"Joseph Hoover, S.J., was found guilty by a jury of his peers in a courtroom at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, CA, for the crime of “obstructing a public thoroughfare.” His alleged (I suppose now confirmed) sin was that he did not get out of the way quickly enough at an Occupy Oakland rally and march two months ago in Oakland, Calif, when a charging line of Oakland Police Department officers in riot gear ran at him. That the arresting officer had quite clearly beaten Joe with his baton (the officer who hit him looked Joe and the jury in the face and perjured himself—I know his testimony to be a lie, since I saw the bruises myself the night I picked Joe up from jail) seemed to sway the jury from convicting Joe of a second charge: obstructing a law enforcement officer in the performance of his duties. That charge, it turns out, cannot be considered proved if the arresting officer uses excessive force. Joe himself took the stand and testified he had no intention of obstructing anyone—that he was an unarmed man in a Roman collar walking away from the police—but it made no difference as to the first charge, and Joe was found guilty. Of that, at least."
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