Some jurors even hugged the boys accused of protesting against Trump's treasurer Steven Mnuchin
Unanimously, a jury declared the # UCLA5 not guilty a few days ago – who in February 2018 protested against the treasurer of the Donald Trump administration; otherwise they could have been jailed for up to two years.
"I cried. I was too excited. I saw a smile on the jurors' faces … When the last charge was a guilty plea, ”recalled Justin Ullman or Atlas Winfrey.
Atlas Winfrey, Michelle Xai, Tala Deloria and Luna Hernández – as they identify themselves publicly – received hugs from five jurors, after being excused from the charges.
"The jurors told us they never understood why we had been criminally charged," said Michelle Xai. “After they acquitted us, they told us that, now that we were free, they understood what we did and that we were an inspiration to them; They told us it was an illegitimate case and against the law. ”
The four young men, in addition to “Bo,” a former Iraqi war militia who was acquitted during the 10 months of the investigations and trial, were charged by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, Mike Feuer , of resistance to arrest, transfer of property and disturbance of peace.
Yesterday, at Westwood Square, activists said their First Amendment rights were violated last year by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who tried to suppress the video of the group’s peaceful demonstration against the Trump administration at an event at UCLA in 2018.
Ironically, the Quartet of members of Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism LA presented the “Martin Heidegger” (a Nazi philosopher) awards to the UCLA administration, headed by Mick DeLuca, and to the Daily Bruin newspaper for refusing to publish an editorial of Atlas Winfrey who reviewed the whole case of the # UCLA5 for the university community.
Protesters testified against the involvement of the Secretary of the Treasury by approving the tax exemption of President Donald Trump of $ 1.5 billion for the rich and their support for sanctions against North Korea.
"(Mnuchin) is part of a regime that is determined to consolidate fascism," the Protestants said.
They avoided going to jail; the crucial testimony
But last Friday, Justin, the lawyers who defended them and supporters of the group http://www.Refusefascism.org (Rejection of Fascism, the regime of Donald Trump / Mike I thought has to leave) burst into jubilation upon hearing the exculpatory verdict .
The testimony of the young 27-year-old American was key in the final verdict. In a courtroom of the Los Angeles airport court he described how he was arrested, beaten, dragged along the floor and interrogated by the UCLA police in 2018, without the presence of a lawyer and without having his Miranda Rights read to him.
"They made a report of my injuries and took pictures of me," Justin said.
“This evidence was hidden for 10 months and the police (from UCLA) lied during the trial; they said they had been ordered to arrest us by the vice chancellor of UCLA ”
Days earlier, on Tuesday, October 8, Judge Christopher Dybwad called the police again to hear his testimony again and answer why the report they made on Justin and the photographs taken were not delivered.
"As if by magic, upon returning from lunch, the prosecutor said," Oh, here I have these photographs, I had forgotten to hand them over, "said Michelle Xai. Next, the judge dismissed the charges for resistance to arrest.
"In short, they lied on the stand and got caught in their own lies," said Michelle Xai. "I think that during the trial all this was an attack on the First Amendment, on freedom of expression and protest."
She and Justin agreed that the prosecution sought to present as if they had been the ones who violated Steven Mnuchin's right of expression.
"When fascism is consolidating, the most important thing is that we have to fight harder to defend the right to free expression," they said.
"When we are criminally charged with criminal charges, it is a dangerous precedent for everyone and the good thing was that the jury did the right thing."
The Opinion contacted Rob Wilcox, spokesman for the prosecutor's office Mike Feuer again to know if they would accept or appeal the verdict, but at the end of the edition he did not respond.
On October 19, Justin Ullman will return to the podium of the accused, since prosecutor Mike Feuer has also raised charges for his participation in the closure of Highway 101, in downtown Los Angeles, between September and November 2017 along with eight other defendants.
"I just hope that Donald Trump and Mike Pence will soon be out of power," said Ullman.