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Despite Objections, Court Rules Kirkwood Can Proceed With Shooting Memorial

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Michael Moore
​Last week Daily RFT told the story of Michael Moore, a local political activist who took the city of Kirkwood to court to protest what he considered the "unconstitutional" use of public funds to build a memorial for the six victims of Charles "Cookie" Thornton's shooting rampage during a city council meeting in January, 2008.

Moore requested a temporary restraining order that would force the city to cease construction on the project, called the Memorial Walkway.

Now the court has reached a verdict, the Post-Dispatch reports.

Judge Robert Cohen denied Moore's request for a restraining order, ruling that Moore did not demonstrate "immediate and irreparable injury." Construction will continue on the Memorial Walkway as planned, which is probably just as well since Kirkwood city attorney John Hessel told the court that the project was already 90 percent paid for and scheduled to open May 30.

In his formal response to Moore, Hessel, who was at city hall the night of the shooting, dismissed Moore's suit as "frivolous" and that Moore should not have waited fourteen months to file a lawsuit. He added that case law supported the city anyway.

In case logic did not appeal to the court, Hessel also made a blatant attempt to tug at Judge Cohen's heartstrings.

Attached to the filing was a letter to Mayor Art McDonnell from Joshua Ballman, the 8-year-old son of police Officer Tom Ballman, who was killed that night. The child said the suit "made me mad and sad" and asked the mayor to "do the best you can to stop him."

Moore has declined to comment.

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