Atlanta to Drop Charges Against KSU Student Arrested During Occupy Protest
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed made the announcement during Saturday's regional gathering of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Charges against a Kennesaw State University journalist who covered last year's Occupy Atlanta protest will be dropped.
Redmond and Judith Kim of The Signal at Georgia State University each spent about 14 hours in jail and received citations for “obstruction of traffic” despite identifying themselves as journalists and standing on a street that police had closed off to traffic, the SPLC said in a Nov. 7, 2011, letter to Reed.
“What is most worrisome about these arrests is that the officers quite clearly knew that they were arresting journalists — in at least one instance, the student showed police a valid employee ID from her newspaper — yet they told the journalists that they did not enjoy the same rights as professionals,” SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte wrote in the letter to the mayor. “This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the law — First Amendment rights do not correspond to the size of ones paycheck — and if this is the perception of the City’s police officers, then it needs correcting at once.”
In addition to Redmond and Kim, the city is expected to ask a judge to drop charges against a third student journalist, according to the AJC.