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DADT Protesters Released, Trial Date Set

Jim Burroway

April 22nd, 2010

The six protesters against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” who handcuffed themselves to the White House fence yesterday were released from jail. All six were charged with the misdemeanor of refusing to obey a policy order. Army Lt. Dan Choi and veteran Capt. Jim Pietrangelo pleaded not guilty before D.C. Superior Court Judge Richard Ringell. He combined the latest cases with the earlier cases for Choi  and Pietrangelo, and set a new trial date of July 14.

The other four — Navy Petty Officers Larry Whitt and Autumn Sandeen, Air Force Cadet Mara Boyd, and Marine Corps Corporal Evelyn Thomas — accepted a post-and-forfeit offer of a $100 fine in exchange for ending the case. Choi and Pietrangelo were also offered the same deal but declined.

All six protesters are under court order to stay away from the streets surrounding the White House. For the four who accepted the post-and-forfeit offer, the order is in effect only until they pay the fine, which is due within a month. For Choi and Pietrangelo, it appears that the court order will remain in effect until their trial date. The attorney for Choi and Pietrangelo argued that the order violates their First Amendment Rights, but the court ruled against their objections.

In related news, a spokesman for the US Parks Police admitted that the service “screwed up” when they turned away reporters during the protest. The spokesman called the incident “embarrassing” and blamed it on a “rookie amateur error.” He denied that the Secret Service or the White House had anything to do with the push to move reporters out of view of the protest.

Comments

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Bubba C
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

“He denied that the Secret Service or the White House had anything to do with the push to move reporters out of view of the protest.”

Yeah right, who the hell do they think they’re foolin’?!

Jason D
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Bubba, do you really think everyone in DC sits around waiting for the President to tell them what to do?

I’m not defending him, so much as pointing out that the president has a lot on his plate without micromanaging DC as well.

customartist
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

There are a Multitude of unanswered questions:

Who was that “Rookie Cop” that made the initial decision? Who? We deserve to have this information.

Is this person Still Making Decisions about the Security of the Most Important National Park in America??? We need to know?

Who Was the “High Ranking Official” who “recognized the problem”?

Why was the Secret Service “assisting” in something that was non-threatening and peaceful? Who made THAT decision??

Why did the Judge deny Choi and Pietrangelo the right to “be” in the streets around the White House? Now the Judge is involved.

Not accounting for the Five Against the Fence, Weren’t the Rights of the Tourists and Members of the Media’s Rights denied?…

And furthermore, weren’t My (and your) rights denied as I depend upon the Media to tell me what is going on around the White House?

What Remedial Actions will be taken on this issue. The Five were Arrested, but what about the Rights of all of the other peaceful Tourists and Media???

Will there be a suit against the Park Police for making an admitted “Rookie Mistake”?…

And against the Secret Service for “assisting” in this “rookie error”?

Are the Park Police lieing to protect the Secret Service ultimately protecting the President?

This all smells fishy to me.

Clearly there was no threat against the President, no Bomb Threat, no Terrorist Threat, no Rioting, no Gun Weilding, no Destruction of Property, no Bonfires, etc., etc., etc…….Nothing but Peaceful Demonstration.

The Freedom of the Media is Gone!

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