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COS drops convention trespass charges

Park sidewalk
COLORADO SPRINGS- At this morning’s motions hearing in Municipal Court, the city attorney asked Judge Spencer Gresham to dismiss their case. Due to “discovery issues we cannot resolve” and “internal misunderstandings,” the city dropped the trespassing charges against Peter Sprunger-Froese and I. So let’s see. They arrest us in front of hundreds at the World Arena, detain us until our chance to protest the State Convention is over, put us through five court appointments, then decide we shouldn’t have been arrested? And they didn’t even say that.

It was rather hard to stomach. A city prosecutor explaining that complications with the evidence led them to conclude the case wasn’t worth pursuing. No apology, no admission of error. Simply that taking us to trial was now thought be too inconvenient.

This after claiming there was no additional evidence from World Arena surveillance cameras, no tape from a the police observation van across the street, no recordings from the spooks with parabolic dishes above the Hampton Inn, no better audio track and additional footage to accompany the chopped up inaudible video they did offer us, no transcript of the public meetings beforehand where contradictory descriptions were given of a planned demonstration area.

This after maintaining that a “Free Speech Zone” was clearly marked when their own video showed that it wasn’t.

This even after fighting our request for a jury trial.

We walk into court and the same stonewalling city prosecutor declares that the City of Colorado Springs has decided to be magnanimous and drop the charges.

To his credit, Judge Gresham did ask if the city’s request was based on finding the new evidence exculpable. No, your honor, said the city prosecutor, this was just about the mounting difficulties of complying with the requested discovery.

The judge asked if the defendants had any objections. Our attorney said no.

This was not something we’d discussed as being an available options, but our lawyer answered on our behalf. Peter and I would be apprised later that voicing any objections would have been deleterious to being cleared of the charge. Otherwise, we for damn sure had objections!

Can you usurp someone’s free speech only to admit later you had no cause? There was no apology actually. Can they do that? I am Goddamn incensed that my rights were shoved aside, handcuffed, escorted, photographed, fingerprinted, detained, driven to the other side of the city, made to wait for a ride back to my car, denied the chance to return to what I was doing before I was arrested, now it turns out, for no cause!

What about the repercussions? I’ve got friends thinking I’m a troublemaker, when in fact I didn’t make trouble. It was heaped on me by uniformed misapplication of authority. Can they do that? Others are now sheepish about expressing themselves publicly because those police officers acted illegally. That’s the chilling effect of law enforcement given too much power. Now what? Honestly I’ve got friends who in the past have shown great courage in the face of repression and injustice, made into sheepish cowards who think speaking up means being insufficiently peaceful.

This is the result of the City of Colorado Springs police making arrests however they damn please. Is that going to stand? How many more acts of police intimidation are we going to tolerate before the chilling effect silences everyone?

Probably you’ve discerned where the meat of this case might have been found. It would seem to be what the city wants to avoid coming to light. It’s where a civil case is going to find incredibly flammable fuel.

2 thoughts on “COS drops convention trespass charges

  1. Innocent until proven containable.

    You have the right to free speech.
    Should you not have the right to free speech
    they’ll be the first to tell you.

    You have the right to a fair trial.
    Should you not have the right to a fair trial
    they’ll be the last to tell you.

    You have the right to remain silent.
    Anything you say may be used against you
    anytime they feel like it.

  2. You have the right to remain silent. Refusing to remain silent may result in your being classified as a suspected terrorist. This is “freedom” in the 21st century US of A.

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