Protester appears outside jail
By Jerry Rosen
John Murtari's protest against the Family Court system has touched its first
nerve in public.
Sam Reppi, a Cortland teacher, carried signs criticizing the "imperial court" as
he shivered in front of the Justice Center Jail at rush hour Wednesday.
Murtari, who asked to be arrested as an act of civil disobedience Friday, is
being held in the jail on a trespass charge. He said a deputy tried to talk him out
of it, but he was arrested when he refused to leave the Onondaga County
Sheriff's Department substation in Salina.
He refused to accept either an appearance ticket or release on his own
Murtari - an Air Force Academy graduate, one-time congressional candidate
and former Lysander Democratic Committee chairman - decided on his protest
after years of frustration in unsuccessful efforts to win joint custody of his
6-year-old son, Domenic, in the Family Court system.
"I never met John Murtari in my life, and I'm not a member of any activist
group," said Reppi, who doesn't have custody of his own daughter, Sydney.
"But I understand his frustration with the system and can relate with the guy
getting fed up with the inequities."