A heavily redacted police report obtained by Pawprints confirms that Susan Collins, the senior Senator from Maine, is the complainant who summoned law enforcement to inspect a message written in chalk on the sidewalk outside her home.
Yesterday, the Bangor Daily News broke the story that the police had been called to Collins’ residence on Saturday evening to check out the water soluble chalk message, which read “Susie, please, Mainers want WHPA ——> vote yes, clean up your mess.”
The WHPA, the report observes, is “the Women’s Health Protection Act, which is legislation set to be voted on in the senate on Wednesday, 5/11/2022.”
The confirmation that Collins made the call to the cops herself is not particularly surprising. The Bangor Daily News included a suggestive quote from Collins praising the police and public works response to what she referred to as “the defacement of public property in front of our home;” however, it did not expressly say who had summoned the local authorities.
While the report obtained by Pawprints appears to be redacted with a general intent to obscure the identity of the complainant and any comments she made to officers, Collins’ name and birth date appear in unredacted form as the “Complainant” on the last page.
The use of chalk to write messages (political and otherwise) on public sidewalks is generally a legal activity protected by the first amendment. Chalk can be washed away easily with water and a brush, or by rainfall.
“I called dispatch and asked that they let Public Works know to come wash the chalk off the sidewalk,” Bangor Police Department Officer Garrett Watt wrote, wrapping up his report.