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Charges dismissed in last cases from Occupy Wall Street march

By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York prosecutors on Tuesday dismissed charges in the final two cases stemming from the mass arrest of more than 700 people during an Occupy Wall Street march two years ago.

The two defendants, Jonathan Stribling-Uss and Michael McCann, appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court expecting the judge to set a date for their disorderly conduct trial, according to attorney Martin Stolar.

Instead, the Manhattan District Attorney's office filed a motion to dismiss and said prosecutors did not think they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The move closed out the last remaining legal proceedings against more than 700 people arrested October 1, 2011, on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Stribling-Uss and McCann maintained they were not taking part in the bridge march but were acting as a legal aide and medic, respectively.

Both rejected offers to dismiss the charges if they avoided arrest for six months, their attorney said.

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators first set up camp in downtown Manhattan in September 2011 to protest high profits made by financial institutions and economic inequality.

The movement spread to cities around the world, addressing issues from disaster relief to human rights.

The Occupy Wall Street camp in New York was cleared out by police after two months.

There were more than 2,600 arrests in New York in connection with the demonstrators, including those made during the Brooklyn Bridge march.

About half of those arrested accepted offers from the District Attorney's office to dismiss the charges if they avoided arrest for six months.

Of 68 cases that went to trial, there were 53 convictions and as of August, fewer than 20 cases remained, according to data collected by the District Attorney's office.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Gunna Dickson)

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