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
FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) reviews the media coverage of the mass arrests of protesters at the Jan. 20 Inauguration of Donald Trump.
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
An important case defending the right of protesters against mass arrests may be headed for the Supreme Court. "The [lower] court, de Blasio and the NYPD are telling people that if you want to engage in peaceful First Amendment assembly, if you see a demonstration, if you join an activity that's visibly escorted by police — even if you think you're obeying the law — you can suddenly find yourself in jail with no notice, no warning, no opportunity to disperse," says Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. "And who can take that risk?" Read more
"The superseding indictment is an unprecedented effort to explicitly charge people with acts they did not commit, that were committed by others, based solely on proximity and assumed shared political views. That basis for prosecution stands in direct violation of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of expression, assembly and association," says Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice.
Esquire magazine reports on the legal situation of hundreds of people arrested during protests at the Trump Inauguration, now facing felony riot charges and 10 years in prison simply for having been in proximity to a few other people who were breaking windows.
UN human rights advocates have condemned bills introduced in 19 US states that target peaceful protest and other forms of free speech. They say that the proposed laws violate First Amendment protections as well as international human rights standards. Mara Verheyden-Hillard, a human rights attorney and co-founder of Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, joins RT America’s Simone Del Rosario to explain what’s at stake.
PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard talks about the latest victory — a $125K judgment for a man who was publicly strip searched by a Laurel, MD police officer (who remains on the police force). The suit was a joint effort between PCJF and the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
WTOP ("Washington's Top News") covers the lawsuit filed by PCJF against the District of Columbia for withholding police reports on the response to protests against the Inauguration of Donald Trump.
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard appears in an NBC 4 TV report and condemns serial civil rights violator Peter Newsham, who was named new chief of D.C. Metropolitan Police.