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All Charges Dismissed Against Alex and Bradley!!! Support the Santa Cruz 11!
by Bradley Stuart ( bradley [at] riseup.net )
Monday May 14th, 2012 10:23 AM
On Monday, May 14th, 2012, all charges against Indybay photojournalists Alex Darocy and Bradley Stuart Allen were dismissed by the Honorable Judge Paul Burdick of the Santa Cruz Superior Court.
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For more information, please see:

The California Constitution "Is Broader and More Protective Than the First Amendment"
ACLU-NC Submits Brief in Support of Indybay's Bradley Stuart Allen and Alex Darocy
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/05/06/18713040.php

Support the Santa Cruz Eleven
http://santacruzeleven.org/
§All Charges Dismissed!
by Support the Santa Cruz Eleven Thursday May 17th, 2012 6:39 PM
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bradley_ben_george_alex_5...

Bradley Stuart Allen, Ben Rice, George Gigarjian and Alex Darocy.   May 14, 2012.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by G
Monday May 14th, 2012 10:32 AM
Congrats!

Fire Bob Lee!

Meanwhile, back at the farm...
by woot woot
Monday May 14th, 2012 11:09 AM
Alex and Bradley can now breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to the ACLU and everyone who stood up for what is right in this case.

Shame on the D.A.!
by KION coverage
Monday May 14th, 2012 5:11 PM
Charges dropped against 2 more in Occupy-linked vacant bank takeover
Posted: May 14, 2012 12:45 PM PDT Updated: May 14, 2012 12:45 PM PDT
By Matt de Nesnera

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- A Santa Cruz County judge dismissed all charges against two more people Monday morning, bringing the total to six who have been exonerated in connection with the takeover of a vacant bank building last year.

Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick cited thin and circumstantial evidence for his dismissal of the charges against Bradley Stuart Allen and Alex Darocy, eliciting applause from some in the courtroom. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed a brief in support of the pair, which Allen's attorney said was rare for a case at this stage in the criminal proceedings.

Allen and Darocy were charged with trespassing and felony conspiracy following the three-day occupation of the Wells Fargo-owned property on 75 River Street by an Occupy Santa Cruz splinter group. Attorneys for Allen and Darocy, whose work documenting the protest appeared on the Indybay Media websites, argued they were acting as official photojournalists and did not have any role in inciting the takeover.

"It is extremely chilling when the government says this reporting is aiding and abetting a crime," argued George Gigarjian, Darocy's attorney.

The prosecution argued the two were granted special access to the building, which in turn helped publicize the occupation. However, Judge Burdick noted it was difficult to establish any distinction between Allen and Darocy's work and other journalists' coverage, pointing specifically to a photograph taken inside the building by a Santa Cruz Sentinel photographer.

"I'm pleased, of course, that Judge Burdick saw this as an important First Amendment case," said Allen's attorney, Ben Rice. "We have all kinds of media in the world today and Bradley's work with Indymedia is really important."

Outside the courtroom, Allen said he is eager to get back to work. "I'm glad that I still have the ability to cover events as a journalist," he said, a copy of the Constitution sticking out of his front pocket. "It was really chilling feeling like my reporting was going to be criminalized, feeling like journalism was going to be made into a crime."

Eleven people were charged in connection with the takeover of the vacant bank building. A judge has dismissed charges against six, though the District Attorney's Office plans on re-filing against two, Franklin Alcantara and Cameron Laurendau.

Five more – Robert Norse, Becky Johnson, Brent Adams, Desiree Foster and Gabriella Ripley-Phipps – face preliminary hearings later this month.
DA Bob Lee crossed the line from a civil infraction to a criminal action. He abused his position of authority and the power he held from that position to try to deprive two photojournalists of their civil rights under the color of law — he tried to wrongfully imprison them. This is extremely serious. The ACLU and Allen and Darocy's attorneys must take strong actions so that no other American journalists are persecuted in a similar manner by an overzealous prosecutor.

DA Bob Lee must be held accountable. If he is allowed to walk away without serious consequences this will send a chilling message to other journalists that their protections against unjust persecution are weak when their journalistic attitudes irk public officials. Bob Lee must pay for his crimes.

I strongly urge the ACLU and Allen and Darocy's attorneys to file a color of law civil rights complaint with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Section of its Civil Rights Division against Bob Lee and his righthand Rebekah Young. This should be the prelude to potential criminal charges against them and a civil suit against them and the County of Santa Cruz to compensate Allen and Darocy for their suffering and potential damage to their professional reputations, as well as the chilling effect DA Bob Lee's persecution may have on their future journalism.

There must be checks and balances on the actions of government officials. Otherwise they will act lawlessly, as if they are above the law. We must show DA Bob Lee and all his potential proteges that they are not above the law. We must refashion government so it is subject to the same constraints as individuals, if not greater constraints, because of the greater damage that unchecked power can wreak.