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Miami Judge: FTAA Police Should Be On Trial

A Miami judge dismisses charges in first FTAA-related jury trial, with some harsh criticism of the police.
MIAMI - A judge dropped charges after the first jury trial related to a demonstrator arrested during November's Free Trade Area of the Americas meetings.

County Court Judge Beth Bloom granted a defense motion to dismiss charges Wednesday against Gan Golan, 30, after hearing testimony and reviewing evidence from both sides.

Bloom ruled that no reasonable juror could convict Golan based on the what was presented.

Golan, a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was arrested Nov. 21 and charged with failure to obey a police order and resisting arrest without violence.

He was one of more than 50 people arrested outside the Miami-Dade County Jail during a demonstration over the treatment of 146 protesters police arrested during the week of the Free Trade gathering. Officers sprayed gas at some of the demonstrators, accusing them of refusing orders to disperse.

Bloom dismissed the charges after the defense rested and before the case went to the jury.

"It is not the FTAA protesters that should be on trial - it's the police," Golan said afterward. "Law enforcement not only assaulted a group of nonviolent citizens exercising their First Amendment rights, but also trampled on the Constitution."

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Yes! 30.Jan.2004 11:58


Can it be? Can a judge really have recognized what was happening down there, even if the corporate media kept it silent?

Let's hope so 02.Feb.2004 06:11

winston smith

Needless to say, its importance would be huge.