No Justice in the Courtroom

1 Feb
Yesterday in the courtroom, we were reminded once again that we don’t find justice from the judicial system anymore than we find safety from the police.
In two interesting trials, the police officers in their sworn testimony yet again contradicted information from the official police report about the raid on the Yates building. The assistant DA who was prosecuting the case consistently shut down… attempts to question the police actions, arguing that this was neither the time nor the place. If not in trial, when?
We believe the defendants were charged with Breaking and Entering (a high misdemeanor) rather than simple trespassing because after the fact, the police realized they rushed in with the SWAT team without ever having given a warning–which is necessary to charge someone with trespassing.
In trial, we heard the cops attempt to minimize the massive size of their weaponry, and downplay their ridiculous and dangerous use of force. One officer described his M4 assault rifle as a small “.22 caliber gun” with which he would barely be able to “engage with someone” (i.e. shoot) at any serious distance. We also heard the head of the SWAT operation confess that he thought the occupiers had already been given warning to leave the building before they raided, and he identified Carrboro police officers in a picture of the building raid.

At the end of the day, two defendants plead to trespassing, three were given deferrals (meaning if they don’t get arrested in the next 6 months-1 year) the charges will be dismissed, and two were given a Prayer for Judgment Continued (meaning the conviction is not actually entered against the defendant).

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