Occupy Wall Street protester, Jessica Hall, was arrested by the NYPD last November 17th and faced the same charges as Alexander Arbuckle, who was acquitted on Tuesday in the first Occupy arrest case to go to trial.
Again, just as in Arbuckle's case, Hall was acquitted after the NYPD's own surveillance video showed that police
lied were mistaken in their testimony.
On the stand, Hall's arresting officer, Sgt. Michael Soldo, said he arrested her because she was blocking traffic. But as Soldo admitted under cross-examination, and as the NYPD's own video documentation confirmed, it was actually the NYPD metal barricades running all the way across William Street that was preventing vehicles from passing.
At the time of her arrest, Hall was about a foot away from the police barricades.
After Soldo's testimony, Hall's lawyers, Marty Stolar and Elena Cohen, moved to dismiss. Judge Matthew Sciarrino agreed that the prosecution hadn't made its case.
"The police arrested people willy-nilly without any determination that they had actually committed the offenses that they were charged with," Stolar told the Voice afterwards. "That's what tends to criminalize protest activity."
Much like the Blackwater private security contractors, the police have "qualified immunity," making it unlikely that they'll face any consequences for
lying misrepresenting the facts regardless of how many of these arrests come to trial and clear the protesters of any legal violations.