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Eric Brandt sets speed record for First Amendment Jail-to-Freedom-Pipeline


DENVER, COLORADO- Eric Brandt got a surprise at the detention center courtroom on Friday. Then the magistrate who sentenced Eric for contempt of court got a surprise.

Eric wore his “fuck cops” t-shirt into courtroom 2300 this morning where his friend Monk was making a first appearance while still in custody. Everyone waved to Monk sitting among the inmates and stood in solidarity until the judge entered. But it wasn’t a judge we were used it seeing, it was Magistrate John Hoffman who Eric failed to recognize from one of Eric’s 43 ongoing “fuckcops” cases. The magistrate asked Eric to stand, then read the text of Eric’s shirt into the record, then reminded Eric that he’d warned him if he wore the shirt again in his courtroom he’d be held in contempt, and then he sentenced Eric to twenty days in jail.

Eric objected claiming he had no foreknowledge that this magistrate would preside today and cited “Cohen v. California” as to why this sentence was unconstitutional.

“Tell that to the ACLU” said Magistrate Hoffman as Eric was put in handcuffs.

“Fuck You Judge Hoffman” exclaimed Eric.

“I sentence you to ten more days for that outburst” shouted Hoffman. “Be sure to let the Sheriff know that Eric Brandt is to serve thirty days not twenty” Hoffman explained to the deputy as Eric was moved through the inmate booth.

The magistrate had no name plate and neither the prosecutor nor the deputies would tell us his name. Finally a clerk outside obliged and I made a call to Eric’s lawyer. Within minutes the magistrate announced that Eric should be brought back into the courtroom. A half hour later he was free, ordered out of the building, which he left loudly.

It turns out Eric’s lawyer hadn’t intervened at all. The magistrate’s “tell it to the ACLU” quip was repeated through the courtroom staff where it reached the city attorney’s office. They made the call and told magistrate Hoffman to stand down.

So Eric was sentenced at 9am and out by 10am. A new record for him at least.

The accompanying photos do not have anything to do with Eric’s Jail to Freedom speed record, but they’re not entirely unrelated. They depict his next arrest later that day, the details to follow.

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