Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – Judges Continue To Dismiss Cases Against Black Lives Matter Demonstrators


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Introduction To This Series:

This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.

Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.

The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.

To view the entire series of Rising Up for Justice! posts, insert “rising up” in the search bar above.

Judges Continue To Dismiss Cases Against Black Lives Matter Demonstrators

By Tana Weingartner, AP – Cincinnati

December 10, 2020

George Floyd protest in Cincinnati
Cincinnati Assistant Chief of Police Paul Neudigate speaks to protestors at City Hall as demonstrators continue to rally and protest the murder of George Floyd, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. (Photo by Jason Whitman for WVXU)

Two more Hamilton County judges have dismissed charges against 66 people arrested this spring during Black Lives Matter demonstrations, bringing the total number of cases dismissed to 101, or roughly one-fifth of the total number of arrests.

Rulings Dec. 3 by Judge Ted N. Berry and Dec. 9 by Judge Brad Greenberg align with an earlier decision that a curfew put in place during the May and June protests was “unconstitutionally vague.” About 375 cases remain before 10 additional judges.

A judge in Hamilton County Thursday dismissed charges against 35 people arrested during Black Lives Matter protests in Cincinnati between May 29 and June 1.

These are some of the first cases to come to resolution following the spring demonstrations sparked by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others. Some 500 people were arrested, charged with violating a curfew ordered by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley…

“The curfew is fatally flawed in many respects,” Trotter Bratton writes. “As a starting point, it is absolutely unclear as to who the curfew applies. The Emergency Curfew Orders declare the curfew inapplicable to city of Cincinnati officials, members of the public safety forces, emergency personnel, health care professionals, essential workers, people experiencing homelessness, and local government officials engaged in their lawful duties. These listed exceptions do nothing to help individuals determine whether they are subject to the order…”

Trotter Bratton also points out the order did not specify what jobs were considered essential, nor did it outline “what, if any, violation of law the citizen commits if s/he is out past curfew. The curfew does not affix any penalty to violating the curfew.”

“The decision today marks a victory in the fight against the arrests, the prosecutions, that targeted and attempted to silence the movement for Black liberation and people who are engaging in their first amendment rights in support of Black lives,” says attorney Jacqueline Greene with the Cincinnati Mass Defense Coalition and a partner with Friedman and Gilbert.

Read the full article here.

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