May 15, 2012 at 1:44 PM
Charge dropped against man arrested in May Day protests
A third-degree assault charge filed against a barista and photographer for allegedly assaulting a police officer during the May 1 protests in downtown Seattle has been dropped.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office today dismissed the charge against Joshua Garland. He was accused of “grabbing a police officer’s hand and twisting his arm,” Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the county prosecutor’s office, wrote in a news release.
“After reviewing video provided by Garland’s defense attorney showing the alleged incident, prosecutors no longer believe they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Donohoe wrote.
Garland has been out of jail since May 2. His lawyer, Andrea Robertson, said he has documented numerous social-activism events since 2010 through his photography.
After Garland’s arrest, Robertson said that her client was at the protest ”taking pictures.”
“His hand was on the camera and the other was at his side when the officer approached him,” Robertson said, adding that she believes the officer pushed her client in the chest and that her client’s hand went up. She insisted her client did not lay a hand on the officer.
Robertson said that to show her client’s innocence, she pieced together video segments posted on YouTube by witnesses and other footage shot by a local television station. She brought the video segments to prosecutors. The segments, she said, made it clear “there was absolutely no way that the officer’s account of events is what actually happened.”
“I don’t think there is any way you could intrepret the way he [the officer] described it,” Robertson said.
Donohoe said that three other people are still charged with allegedly assaulting police officers during the May 1 protests:
Paul Campiche, 23, is charged with two counts of third-degree assault for allegedly throwing a bottle at an officer and then kicking a second officer who was attempting to arrest him;
Robert Ditrani, 23, is charged with one count of fourth-degree assault for allegedly spitting on an officer;
Maria Morales, 30, is charged with fourth degree assault for allegedly hitting an officer in the chest, according to Donohoe.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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