Monday, May 12, 2008

Not guilty! (again)

Five men -- arrested for drumming "too loudly" during a protest against the city of Orlando's policies on homelessness -- have been acquitted of charges they violated a noise ordinance.

Ryan Hutchinson, Bryan Jones, Brett Mason, Eric Montanez and Will Vertlieb, all members of Orlando Food Not Bombs, were arrested in June 2007 during a protest outside a restaurant where Mayor Buddy Dyer was holding a campaign fund-raising event.

After their acquittals, the defendants were able to reclaim their drums, which had confiscated as "evidence" by Orlando police.

This is the second acquittal for Montanez. In October 2007, a jury found him not guilty of violating the city's food-sharing ordinance. In both cases the FNB defendants were represented by Jacqueline Dowd of Legal Advocacy at Work, an Orlando law firm which provides free legal services for homeless and low-income clients.

A federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the food-sharing ordinance is scheduled to go to trial in June.


At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please explain something to me. These folks were arrested for charges on a possible violation of the noise ordinance while protesting on a Wednesday afternoon around 6:30 pm in front of a restaurant. However, the protestors in the Casey Anthony case are making noise and getting violent in a neighborhood at 1:30 in the morning...but there are no arrests there. How does this make any sense?

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

For Anonymous said...

Because they are not in city limits- like Downtown Orlando. Orange County Sheriffs will not arrest because of noise, which is something I'm having a problem with, and am trying to do something about due to unreal noisy neighbors. And I'm disabled and have to sleep much during the day. If you noticed on TV you never saw Orlando Police, only Orange County.


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