‘Legal errors’ prompt DA to dismiss charges in Montgomery Confederate statue case

Updated: Jun. 2, 2020 at 9:04 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Charges against four people arrested in the toppling of a Confederate statue at in Montgomery have been dismissed because of legal errors, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey.

“This morning the Montgomery Police Department filed charges against four Montgomery citizens for taking down a statue of Robert E. Lee that was displayed at the entrance of Robert E. Lee High School,” he said. “I have reviewed the warrants and affidavits and have found them to contain legal errors that would make the crimes for which these four have been charged not prosecutable. I am not making any determination as to rightfulness or wrongfulness of these charges being filed.”

The four people had been charged with first-degree criminal mischief, a felony.

Bailey said in these difficult times it is imperative that the law be administered fairly, accurately and impartially.

WSFA 12 News reached out to Bailey about the legal errors he found, and he said the property damage amount is incorrect. He also said he was not consulted on the charges.

Bailey said he has advised MPD that if the City of Montgomery and the Montgomery Public School Board desire to continue prosecution of those arrested that his office is ready to advise on how these errors can be corrected.

“This decision should not be seen or interpreted as endorsing citizens taking the law into their own hands,” he said. “There is a process when trying to settle grievances with our Government and those should be litigated in our Courts not our streets.”

Bailey thanked those who have protested in Montgomery for remaining peaceful, and he said they must remain calm, peaceful and safe.

“We must continue to search for ways to have productive conversations coupled with action to move our community forward,” he said. “We must refrain from activities that stifle progress and are criminal. I am dedicated now more than ever to being an accessible, fair-minded District Attorney, community leader and community servant.”

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