Drop Felony Charges for Inauguration Journalists and Protesters

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Over 200 people present at Trump's inauguration, including journalists (Alex Rubinstein, Aaron Cantu, Shay Horse, Alexander Stokes Contompasis, John Keller, Evan Engel, and Matt Hoppard) assigned to cover anti-Trump demonstrations, received felony charges for nonviolent political protest and/or acting as members of the press. We believe these charges are politically motivated, intended to intimidate protesters and silence dissent against the Trump administration.

Felony rioting carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Attorney Jeffrey Light brought a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department alleging police "indiscriminately targeted people for arrest en masse based on location alone." Indeed, the charging documents for each journalist references his proximity to a large group of demonstrators, a 'small percentage' of whom damaged public property, not the journalist's individual actions.

We are calling on Channing D. Phillips, the prosecuting U.S. Attorney, to drop the charges and honor the defendants' rights to free press and assembly. 

News and Updates: 

New York Times: Felony rioting charges dropped against 4/6 journalists arrested at inauguration protests 


National Lawyers' Guild: The National Lawyers Guild has called on D.C. prosecutors to drop all charges against demonstrators, legal observers, and journalists present at the inauguration.


Charging Documents: View the charging documents for the six journalists here.



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