ReOpenNC co-founder Ashley Smith speaks out about her unlawful arrest

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In America, you would have never thought, or at least I wouldn’t have, that police would arrest someone for stepping onto a PUBLIC sidewalk during a PUBLIC protest. 

On Tuesday, during a peaceful #ReOpenNC protest, the group co-founder Ashley Smith and three other protesters were arrested for stepping on a public sidewalk in front of the Governor’s mansion.

Just a quick side note, for those who aren’t aware, this home is owned and paid for by North Carolina taxpayers. Daniel G.Fowler, the 46th Governor, and his family were the first occupants of the 6,000 sqft Queen Anne Style home a soon as the building was completed in 1891. 

All four of the protesters were handcuffed, taken to the Wake County Jail for processing, and each was frivolously charged with Resisting Arrest and Violating an Executive Order. 

There will probably be questions about the resisting arrest charge because I had some as well. Prior to a person actually being arrested, a lot of officers will tell the person that they are being detained, which means that they are not under arrest but they are not free to leave until the investigation, questioning, search, etc…. surrounding that particular incident is completed. If, at that time, the officer finds that no crime has occurred, or evidence that any detained persons were wanted in connection with other illegal activities, including no active arrest warrants, they are free to leave. 

However, if the officer finds that there is a crime in progress, evidence of other crimes, active warrants for the detained individual, etc…. they will then be arrested, taken to the jail, booked, and await bond court. If at any point, from the time the officer informs the subject that they are under arrest until the arresting officer transfers custody to an officer at the jail, the subject does anything that can be interpreted as resisting, the officer can then also charge the person with resisting arrest. 

Smith was released on a personal recognizance bond, also known as a PR Bond. What that means is that she had to sign a legally binding document stating that she promised to appear at all future court dates in exchange for her release from custody on this date.

Shortly after her arrest, she spoke about the protest, including how she was manhandled by the State Capitol Police Officers, as they were the department with jurisdiction. She detailed how she was mistreated throughout the entire booking process including being denied water, as well as her glasses, which are a requirement for her to be able to see as they are prescribed by an eye doctor. 
To clear up any rumors, there was no one rioting, looting, or spitting on any of the police officers. Protesters were peaceful and many including myself did have a choice of words for the officers after they started violating protester’s constitutional rights. 

 

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