In a bit of good news, San Diego man Jeff Olson has been acquitted by a jury of his peers for the heinous transgression of using water soluble chalk to write anti-bank messages on a public sidewalk in a case I highlighted last week. While this is a favorable outcome, the simple fact that Bank of America forced the city to go after this guy for 13 years in jail is a despicable travesty of the legal system. From ABC News 10 in San Diego:
SAN DIEGO – A 40-year-old man was acquitted Monday of 13 misdemeanor vandalism charges that stemmed from protest messages written in chalk in front of three Bank of America branches in San Diego.
Olson could have faced up to 13 years behind bars if convicted of all counts. Jurors began deliberating Friday.
Olson did not deny that he scrawled anti-bank messages and artwork outside the banks last year. His messages included “No thanks, big banks” and “Shame on Bank of America.”
The prosecution of Olson brought condemnation of the City Attorney’s Office from Mayor Bob Filner, who called it a waste of time.
Tosdal said it was an “enormous waste of public resources.” He said bank officials demanded the prosecution because they didn’t like his client’s message.
It’s remarkable that the bailed out, sleaze-ball, too big too fail crony enterprise known as Bank of America is ordering municipalities to go after citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights. Fortunately, sanity has prevailed in this case.
Full article here.
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