A municipal court judge denied all requests to drop charges against left-wing protesters in Boston Municipal Court Tuesday, going against the wishes of both the prosecution and defense.
Thirty-six leftists−including antifa radicals−were arrested during the Straight Pride Parade in Boston Saturday, on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assault and battery on a police officer.
Judge Richard Sinnott saw half of them on Tuesday, CBS Boston reported.
Prosecutors from Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office attempted to get charges dismissed for any of the protesters charged with disorderly conduct who had no prior record – but each time, Justice Richard Sinnott denied the request and scheduled a pretrial hearing for each defendant.
Justice Sinnott went against both the prosecution and defense’s request, also ordering half a dozen people be taken into custody and held on cash bail ranging from $250 to $750. One man was held without bail.
The six people who were hauled out of court in handcuffs were reportedly in shock, as they had already been arrested and released by Boston Police over the weekend.
The situation amounted to “a striking role reversal” in court, Boston.com noted, “with a prosecutor assuming the unusual stance of pushing for dismissals while the judge took it upon himself to keep the charges intact.” Rollins, in fact, but out a statement on Tuesday accusing Judge Sinnott of “overstepping his role.”
Larry Calderone, the Vice President of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, begged to differ.
“We couldn’t be happier at the moment with the judge that’s on the bench,” Calderone told reporters outside of court. “We are here to make sure the DA prosecutes these offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”
Four officers remained off the job on Tuesday after being injured on Saturday, according to Boston Police. “Many officers were assaulted throughout the day, with bottles of urine being thrown at them, bottles of chemicals,” said Calderone.
The 36 protesters were arrested when the protest of the parade devolved into an antifa-fueled melee.
Some protesters accused the police of using excessive force with them, but the head of the police union said the protesters came “to create havoc.” Boston Police representatives said there would be an investigation into their handling of the situation, as is standard policy.
As American Greatness reported on Tuesday, a bail fund was set up for the left-wing activists who tangled with law enforcement to help with their “legal fees, as well as supplies for jail support.” After the FundRazr page was endorsed by Squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley on Twitter, the fund was able to raise $24,652, far surpassing its $15,000 goal.
Judge Sinnott, 63, was appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2017, the Boston Herald reported.
The lifelong Boston resident was an Army Reserve judge advocate and Iraq War veteran. He has also taught the law of war at Suffolk University Law School.
Sinnott has a reputation for being a no-nonsense judge. According to the Herald, he “recently told a former Uber driver accused of raping a passenger in his car to “please knock it off” when the man began sobbing uncontrollably at his arraignment.”
The defendants who were arraigned on Tuesday will need to return to court on various dates in September, October, and November. There were 18 more protesters Tuesday who still needed to appear in court.
Democrat Rachael Rollins, the first woman of color to hold the job of Suffolk County district attorney, issued the following statement on Tuesday’s proceedings:
“By compelling arraignment in every case, the judge punished the exercise of individuals’ First Amendment right to protest. At my request, prosecutors used the discretion constitutionally allocated to the executive branch to triage cases and use our resources most effectively to protect public safety. Make no mistake: some people were appropriately arraigned and will be held accountable for actions that put the safety of the public and law enforcement at risk. For those people now tangled in the criminal justice system for exercising their right to free speech—many of whom had no prior criminal record—I will use the legal process to remedy the judge’s overstepping of his role.”
“We’re hoping to convince the DA that this is a serious matter,” Calderone told reporters.