A New Hampshire school board member was caught on video last month yelling anti-gay slurs at police officers who pulled her and her husband over for expired tags on their car.
Rochelle Kelley, 33, a member of the Weare School Board, and her husband Samuel were stopped by police for having an expired inspection sticker and state registration on July 25.
Weare Police Chief Christopher Moore told The Concord Monitor that a police sergeant had recognized the car from a previous incident four days earlier, when police issued Kelley a citation for “failing to obey inspection requirements” and gave her a warning about her expired registration.
Four days later, Kelley had not resolved the issue, so police issued the Kelleys a citation for their expired tags and arranged for the car to be towed. But when police tried to conduct an inventory of the contents of their car prior to it being towed, the Kelleys objected and refused to cooperate.
Police placed Rochelle Kelley under arrest for obstructing government administration and handcuffed her while her husband began recording the altercation on his phone. Rochelle Kelley then screamed at the officer, uttering a string of profanities, including homophobic slurs, directed at the officers. She even claimed that the cuffs were too tight and were hurting her, and demanded that officers loosen them.
“”F–k you, you f—-ts!” she screamed in a video that went viral after being posted to social media. “Eat shit, you c-ck-sucking d-ck.”
Weare school board member Rochelle Kelley is unhappy after being cited for a motor vehicle inspection violation. Next week, she goes on trial for criminal mischief & disorderly conduct after defying police orders to leave a Concord playground closed for Covid. #NHPolitics pic.twitter.com/lMUbHuvjU9
— William Tucker (@miscellanyblue) August 5, 2021
Kelley, who has questioned the effectiveness of masks and vaccines during her time on the school board, will be arraigned on the obstruction charge, as well as an additional charge for resisting arrest, at Goffstown District Court on Aug. 26.
On Wednesday, Kelley was tried and acquitted of disorderly conduct charges stemming from a separate incident in 2020 in which she was accused to refusing to comply with policy orders to leave a playground that was shut down due to restrictions imposed by Gov. Chris Sununu (R) during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kelley and two other adults had argued, at the time, that it was their constitutional right to use the public playground despite the governor’s emergency order. That incident was also captured on cellphone video and circulated online by opponents of shutdown orders being issued in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But Judge Edwin Kelly ruled that Kelley had “behaved reasonably” and had not violated the law, despite testimony from the responding officer, who said she had asked Kelley “multiple times” to leave the playground, with the school board member refusing to comply, according to the Monitor.
Kelley’s lawyer, Dan Hynes, argued that there was no evidence that Kelley ever saw the government-posted sign in front of the playground indicating it was closed, because officers did not see which way Kelley initially entered the playground. He also claimed that police had notified others at the playground but had not spoken directly to Kelley over a six-minute time frame.
“There is a mistaken identity case. They clearly told other people, not Ms. Kelley. When they did tell Ms. Kelley, she complied in a timely fashion,” Hynes said.
“The issue really comes down to how quickly somebody has to abide by a lawful order,” Judge Kelly said. “I thought there was tremendous forbearance on part of law enforcement officers. They were being polite, they engaged with people on playground who legitimately raised issues. People have the right to ask ‘why am I being asked to move’ if it’s not plain to them.”
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