Friday, June 29, 2018

DA drops "chalk gate" case stemming from incident at Ken Buck's office

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 3:44 PM

Three cheers for reasonable minds might be in order, given the news from the 18th Judicial District DA’s office.

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The office announced on Twitter it would dismiss the charge against Shauna Johnson, saying it had been “determined that justice would be a dismissal.”

The decision involves a case where a woman wrote a message on the sidewalk outside Rep. Ken Buck's Castle Rock office that said, "Stop putting kids in cages."

That was a reference to the Trump administration's practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border and placing them in cages and shipping them to other states. The White House has since reversed the policy, but news reports say reuniting the kids with their parents has proven a disastrous undertaking.

Buck's office apparently reported the chalk incident and decided to press charges of criminal tampering.

The ACLU of Colorado took up her case.

“We are pleased with the decision of the prosecution to dismiss the 'criminal tampering' charge against Shauna Johnson, and we agree that it is a just result," ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein said in a release. "Shauna Johnson is a concerned constituent who simply wanted to communicate a message of dissent to Representative Buck against the cruel immigration policies of the Trump Administration. She did no damage and intended no harm. She should never have been charged in the first place. Dissent is patriotic, and especially now, we cannot allow government to intimidate or silence those who speak out against injustice.”

The release also quoted Johnson as saying, "While my family is elated that, with the help of our superheroes at ACLU of Colorado, I won’t be prosecuted, there are still thousands of babies, toddlers, and young children who haven’t seen their moms and dads for weeks. We must continue to show up and speak out for these kids."

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