In what can only be viewed as a victory for the First Amendment and citizen journalism, a client of the Kanthaka Group has obtained a dismissal of charges, July 2021.
Alex Lewis was charged with Obstructing a Peace Officer, which was later reduced to Disobeying Public Safety Orders, stemming from his presence in downtown Colorado Springs during the civil disobedience events of late May and early June 2020. Lewis was engaged in recording and photographing the event for subsequent social media posts and blogging.
The Kanthaka Group asserted that our client was “observing or recording the events on behalf of the public” and was not physically obstructing the police effort to address the disturbance. Lewis is a citizen journalist. As the case neared the trial date, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office recognized the client’s journalistic effort and dismissed the charges.
“Today’s dismissal of charges against our client represents a victory for not only our client but for citizen journalism and most importantly the First Amendment,” said John Scorsine, Managing Member of the Kanthaka Group. “We have seen in the past year or two uncounted incidents that highlight the value and great public service afforded by citizen journalists. The enormous value that citizen journalists bring to our system of justice is highlighted by the Pulitzer Special Citation recently awarded to Darnella Frazier for her documentation of the George Floyd murder.”
If you find yourself in a similar position and believe that your First Amendment rights are being violated, please contact us to discuss your situation.