WARSAW — A Wisconsin man who was part of a Black Lives Matter march that traveled through Kosciusko County in August 2020 has entered into a pre-trial diversion agreement for a traffic obstruction misdemeanor charge.
Frank David Sensabaugh, 39, Milwaukee, Wis., was the leader of the march that traveled from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C.
The caravan arrived in Kosciusko County on Old Road 30, but chose to use US 30 as they left town and headed east.
On Aug. 12, 2020, an Indiana State Police lieutenant responded to a report of people walking on US 30 near CR 325E, causing a traffic backup. Upon arriving at the front of the traffic line, the officer noticed eight to nine vehicles in the right-hand lane of US 30, traveling at walking speed. About 15 to 20 people were also walking on the berm of the road next to the vehicles.
The lieutenant made contact with the driver of the lead vehicle to explain that he could not impede traffic when he was approached by Sensabaugh, who also goes by Frank Nitty II.
As the officer tried to explain to Sensabaugh that vehicles could not impede traffic, Sensabaugh agreed that the vehicles were impeding traffic and that it was their constitutional right to do so.
The lieutenant repeatedly told Sensabaugh that the vehicles and pedestrians would need to be off the roadway. Eventually, the group moved over to the roadway’s berm, out of the line of traffic. The group continued their walk until they passed the officer’s patrol vehicle, at which time the support vehicles drove back into the right lane of the road, remained there and continued to travel at walking speed.
Approximately an hour and a half later, the officer approached Sensabaugh again and told him the support vehicles and pedestrians needed to remain on the berm and not obstruct traffic. At this point, traffic backup was between six and seven miles long. Sensabaugh told the officer the vehicles needed to drive next to the group for protection.
After asking Sensabaugh several times to leave the roadway, Sensabaugh was placed under arrest.
While the officer was arresting Sensabaugh, two people involved in the march were also arrested for obstructing traffic and disorderly conduct. Tory M. Lowe and Eric L. Ajala, both of Milwaukee, Wis., had warrants issued for their arrest on Aug. 28, 2020, after not appearing for initial hearings.
Sensabaugh entered into a pre-trial diversion agreement in February. Kosciusko County’s pre-trial diversion program is offered to defendants without significant prior criminal records who have been charged with certain offenses. Upon completing a certain set of requirements, the defendant’s charge or charges will be dismissed.
According to court documents filed Feb. 17, Sensabaugh’s agreement will remain in effect for six months. With the pre-trial diversion agreement, Sensabaugh must pay court costs, pay for the cost of court-appointed counsel and must not be charged with a violation of any criminal law, crime, infraction or ordinance violation.