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Charges dropped against Seattle photographer in May Day arrest

Prosecutors announced Tuesday afternoon that they will not pursue charges against a Seattle photographer arrested during Seattle’s May Day protests. CHS reported on the charges brought against two men with Capitol Hill connections — Joshua Alex Garland and Bobby Ditrani — in the wake of the protests. The county today said charges were being dropped against Garland because prosecutors “no longer believe they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt” following his arrest for allegedly assaulting a Seattle Police officer.


Garland, 28, works as a photographer and has done freelance work for CHS as well as working as a barista on Capitol Hill.

Prosecutors say they are continuing to purse a case against 23-year-old Capitol Hill art student Ditrani who police say spit on an officer and two other people arrested that day. SPD has formed a task force “to identify and bring charges against demonstrators” participating in property damage and violence reported from the May Day protestes. No additional charges have yet been announced as a result of the task force.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed charges against a protester who was accused of assaulting a Seattle police officer during the May Day protests in downtown Seattle. Joshua Garland, 28, was charged with one count of Assault Third Degree for allegedly grabbing a police officer’s hand and twisting and pulling his arm. After reviewing video provided by Garland’s defense attorney showing the alleged incident, prosecutors no longer believe they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The charge was dismissed today. Three other protesters are charged with assaulting police officers during the May 1st protests. Paul Campiche, 23, is charged with two counts of Assault Third Degree for allegedly throwing a bottle at an officer and then kicking a second officer who was attempting to arrest him. Robert Ditrani, 23, is charged with one count of Assault Fourth Degree. He is accused of spitting on an officer. Maria Morales, 30, is charged with Assault Fourth Degree for allegedly hitting an officer in the chest. The incident involving Garland occurred moments after the arrest of Ditrani. The three remaining defendants will be arraigned on May 17 at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 1201 at the King County Courthouse.

UPDATE: You can see the video that reportedly exonerates Garland here. He’s the photographer grabbed by police about 20 seconds into the clip:

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4 thoughts on “Charges dropped against Seattle photographer in May Day arrest

  1. “After reviewing video provided by Garland’s defense attorney showing the alleged incident, prosecutors no longer believe they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The charge was dismissed today.”

  2. Once again, police picked someone out of the crowd, nabbed him, then made up a story to support their claims. Without video, it would have been the defendant’s word against that of some perjurious officers. This man was being prosecuted for a felony based on lies from our police.

    There’s a bit more detail about the dropping of charges against Alex on the Seattle Times’ blog:

    After Garland’s arrest, Robertson said that her client was at the protest ”taking pictures.”

    “His hand was on the camera and the other was at his side when the officer approached him,” Robertson said, adding that she believes the officer pushed her client in the chest and that her client’s hand went up. She insisted her client did not lay a hand on the officer.

    Robertson said that to show her client’s innocence, she pieced together video segments posted on YouTube by witnesses and other footage shot by a local television station. She brought the video segments to prosecutors. The segments, she said, made it clear “there was absolutely no way that the officer’s account of events is what actually happened.”

    “I don’t think there is any way you could intrepret the way he [the officer] described it,” Robertson said.

  3. You can see why police are pushing to make video recording them a crime.

    I once was pulled from a march and attacked by a group of cops. They then charged me with resisting arrest and “interfering with police.” It was my word against six lying police officers.

    There was no video available, so my only course of action was to go to a polygraph expert, who had formerly worked for the state highway patrol. The results showed that I was telling the truth. Polygraph evidence is not admissible in court, but my lawyer took it to the judge who then later had a chat with the prosecutor.

    And magically, the charges were dropped.