Update 12:13 AM 23 April 2011: Mayor Fretti confirms (through three different channels) that this post was by him:
THat was my post. an attempt to reach out and help explain a few things. the video, as was al evidence in the case was exchanged durig the discovery part of the motion. the video should be with that.I have asked him whether an open records request would produce the video. Back to the original post. -jsq
With all due respect to Leigh’s version of the arrest – and it is all on video, it happened in the end by way of self – executing mode. After repeated requests for the group to relinquish the podium and rose stating each time that they will not and we “must do what we have to do”. the Mayor asked if there was any objection from Council or city manager or attorney if WE allow Chief Frank Simons to approach the crowd and do what he sees necessary to allow the meeting to continue efficiently and effectively. There was some discussion and then John Fason (Cmdr.) asked if anyone wants to go to jail – to follow him. and they all did – no cuffs, no restraints. Peacefully. That’s it. and all on video for all to see. With respect to the charges filed, they were old STATE charges and were ruled out as overbroad and (something else). That was fine. There was an appeal by the solicitor General and again the old STATE laws were ruled overbroad and (something else). as they should have been. We have our own local laws and ordinances now that have been tested strong in court.
and now here it the Paul Harvey moment…
The group then filed a civil case on several (7 I think) counts. Each case was for $75.00 (for ech person, I assume) There were depositions and discovery for weeks. Mine was 3 hours and 57 minutes (I think). It cost money on both sides. in the end, Judge Hugh Lawson ruled in favor of the defendant(the city) on all charges. The city then entered a plea for cost recovery (out of pocket costs only) – which was awarded to the city. the group was to pay just over $16,000 to the city or $1457.00 each. We didn’t push the issue after complaints of no money, poverty and hardships. We had the option of putting a lean on property – which we did not chose to do.
So, as I see it – everyone got off rather well. A local government is not held responsible for using a STATE code that is antiquated. Again and respectfully, this maybe how Leigh remembers it. she had a rough 36 hours or so immediately following that night. I tool the liberty in the last month of so to watch and listne to the recordings so I could refresh. in fact, one of the recordings may be found at the office of Rob Plumb – who is a good man and an excellent attorney. I write this for the good of the order and the historical facts of the group. I thought they might be important. I hope posting here doesn’t constitute any breach of internal social doctrine. I just wanted to be helpful…and above all – civil. please don’t yell at me or become angry with me…I have two more short posts to follow.