Huffpost DC

McPherson Square 'Occubarn' Standoff Defendants Given Fines

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OCCUBARN
Ben Droz

WASHINGTON -- An Occupy DC protester who urinated from on top of a wooden "barn" during December's standoff with Park Police officers was given a $150 fine on Thursday.

David Givens was also given a 180-day suspended sentence, and was ordered to perform 24 hours of community service for his part in the "Occubarn" standoff in McPherson Square, home to the Occupy DC demonstration from Oct. 1 until mid June.

At the conclusion of the trial on Thursday, D.C. Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Wingo handed down $100 fines to three other protesters who "Park Police had to pull off the rafters" of the barn, according to the protesters' attorney Jeffrey Light. Seven other defendants who were present at the standoff were given suspended fines. All the defendants have been ordered to pay assessments to a fund that compensates crime victims. A 12th defendant was acquitted when police could not properly identify her.

Light told The Huffington Post he's pleased with the "reasonable and appropriate" sentences -- to a point.

"We're going to be appealing," Light said.

Light plans to raise a number of issues on appeal. Among them, he'll argue that some of the 11 defendants weren't properly identified, and that their First and Fifth Amendment rights were violated. He also plans to ask the court to determine "whether it's fair to convict a homeless person for urinating in public."

Protesters had a variety of reactions to the verdicts on Twitter. Some sounded defiant:


Sara Shaw
.@adrian_parsons: the police were not responding to an emergency on Dec 4th, was responding to an emergency on Oct 1st

Some impatient:


Undead Baby E
Yes yes we defendants were found guilty, given minimum sentences. Let's go back to talking about the housing crisis now pls.

Others seemed hopeful:


Occupy K Street
defendants were found guilty but we are still here "seeking to improve this country" as the judge said.

In a media statement, D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan gave his own post-op:

We respect the right of Occupy DC participants to communicate their message to the public, but they crossed the line by refusing lawful orders to leave a structure that had been declared unsafe. I commend the work of the prosecutors in our Public Safety Division for securing this conviction.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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