Two more RNC protesters acquitted


Two more protesters were found not guilty Thursday in St. Paul after a four-day jury trial. Ilana M. Radovsky and Gracia Logue-Sargeant were arrested on September 1, the first day of the RNC, at Seventh and Jackson in downtown St. Paul. (That’s the same place where Democracy Now producers were arrested.) They were charged with parading without a permit, disorderly conduct, and unlawful assembly. Judge Michael Fetsch dismissed the parading charges, and the jury found them not guilty of the other two counts.

In January, charges against seven other RNC defendants were dismissed at the end of the prosecution’s case, with the judge finding that there was not enough evidence to send the case to a jury. No defendants have been convicted after trial.

City Attorney John Choi has decided not to prosecute in the cases of hundreds of those arrested during the RNC, but many misdemeanor cases are still pending and the trial of Sean McCoy on misdemeanor charges of parading without a permit and fleeing a police officer is now going on. Some defendants have pleaded guilty. Attorney Bruce Nestor said that the two people acquitted on Thursday were offered deals for guilty pleas that would have resulted in no penalties, but that they refused to plead guilty.

“In terms of the unlawful assembly, the riots, all of the misdemeanors,” said Nestor, “they have a claim to be protesters, just caught up in mass arrests.”

Attorneys with the National Lawyers Guild urged St. Paul City Attorney John Choi to dismiss the remaining unlawful assembly charges.