Charlotte Judge Goes Easy On Occupiers

Is this more of Obama’s GSA and DHS telling law enforcement to ‘stand down and not enforce the law‘ when it comes to Occupy? Sure seems that way. In Charlotte, a Mecklenburg county Judge has ruled three occupiers not guilty on obstructing, delaying and resisting officers who were attempting to dismantle the Charlotte Occupy Camp.

Charlotte Observer reports:

A Mecklenburg County judge found three members of Occupy Charlotte not guilty Thursday on charges of resisting, obstructing or delaying officers, eight months after they were arrested while their uptown camp was dismantled.

Occupy Charlotte supporters burst into applause and bumped fists after Mecklenburg District Court Judge John Totten delivered his verdict. All three had been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor after they refused to leave a tent on the lawn in front of old City Hall in January.

Activists said it’s too soon to say how the verdict could affect their plans for the upcoming Democratic National Convention, which is expected to draw thousands of protesters. Some already have said they plan to occupy public spaces, such as Frazier Park near uptown.

“It gives me confidence that if unlawful arrests happen, we’ll have recourse,” said Laura Brooks, one of the three acquitted. “As to whether it changes anything in terms of what we do for the DNC, I’m not sure about that yet.”

In a statement late Thursday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman Officer Robert Fey said the acquittal would not change how police respond to similar situations.

“Two weeks ago another District Court judge found an Occupy member guilty of the same charge and under similar …circumstances,” Fey said. “Nothing in today’s verdict changes our strategy in responding to situations where persons decide to use public property for living accommodations.”

During the trial, Charlotte residents Jason Dow, Scottie Wingfield and Brooks didn’t dispute that they linked arms and went limp as a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police lieutenant cut their tent away around them on Jan. 30. They were then handcuffed and carried to a waiting jail transport van.


One of those names jumped out at me, Scottie Wingfield, as she had won one of the spots to protest and speak at the upcoming DNC in Charlotte. I reported on the DNC lottery in July:

The Democratic National Convention in Charlotte is rapidly approaching. I posted recently about the winners of the protest lottery that the city of Charlotte set up in an effort to keep some law and order. The list of the winners was announced and the usual suspects were on it – Occupy, Socialist outfits and pro-pot groups. There were also some individuals listed. It was these solo name that caught my curiosity, so I dug. Here is what I came up with:

Scottie Wingfield:  Active member of Occupy Charlotte; “Scottie W” has made posts on their website front page including hosting an event on ‘organizing’ for the DNC event. He (Update 7/26 H/T Sister Toldjah: or rather SHE) was arrested at the Bank of America Protest in May along with five others. From WBTV:

Keenan Altic, 27, Matthew Pence, 34, Johnny Rosa, 49, Steven Norris, 68, Gregory Yost, 45, and Scottie Wingfield, 36, were all arrested.

Five were charged with second degree trespassing when they tried to jump a barricade and enter the shareholders meeting.

Wingfield was charged with impeding traffic.

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