Don't Jail Las Vegas Protesters for Writing with Chalk

  • By: Kevin Mathews
  • Target: Steve Wolfson, Clark County District Attorney

Four Las Vegas residents face up to a year in jail for writing anti-police brutality messages with sidewalk chalk. Not only were the individuals exercising their Constitutionally protected rights to free speech, but the chalk could be washed off with water... hardly meeting the "gross misdemeanor" "defacing property" charges they are facing.

In the name of the First Amendment and basic decency, we ask District Attorney Steve Wolfson to drop charges against Kelly Patterson, Catalino de la Cruz Dazo Jr., Brian Ballentine, and Hailee Jewell. As it stands, the trumped up charges seem like a form of intimidation against people who dared to speak out against the police force.

Writing with chalk is a non-permanent form of expression and should be treated as such. If dropping this case should free up time in his schedule, we would also encourage Wolfson to consider pressing charges against the Las Vegas officers who have killed innocent and unarmed citizens and faced no repercussions, which these four individuals were originally protesting.

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