Libertarian VP Candidate Spike Cohen To Lead Protest In Gastonia For Arrested Homeless Veteran

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Spike cohen makes his third visit to Gastonia to lead a protest in connection with the arrest of a homeless veteran and tasing of his service dog. The protest will be held at Gastonia City Hall Tuesday, May 3rd at 5 p.m.

According to a news release, these events led to the city council refusing to hold anyone accountable and shutting down the only homeless shelter in town. This has reportedly caused a dozen deaths on the streets of the city. 

Cohen states the protests will continue monthly to demand justice and the release of the body cam footage. He urges the public to join at the Gaston City Hall where they will be speaking directly to the city Of Gastonia Government Council. Joshua Rorher and Pastor Moses will also be attending the rally and speaking at the city council meeting during public comment.

Original Story:

CHARLOTTE, NC – A Gastonia man is calling for the Police Department to release body camera video of his arrest.

The homeless veteran says officers unjustly assaulted him and tased his dog.

“I think it’s important to let those issues be known to the city and how they can correct that,” said Kasey Nicoal, one of Joshua Rohrer’s long time friends.

Nicoal drove from Atlanta to be at the Gastonia City council meeting Tuesday night.

“It’s just to show support for him and the rest of the homeless community and disabled community here in Gastonia,” said Nicoal.

“I just want love and compassion. And understanding for people with mental illness and service dogs and homeless people,” said Rohrer.

Rohrer says in October he was assaulted by officers while on Gaston Mall drive and Cox Rd.

His service dog, Sunshine Rae, was tased. Rohrer says that the dog was facing away from police when tased.

Rohrer says the police separated the dog from him and gave the dog to a “concerned citizen.”

The dog got loose and was hit and killed by a car.

“I hope that this never happens to anyone else again,” said Rohrer.

Rohrer blames the police for what happened and is calling for the release of body camera video.

“The only way to resolve that is by releasing the body cam footage from the arrest,” said Spike Cohen.

Cohen is a political activist and helped organize the rally Tuesday night.

Several media outlets petitioned the court to release the video, but the judge denied that request.

According to court documents, the video is being withheld from public release for several reasons including that the release would “harm the reputation or jeopardize the safety of a person.” And that the release would create a serious threat to the fair, impartial, and orderly administration of justice.”

Cohen says they’re now putting pressure on the city council to act.

“We need to be able to support folks like that and it’s great to see that there are people out here who want to show their support,” said Cohen.

Rohrer now has another dog, Justice Rae that he is training to be his service animal. He still keeps Sunshine Ray’s vest with him.