Federal Charges Dropped Against Four Fence-Climbing DNC Protesters
Federal prosecutors have reportedly dropped charges against four protestors who scaled a security fence outside the Wells Fargo Center during the Democratic National Convention last month.
The four arrests were among the few that took place during the convention. The DNC protesters climbed a security perimeter outside the Broad Street Line’s AT&T Station in violation of federal law. They were taken into custody by the Secret Service as the first arrests of the DNC.
The four fence-scalers who committed the act on June 26th, including a 69-year-old grandmother, said they were unaware they would face such harsh penalties. They said they assumed they’d simply be issued citations like the majority of other protesters, thanks to a new law passed by City Council shortly before the DNC that decriminalized nuisance violations such as disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, and failure to disperse.
But each of the four protesters were given a city code violation and a $50 fine before being charged with one count of entering a restricted area.
The protesters accounted for just four of the 11 arrests during the convention — the following day, seven activists followed in their footsteps. Federal prosecutors have only dropped charges against the four people who scaled the fence on the evening of June 26th, the second day of the convention, according to NewsWorks. The seven others could still be prosecuted and risk facing a year in prison.
Civil rights attorney Paul Hetznecker, who is representing multiple defendants, told NewsWorks that he hopes the charges against the seven other fence-climbers will be dropped as well. One of the seven protesters arrested on the second day had three throwing knives on him.
There were 103 citations issued during the DNC.
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