The Intercept: With Last Charges Against J20 Protesters Dropped, Defendants Seek Accountability For Prosecutors

“The prosecution, as we now know, utterly failed. But it failed at the point at which the very ugly, unethical conduct of the prosecutors and police was being cracked open,” according to Mara Verheyden-Hilliard. Referring to PCJF's current lawsuit demanding disclosure from the DCMPD of their relationships and communications with Project Veritas and others, she said: “I think there’s a real question here as to whether or not the police were attempting to skirt constitutional and statutory restrictions by using right-wing organizations as a proxy.” Read more

US drops charges against remaining J20 anti-Trump defendants

U.S. Attorney's Office drops charges against remaining J20 anti-Trump defendants; PCJF calls for an investigation into the US Attorney's Office and the DC Metropolitan Police Department for this crime against the First Amendment. Read more

D.C. Police and the Feds Partner With Hard Right to Convict Trump Protesters

Washington, D.C. police and federal prosecutors have been collaborating with notorious right-wing groups and using doctored videos to ambush their targets in an attempt to convict and jail protesters from President Trump’s inauguration. How deep is the relationship between the police, federal prosecutors and these extremists? And in MPD’s case, are DC police breaking the law, as its city council has passed laws barring them from spying on protesters or protest groups? A PCJF FOIA lawsuit seeks to answer these questions. Read more

Group Investigating Police Conduct on Inauguration Day has History of Siding with Police

The Police Foundation “is extremely tied in with police departments and with police leadership, as well as police officials who retire and go into the very lucrative business of police consulting,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a constitutional lawyer and executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which filed a lawsuit in March charging that D.C. police are unlawfully denying public records requests related to Inauguration Day. “We believe that, for there to be a truly independent investigation, it would need to be through an entity that has no ties to police departments, police officials, or former police officials.” Read more

First inauguration rioting trial could send independent journalist, six others to prison

“This was a mass dragnet arrest that’s devoid of probable cause … they are holding people responsible for the actions of other people,” said Mara Verhayden-Hillard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. “It’s evident that the U.S. Attorney’s Office under the Trump administration, working with the D.C. police department, are eager to send a very dangerous and threatening message to anyone who participates in protest activity: that they may be facing decades in prison, not for any unlawful action for their own, but for being near someone else.” Read more

WAMU: Critics say GSA Stonewalling Over Trump Hotel

NPR affiliate WAMU reports "Critics Say GSA Stonewalling Over Trump Hotel" including PCJF's revelation that certain communications with the Trump Organization were conducted over private channels. Read more

D.C. Police Spent $300,000 On Weapons, Equipment For Inauguration

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard: "Police often seem to use these [National Special Security Events], at least in past years, as an opportunity to requisition all manner of new weapons and gear ... It's a spending spree for them, and they can legitimize it by saying 'The demonstrators are coming to town.'" Read more

San Antonio Photographer Faces 70 Years in Federal Prison for Documenting Inauguration Day Protest

If convicted, Wood faces between 70 and 80 years in federal prison. Critics have called the charges “arbitrary” and “unbelievably harsh” while the MPD has been accused of using excessive force in a bellicose attack of basic First Amendment rights. Read more

Mass Arrests of Protesters: Outrageous in Russia, Barely Worth Mentioning in US

FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) reviews the media coverage of the mass arrests of protesters at the Jan. 20 Inauguration of Donald Trump.

Supreme Court Passes on Mass Arrests

The Supreme Court has declined to review whether it's legal for American police to mass-arrest peaceful protesters without first giving them a warning and an opportunity to disperse. "The Supreme Court has let stand a Second Circuit ruling that poses a clear and present danger to democracy, free speech and a free press," says Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and an attorney for the protesters. "It signals all those who would join a peaceful police-escorted demonstration, or report on it, that even if they comply with all police directives they can nonetheless be arrested with no warning and be subject to years of prosecution and possibly years of imprisonment," she says. Read more