Remember last November when the LAPD surrounded and arrested downtown marchers who were protesting the Ferguson, Mo. police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown? At the time, journalist and community activist Jasmyne Cannick — among the 130 arrested that night — insisted that there was no dispersal order given before the arrests, that she was on the scene reporting for a radio station and wasn't protesting, and that she was nabbed because she had been critical of Chief of Police Charlie Beck.
Apparently she has continued to insist all along, and late last week the city attorney finally decided to drop three charges of resisting arrest. The judge who was preparing to hear a trial agreed and the case was over.
"In further preparation for trial, we carefully assessed all the evidence including witnesses and prospective witnesses for both sides as well as the specific elements of the charges and defendant's criminal history [or lack thereof]," city attorney's spokesman Rob Wilcox told the LA Weekly. "For all those reasons, there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction."
More from the Weekly:
About 130 people were arrested that night; only 27 cases ended up in court, where suspects were prosecuted to the fullest with criminal allegations instead of customary infractions, [lawyer Nana] Gyamfi alleged.
Cannick maintained her innocence for a year and refused to take a deal, she said.
She had been critical of the Los Angeles Police Department, and she helped to break embarrassing stories about the LAPD's purchase of a $6,000 quarterhorse from Chief Charlie Beck's daughter and about former Det. Frank Lyga's racially insensitive comments during a training session. (He apparently retired quietly as the department moved to fire him.)
Cannick's team was ready. Its witness list included Beck himself, members of his command staff, undercover cops who were at the protest, and one of City Hall's highest-ranking African-American politicians, Gyamfi said.
Photo of Cannick: Ryan Orange/LA Weekly