Baton Bob Public Statement
Bob Jamerson (a.k.a. Baton Bob) Public Statement on Federal Lawsuit
My name is Bob Jamerson, you may know me by my street performer name Baton Bob. I came up with the character Baton Bob 14 years ago in St. Louis, Missouri, after 9/11. The mission of Baton Bob is to make people smile while highlighting different perspectives they may never have thought of before. Baton Bob has always been a controversial character partly because of his flamboyance, and partly because of the political messages in his performances. In 2005, I brought the character to Atlanta, Georgia. My fiancé Gary and I love Atlanta, and we feel privileged to have so many fans in a city that we love.
On June 26, 2013 the United States Supreme Court finally acknowledged the rights of the L.G.B.T. community. I was elated and decided to don a bridal costume to celebrate that great victory of a decision. Sadly because of my political expression I was harassed and arrested on the street. We filed a lawsuit last year but dismissed it voluntarily because we learned the case had more parties involved than we originally thought. Now you can read the Atlanta Police internal affairs report and not just take my word for it.
Plain and simple, the police knew what they did was wrong. I mean seriously people, is it a police department courtesy to allow a citizen to make a Facebook statement that clears the officers of all wrong doing in a controversial arrest? Especially while that citizen is in handcuffs, without bond, without an attorney, and surrounded by police officers? If that’s the case, next time they can keep their courtesy and just give me my Miranda Rights.
There are a lot of good police officers, but law enforcement needs to know that people in the LGBT community have rights too, and we aren’t giving those rights back. Gary and I want to thank everyone who has supported the LGBT community in our struggle for equal rights. See you when I see you!