," Corr said. "The board directed me to be sure they did not camp out on the common. I had the responsibility of making sure it didn’t happen."

Corr arranged for buses and had them hidden away from the common. Because the city jail was too small, he made arrangements to hold those arrested in an old public works building.

At the specified time, the police announced on loud speakers that everyone was in violation of town laws and asked them to leave or be placed under arrest. None left.

As the arrests were taking place, church bells began ringing throughout Lexington.

Plastic handcuffs secured the hands of every lawbreaker, including Kerry. More than 425 people were arrested. The next morning they all pleaded guilty and were fined.

"They gathered outside the courthouse to march out of town," Corr said.

"Kerry was holding the American flag upside down.

"I told him to put the flag the way it’s supposed to be or you’ll be locked up again."

I know about the Vietnam War up front and personal. I visited the area during the war with my boss, former U.S. Sen. Jim Buckley, to talk to our troops and chiefs of state.

We also went to the war-torn countries of Laos and Cambodia, where Kerry says he was, maybe he was, or perhaps he just came close.

The overwhelming majority of our troops did not act as Kerry described them in Lexington and before Congress, also in 1971, after his four months overseas.

In my mind, it was unconscionable what he said and did.

It was because of the behavior of Kerry, and the likes of Jane Fonda, that our fighting men and women were treated like dirt when they returned.

I should have started my own 527 committee and purchased television time to report on Kerry’s arrest.

Can you imagine film footage of the man who wants to president of the United States with his hands behind his back in handcuffs, put there, not by the communist Vietcong, like Sen. John McCain experienced, but by a police chief from his home state of Massachusetts?

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My vote for President Bush is as much a vote in opposition to Sen. John Kerry. Specifically, it is the behavior of Kerry after he returned from four months in Vietnam that makes me angry. Two days before President Bush's visit, I shared a "Bloomin' Onion" at the...
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Tuesday, 19 October 2004 12:00 AM
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