Filed under: Announcement, Repression, US
On 12/21/17 a jury returned a not-guilty verdict for the first six defendants in the J20 case. Forty-two charges acquitted: twelve felonies, thirty misdemeanors. This is a huge victory! But the fight isn’t over yet as 188 people still face decades in prison. Now is the time to keep the pressure on the District of Columbia US Attorney’s Office. We know these charges are spurious, and now there’s legal precedent. We are asking that everyone call the US Attorney’s office from 9am-5pm on 1/10/18 and 1/11/18 and tell them to DROP THE CHARGES against the remaining defendants!
Now is the time to keep up the pressure! The US Attorney’s office can decide to drop the charges at any time; let’s make sure they can’t get any other work done until they do! We’re asking people to call the desks of:
- Jennifer Kerkhoff – The Lead Prosectuor on the case, Deputy Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section (202) 252-7380
- US Attorney for DC Jessie Liu – The person in charge of the US Attorney’s office, a Trump appointee and member of his “transition team.”
- John Gidez – The Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section, Kerkhoff’s direct colleague (202) 252-6752
- Lisa Greene – The Deputy Chief of the Superior Court Division, Kerkhoff’s direct supervisor (202) 252-7485
- Richard Tischner – The Chief of the Superior Court Division, Kerkhoff’s direct supervisor (202) 252-7274
Please sign-up for a time to call in at https://USAttorneyLiu.org. We’re asking people to call until they get through; let them know what you think of these charges. Line is busy? Great! Try again! No answer? Leave a message and try again! If you don’t like their answer, consider trying them again and making it more clear! Because there are five numbers, feel free to sign up for more than one time.
On Jan 20th, hundreds of inauguration protesters were mass-arrested, held in inhumane conditions, and are now facing at least 8 felony charges each. Their cell phones were confiscated and searched, their homes were raided, and their social media data was seized.
Prosecutors in these cases have demanded vast troves of website data involving millions of unrelated people, sought gag orders forcing Facebook to silently hand over data without notifying users or allowing for legal due process, and ‘cracked’ over 100 defendant cell phones to extract terabytes of personal data.
At the same time, they requested a rare ‘protective’ order to keep defendants from sharing police body camera footage – shielding the police from public accountability, and complicating efforts to prepare a defense.
Prosecutors have even balked at their basic, legal duty to disclose individualized evidence – citing the workload of so many cases. The irony of that complaint, given the disruption caused in over 200 people’s lives by their choice to bring these charges, appears lost on both the prosecution and the court. We know the US Legal system is a sham; this is just another instance of the constant exception that is the rule.
Throughout these cases, prosecutors have engaged in vindictive, intrusive, and excessive behavior – from detectives misleading the Grand Jury to offers of ‘wired’ pleas designed to coerce easy ‘wins’ for the prosecutor by pitting defendants against family and friends.
But who ‘wins’ when prosecutors abuse their power and disrupt lives?
If we let these cases continue uncontested, we empower one of the world’s biggest school-yard bullies – the modern American prosecutor – to set aside even the meager protection offered by everyone’s favorite 10 Amendments.
We make the next abuse easier; the next target more vulnerable. The US Attorney’s Office has near-complete prosecutorial discretion to drop these charges! It’s up to you to demand that it does!
For maximum impact: Make it personal. Why are you upset? Let them respond. Make it a conversation. Ask them what they plan to do in response to public comment. End with a clear call to action. If you can’t think of anything to say, no worries! Here’s a sample script to get you started:
Hi! My name is ______.
I am calling to demand that you drop ALL pending charges against the Inauguration protesters.
I was horrified to learn that over 200 people were improperly arrested, mistreated, and threatened with excessive felony charges.
In light of the first trial’s outcome–where the judge threw out one charge for complete lack of evidence, and the jury handed down NOT-GUILTY verdicts for the rest–I ask that your office drop the remaining charges.
Over the last year, you have pushed every limit – making these prosecutions as disruptive as possible, and the investigations surrounding this case as intrusive as possible.
You have used over-inflated charges to coerce plea deals, and gag orders to protect the police from public accountability.
Prosecutors have the choice of when or how to bring charges. Your office has abused that power to punish, repress, and intimidate.
Drop the charges. NOW.