RALEIGH: NAACP: Charges dropped against 50 protesters - WNCN: News, Weather

NC NAACP: Charges dropped against 50 protesters

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP says Wake County prosecutors have dismissed criminal charges against more than 50 people Wednesday who were arrested last year while protesting at the state legislature.
    
NAACP President William Barber said prosecutors told defense lawyers representing people arrested at a Moral Monday protest on May 20 are being dropped. Barber said the cases were dismissed after two protesters tried Tuesday were acquitted by District Court Judge Joy Hamilton.
    
"It's exposing the Constitutional irregularities in these prosecutions against people simply exercising their First Amendment rights," Barber said.
    
More than 930 people were arrested last year at weekly nonviolent protests over conservative legislation enacted by Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led General Assembly. Nearly all were charged with second-degree trespassing, failure to disperse and violating legislative building rules.
    
Barber said 31 defendants have been acquitted so far, with 26 found guilty on at least one misdemeanor charge and typically sentenced to pay a modest fine. All of those found guilty at bench trials in district court are exercising their right under state law to retry their cases before a jury in Superior Court.
    
"We believe the rest will be won on appeal," Barber said.
    
A total of 57 people were arrested on May 20. Beyond the two acquitted, it was not immediately clear whether any of the remaining 55 cases had been disposed of prior to Wednesday's mass dismissals.
    
District Attorney Colon Willoughby said he did not know the exact number of cases tossed, but said questions had been raised about whether there was sufficient evidence to win convictions on the cases from that particular date. Willoughby said his office plans to move forward with the remaining cases.

RELATED STORIES

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Indictment: Prosecutor was target of Wake Forest kidnapping

    Indictment: Prosecutor was target of Wake Forest kidnapping

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:57:33 GMT
    The U.S. Department of Justice said Kevin Melton has been charged with conspiring to kidnap in relation to the abduction of Frank Janssen from his Wake Forest homeThe U.S. Department of Justice said Kevin Melton has been charged with conspiring to kidnap in relation to the abduction of Frank Janssen from his Wake Forest home
    Nine people have been indicted in connection with the kidnapping of a Wake Forest man whose daughter prosecuted a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.
    Nine people have been indicted in connection with the kidnapping of a Wake Forest man whose daughter prosecuted a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.