- By HILDA MUÑOZ | The Hartford Courant
- June 12, 2009
New Jersey Internet radio host Hal Turner, wanted by Capitol police for encouraging Connecticut residents to “take up arms” against three state officials, surrendered Thursday.
“I am pleased that Mr. Turner was able to turn himself in today to the Capitol police in Hartford without incident,” said Matthew R. Potter, one of Turner’s Connecticut attorneys.
Turner has been charged with inciting injury to person or property, a Class C felony. He was able to post $25,000 bail, and his case is scheduled for an initial appearance June 22 at Superior Court in Hartford.
Turner, who has been called a white supremacist and an anti-Semite by several anti-racism groups, hosts an Internet radio program from his home. The publishing service Blogger has pulled Turner’s blog and is reviewing it for possible terms of service violations.
His attorney in New Jersey, Michael Orozco, issued a statement saying Turner was practicing his right to free speech when on his website June 2 he described certain conduct by Connecticut officials as tyrannical and encouraged residents of the state to “put down this tyranny.”
“Though many people may not agree with Mr. Turner’s views, his First Amendment right must still be protected,” the statement says.
Turner’s blog included a post that promised to release the home addresses of state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D- East Haven; state Sen. Andrew McDonald, D- Stamford; and Thomas Jones of the State Ethics Office.
“It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally,” the blog post said. “These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die.”
The June 2 blog post reacted to the recent controversy over a bill before the legislature’s judiciary committee that would have changed the way the Roman Catholic Church is governed, taking power away from church officials and turning it over to lay members.
The bill was pulled in mid-March following an outcry from Catholics across the state and questions about its constitutionality. Lawlor and McDonald are co-chairman of the committee.
In his post, Turner also wrote about a letter from Jones that told church officials his office was investigating whether the diocese had violated state statutes by failing to register as a lobbyist before a rally protesting the legislature’s bill.
Capitol police learned of the June 2 blog posts that same day from one of the targeted lawmakers.