A while back, I posted about the ridiculous prosecutorial overreach in a case against Reverend Billy (Bill Talen) and his choir director. Prosecutors were seeking a year in jail time for charges that include "rioting" and "menacing" during a musical protest/performance in the lobby of a Chase bank.
The hearing was heard today, and it seems that someone in the prosecutor's office has come to their senses. The charges have been greatly reduced, almost to the point of being dropped altogether.
From Billy's Facebook page:
SO THE PROSECUTOR IS NOW A MUSIC CRITIC? They tell the judge that by examining the surveillance tapes they determined that our action of Sept 12 did not constitute "Riot" and "Menace" and "Unlawful Assembly" but rather a "Musical Presentation," and so the penalty they request for the plaintiffs Nehemiah and myself zooms from one year in jail down to a single day raking leaves in front of City Hall. Goes from 2nd and 3rd degree misdemeanors and criminal record down to a couple violations and community service. So, I'm sitting in a local cafe with Savi feeling much relief. We presented the 13,500 petitions to the judge and refused to accept even the much reduced charges... It was over in ten minutes. We thank our community of singing anti-consumerists and we are very grateful to our supporters from far and wide, and our neighbors and fellow activists here in NY, and also the press people who rallied to our cause. Something obviously happened in the last several weeks over at the District Atty's office. At a minimum - the surveillance tapes the prosecutors looked at (finally) don't have us hopping on desks, don't record us threatening people. The riot and the menace didn't show up there. Who knows, maybe earth-lovers in the DA's office, people with kids who know that the banks have to stop the fossil fuel investments... maybe they hummed along with our toad-song. Earthalujah!