RALEIGH — Two Occupy Raleigh protesters arrested in October after a protest at the state Capitol were acquitted Friday of resisting, delaying and obstructing a law enforcement officer.
Shaun Ridgway and Clinton Ebadi, represented by Durham lawyer Scott Holmes, were acquitted by Wake County District Court Judge Ned Mangum.
A third protester, Vincent Agosta, who represented himself at the District Court hearing, was found guilty and immediately appealed his case to Wake County Superior Court.
In a motion to dismiss the cases against Ridgway and Ebadi, Holmes argued that his clients were exercising their First Amendment rights Oct. 27 when police removed them from a sidewalk in front of the Capitol.
They were near a 57-year-old disabled woman who refused to move a chair she was sitting in on the public sidewalk, despite orders from law enforcement officers.
Law enforcement officers charged her with second-degree trespassing, a charge that was dismissed.
Holmes argued in his motion for dismissal of charges against Ridgway, Ebadi and Agosta that the three were lawfully protesting an unlawful arrest.