Verheyden-Hilliard says she doubts that standard can be met in the pending case. Her group is considering civil litigation on behalf of those arrested Friday, but she says hasty legal action can result in poor courtroom outcomes like the 2009 ruling. She says it’s important to meticulously document each individual’s story rather than paint a one-size-fits-all narrative, and to engage in discovery to understand the full extent of law enforcement involvement. An investigation following 2001 inauguration protests, she notes, exposed undercover police had acted as provocateurs.
Charging documents for a man arrested Saturday for allegedly throwing what appeared to be a rock Friday afternoon acknowledged undercover activists were among the protests, taking pictures.
"Dressing all in black is not illegal,” she adds, addressing charging documents’ description of the group as being “dressed similarly to one another” in mostly black clothing before marching as a “cohesive unit.”
"You can't arrest people for the acts of others simply because they arguably share a political view -- that's illegal," Verheyden-Hilliard says.