Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dan Choi trial over White House protest: How can you get off the sidewalk if you were never on the sidewalk?

Lou Chibbaro Jr., of the Washington Blade is covering the trial of Dan Choi, arrested after he chained himself to the White House fence in a DADT protest. Choi's attorney, Robert Feldman, is challenging the grounds of his client's arrest.
“It’s uncontroverted that Lt. Choi is no threat to the public safety whatsoever,” said Feldman. “Neither does he obstruct traffic, which is the second part of the regulation.”
     Feldman said he would also argue that the regulation used by authorities to arrest Choi applies only to the sidewalk next to the White House fence. He noted that Choi and the other protesters were standing on a masonry ledge that rises above the sidewalk and serves as an anchor for the White House fence.
     “It’s very clear that my client was never on the sidewalk,” Feldman said.  “He was on the masonry fence, which is above the sidewalk. And the warnings from Lt. Lachance said, ‘Get off the sidewalk.’ How can you get off the sidewalk if you were never on the sidewalk?”'

Video and photos taken on the scene clearly show that Choi was not standing on the sidewalk.

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