We also shouldn’t forget about the dozens of people who pled guilty to charges, people who were punished for the same thing The Phoenix 20 were exonerated from.
Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) May 31, 2012
The Phoenix City Prosecutor’s office made a bold statement in its Motion to Dismiss 20 cases against Occupy Phoenix protesters yesterday, citing Paul Revere, the Tea Party and the constitutional right to protest. Members of The Phoenix 20 were individually represented pro bono by a troop of 17 volunteer defense attorneys. Originally 45 defendants faced charges, but 25 pled guilty to lesser charges. The cases were grouped together and involved trespassing and loitering allegations*.
“This country was founded on protest,” said City Prosecutor Aaron J. Carreon-Ainsa in the State’s Motion to Dismiss, which was granted this morning. Although Carreon-Ainsa noted that the protesters were not free to be in the park after hours, he went on to say that “the State has no intention of limiting anyone’s constitutional rights.” The document also cited Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and the 1773 Boston Tea Party, concluding that “protest is part of the fabric of our nation” and that “in Phoenix, the protesters were not violent. The police were not violent.”
The judge granted the Prosecutor’s motion with no objection from the defense this morning at 10:30 AM. “The State has done the right thing in this case,” said David A. Black, a Phoenix criminal attorney who represented one of the protesters pro bono. “But there were also a lot of court, police and taxpayer resources that were wasted,” he added, citing a USA Today article that listed over $180k in Occupy Phoenix-related overtime pay for 12 protest days.
“We also shouldn’t forget about the dozens of people who pled guilty to charges, people who were punished for the same thing The Phoenix 20 were exonerated from,” Black continued. “Several of the 20 protesters are unhappy with the wording of the State’s motion, as it specifically mentions limitations to protesting on public property after certain hours,” he explained in a blog posted to his site.
Click here to see photos of the original Motion to Dismiss.
David A. Black has been advocating for civil rights as a defense attorney ever since leaving the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. A former county prosecutor, he has successfully defended hundreds of clients in Arizona for a variety of criminal and DUI cases. His office is located at The Law Offices of David A. Black, 40 North Central Avenue, Suite 1400, Phoenix, AZ 85004, (480) 280-8028.
For more information about the Occupy Phoenix case dismissal or to schedule an interview with David A. Black, please call Jasmine Davis at (310) 621-5048.
- Municipal Court of the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County, State of Arizona, case number 1430050001.