Acquittals for 12 Occupy Bank Protesters

Group arrested in 2011 not guilty of conspiracy & defiant trespass

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCPhiladelphia.com
    Occupy Philly protesters were arrested back in November 2011.

    A jury has acquitted a dozen demonstrators arrested during a November 2011 sit-in at a Philadelphia bank. 

    The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Common Pleas Court jury deliberated for about 13 hours over three days before finding the defendants not guilty of conspiracy and defiant trespass.

    The demonstrators appealed after they were convicted last summer by a municipal court judge and ordered to pay $500 fines.

    They accused Wells Fargo of what they called “racist predatory lending” policies resulting in a disproportionately large number of home foreclosures in black neighborhoods.

    Prosecutors argued unsuccessfully that the protesters' free speech rights didn't apply once they went into the bank because they were on private property, not on a public sidewalk.

    A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office declined comment on the verdict.

     


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