By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In November 2011, many Brooklyn residents came out to protest the controversial stop-and-frisk policy of the New York Police Department. During a protest in front of the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville, five protestors, Gbenga Akinnagbe, an actor on the HBO crime drama "The Wire"; Luis Barrios, Carl Dix, Morgan Rhodewalt and Gregory Allen were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. All five defendants have been cleared of the charges.
Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Evelyn Laporte dismissed the charges against Akinnagbe, Barrios, Dix, and Morgan, citing a lack of credibility in the police officers testimony. “[These arrests and prosecutions aren’t] a good use of the court's time, the state of New York's time, our time or public resources," Julie Fry, a Brooklyn Legal Aid attorney, told the New York Law Journal.
In December 2011, Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Desmond Green dismissed the charges against Allen, again finding the police officers testimony to lack credibility.
The defendants’ charges arose from allegations that, during the November protest, protesters refused to adhere with police officers’ demands to disperse.
"We respectfully disagree with each of these judges' decisions," said Amy Feinstein, chief assistant district attorney for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office
Another trial is scheduled later this month for an additional group of protestors arrested during the November protest.