City Council votes in favor of dropping curfew violation charges against protesters

City council approves motion to dismiss curfew violation charges

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Council approved a motion Wednesday that would drop curfew violations against protesters.

The vote was 7-2 with council members Betsy Sundermann and David Mann opposing the motion.

The decision about whether to drop the charges is ultimately up to the City Solicitor’s office since this is a recommendation by the City Council.

On Tuesday, the City Council’s Law & Public Safety Committee recommended the motion that would provide alternatives to prosecution.

The alternatives as it stands now include:

  • In exchange for a guilty plea, the charges against a protester would be dropped to disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor. Legal fees would be waived and the city would not stop an immediate expungement.
  • The charges against a protestor would be dismissed if they sign a waiver they won’t sue the city in the future over the curfew.
  • A “reconciliation program” with meetings between protesters and city and police employees.
  • A protester enters a diversion program. If they attend a certain amount of time without further arrests, the charges are dropped.

Daniel Anson protested on May 31 and was arrested for violating the curfew.

He says likes the move made by the council because it moves the purpose and message of the protests forward.

“It’s great as a tool for opening up a dialogue, but I can’t say what the future holds,” Anson said.

Dan Hils, the President of the Cincinnati Police Union, does not approve of the city council vote.

“The rule of law should not be undermined and it should not be undermined in this case, or any other, because in this case; understand these are, while these are minor charges, they are so important for the safety of the city,” Hils said.

Councilwoman Becky Sundermann and Councilman David Mann both raised concerns the motion creates a dangerous precedent of the city council telling the Cincinnati Solicitor’s Office what to do.

Sundermann asked Cincinnati Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething if it was proper for the council to take this vote.

“As a legal matter, a motion is an appropriate expression of council’s policies, directives, and opinions," Boggs Muething said.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.