Lawyer: Protesters being punished for chalk messages, not method
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Four protesters could face a year in jail for using the "F" word, written in sidewalk chalk, to criticize the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
18-year-old Hailee Jewell, 44-year-old Kelly Wayne Patterson, 31-year-old year Brian Ballentine and 20-year-old Catalino de la Cruz all face misdemeanor conspiracy and graffiti charges.
They are accused of using the "F" word in anti-police messages written on sidewalks in front of LVMPD headquarters and the Regional Justice Center.
Their attorney, Robert Langford, is outraged that they were arrested for what they consider free speech.
Langford said, "I don't use that word. I don't like people using that word in front of me. OK. But you know what? Since 1971 when the United States Supreme Court said you have a first amendment right to use that word."
Langford's clients are members of a growing movement, locals angered by officer-involved shootings and what they feel is a lack of accountability.
One of those groups, Nevada Cop Block, has posted numerous photos of the chalkings on their Facebook page.
Chalking is nothing new. In fact, it has been going on for quite a while in the Las Vegas Valley.
LVMPD and the district attorney would not comment on the arrests for this story.