LESLIE STATES “NOT GUILTY”—
JUDGE CONVICTS BUT STAYS SENTENCE
Leslie Feinberg declared she/ze was “not guilty” today (2/4/13) on a charge of 3rd degree gross misdemeanor (property damage) for spray painting “Free CeCe Now” on the walls and pillars of the courthouse/jail in Minneapolis.
Based on police reports of Leslie’s actions, which were not in dispute, the judge found Leslie “guilty,” and asked if she/ze had anything to say before sentencing.
Leslie said: “I am a revolutionary journalist and member of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981. I am not guilty of any wrongdoing. I delivered the people’s verdict on the jailhouse walls. The real crimes are going on behind the walls where CeCe McDonald is imprisoned.”
“By sentencing CeCe McDonald to prison, Minneapolis sent a green light to neo-fascists at a time of growing racist lynching and massacres in the U.S. CeCe was attacked and survived at a time when an increasing number of transwomen of color are being assaulted and murdered.
“Racist mass incarceration is the crime, as even a former Hennepin County prosecutor admitted in an article—that Minnesota has the greatest racist disparity in sentencing of any state in the U.S.
“The world is watching CeCe McDonald’s struggle. I’m proud to add my voice to the tens of thousands of people who demand: Free CeCe!”
The judge admitted that Leslie’s action was an act of “civil disobedience.”
Then the judge stayed the imposition of sentence for 2 years. During that time, Leslie is on informal probation. This means if Leslie is not convicted of any additional “property damage” for 24 months, the 3rd degree gross misdemeanor charge will be dismissed.
The prosecutor did not pursue court expenses or a fine. Leslie walked out of the courtroom without having to perform community service or report to a probation officer.
Leslie was ordered to pay more than $1300 for the erasure of the political demand she/ze wrote on the wall. Leslie stated after court, “I refuse to pay for the censorship of the political demand Free CeCe Now!
Local Free CeCe organizers were present in the courtroom. Many CeCe supporters in the U.S. and around the world sent tweets, e-mails, faxes, and made phone calls to help deliver the people’s verdict—Free CeCe!—to the Minneapolis mayor and prosecutor.
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