Topic: Free Speech and Assembly
Both major parties are supporting legislation that breathes life into the misguided belief that police are under attack, and that protesters or criticism of aggressive policing put police officers’ lives in danger.
The prosecution of Stand Rock protesters serve as another method to chill or repress public dissent.
This was Judge Robinson’s first public report on NYPD compliance with the revised Handschu Guidelines, negotiated to settle legal claims in Raza v. City of New York and Handschu v. Special Services Division, and limiting surveillance of religious and political activity.
The second trial of Trump Inauguration protesters arrested during an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist march has ended without a single conviction.
A jury acquitted Seth Cadman of conspiracy to riot, inciting a riot, and several counts of property destruction. The jury deadlocked on the misdemeanor charge of engaging in a riot, causing Judge Knowles to declare a mistrial on that one charge
Today, was yet another day of setbacks for the prosecution,as the government dismissed charges against three more J20 defendants. In another J20 trial, a jury acquitted defendant Cathseigh Webber of all charges after less than two days of deliberations.
While prosecutors were going ahead with closing arguments in one set of J20 trials, one floor above in the same courthouse a judge was issuing sanctions against the government for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence. In a huge blow to prosecutors, conspiracy charges will be dismissed with prejudice against ten defendants and seven defendants had all of their remaining charges dismissed without prejudice.
Defending Rights & Dissent Calls on Congress to Reject Cynically Misnamed Bill Designed to Hamper Human Rights Advocacy
Anti-semitism, like all forms of bigotry, is reprehensible, but the so-called Anti-Semitism Awareness Act is a cynical attempt to exploit good faith concerns about anti-Semitism to silence student speech. The bill’s real target is not anti-semitism at all, but student political speech in support of Palestinian human rights. As such, it is unconstitutional.
The prosecution in the J20 case was dealt another major setback today as Chief Justice Robert Morin found that they failed to disclose to the defense parts of an undercover video containing clearly exculpatory evidence. An edited version of the video was part of the prosecution’s case-in-chief during the first J20 trial and was expected to be so in an upcoming trial. Now, with the prosecution facing sanctions, there are questions as to whether they will be allowed to show the video at all.
The US Attorneys Office claims the trial isn’t about protest or dissent, but the crux of their case centers around the argument that a First Amendment protected march is a criminal conspiracy.