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December 8, 2008

2008.12.08: Sean Bell Update: Charles Barron Refuses to Accept Hynes’ Offer of ACD

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 9:01 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Sean Bell Update: Charles Barron Refuses to Accept Hynes’ Offer of ACD

Brooklyn Councilman Demands Sean Bell Protest Charges Dropped by Brooklyn Eagle (, published online 12-04-2008

Charles Barron Refuses to Accept Hynes’ Offer of ACD

By Samuel Newhouse

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

SCHERMERHORN STREET – Councilman Charles Barron (D-East New York, Brownsville) was scheduled to appear in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday for disorderly conduct charges stemming from his arrest during the Sean Bell protests.

Although protesters arrested in Downtown Brooklyn were offered an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD) by Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes as part of their plea bargains, Barron has refused and insists on going to trial unless charges are dismissed.

“Charles Hynes should be ashamed of himself,” Barron told the Eagle. “I’m not a boy of his at the plantation; he should dismiss the charges.”

Barron was one of the prominent African-American leaders who led protests on May 7, after the three police officers charged in connection to the Bell shooting were acquitted by a Queens judge.

Rev. Al Sharpton organized protests in several locations in Manhattan, and Barron and Rev. Herbert Daughtry led protesters that met at the House of the Lord Church on Atlantic Avenue and marched to Flatbush Avenue and Tillary Street.

After being blocked by police from accessing the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, protesters who wanted to be arrested sat down in front of the 84th precinct police station.

“We have a First Amendment right to protest,” said Barron. “No property was damaged, no one was inconvenienced for very long. Sean Bell’s family has been damaged forever. And they offer us ACDs like common criminals.”

An individual charged with a crime can receive an ACD for six months or a year, and if they do not get cahrged with any further crimes or criminal violations, the initial charges will be dismissed.

Explaining his decision to refuse the offer of an ACD — which he said Hynes dropped from six months to 30 days — Barron said, “Something inside me wouldn’t let me do it.”

“[Hynes] acted like its some little boys and girls on the plantation that have to behave for 30 days, which is so disingenuous,” he continued. “Why do we have to wait? What if I want to protest again within 30 days? That’s that master of the plantation mentality.”

Although Barron himself did not appear yesterday in criminal court, he said his defense attorney, Roger S. Wareham, was requesting an adjournment from Judge Dena Douglas in AP6.

Barron told the Eagle that he wants charges against him dismissed, and will continue with his trial for as long as necessary. Due to the lack of seriousness of the disorderly-conduct charge, if the case proceeds to trial, Barron will only be entitled to a bench trial, with the judge as the fact-finder instead of a jury.

Additional reporting by Don Evans of the Brooklyn Eagle.

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