Suit over terrorist talk shutdown dismissed

Dave Agema attends a fundraiser at Sundance Grill in downtown Grand Rapids. (Jan. 27, 2014)

ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit that former state Rep. Dave Agema and four others filed against Allegan Public Schools and some of its employees.

The suit was filed after a January 2012 event at Allegan High School that was set to feature Kamal Saleem — who claims to be a former terrorist who has converted to Christianity — as a speaker. Agema, a Republican from Grandville, was one of the organizers of the event and was also scheduled to speak. But the event was shut down shortly after it began by school officials after police informed them of threats and an alleged $25 million bounty on Saleem’s head.

Agema and the other plaintiffs claimed the event was shut down not due to safety, but because of the content of the speakers. The lawsuit claimed the district, officials and others violated organizers’ free speech rights.

A federal judge today disagreed, dismissing the lawsuit in full.

A judge previously dismissed another part of the suit against the city and police chief.

In January 2013, it appeared the lawsuit would be settled for just $500 — only $2 of which would have gone to Agema — but Allegan Schools withdrew that agreement, saying it was accepted by its attorney but not by the district itself.

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