Monday, July 19, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - 7
nti-KKK evidentiary hearing begins
By Mahvish Khan
Daily Staff Reporter
An evidentiary hearing held to determine
whether damages were made to a chain-link rental
fence during last year's Ku Klux Klan rally at the
Larcom Municipal Building began Friday before
15th District Judge Ann Mattson.
The hearing was scheduled at the request of the
*meys representing the nine defendants charged
with the malicious destruction of the fence during
the KKK counter-demonstration.
The charges are misdemeanors carrying penal-
ties of up to 90 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.
The hearing will determine whether there is
adequate evidence of fence damage to proceed
with the charges. If Mattson deems the evidence
insufficient, the defendants' charges will be dis-
Although some of the testimony was presented
Friday, the bulk of the testimony for the eviden-
y trial will continue on July 28.
uring her opening statements, Defense
Attorney Miranda Massie argued that since Ann
Arbor police authorized the removal and destruc-
tion of the fence after the protest, there is no evi-
dence to support the charges.
"Shipping it off and destroying the evidence is a
violation of the 14th Amendment basic due-process
law, Massie said. "If the fence had been preserved,
the prosecution would not be able to go forward ...
They would have no case."
Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor
Margaret Conners disagreed, claiming that evi-
dence does not need to be retained for the charges
"This case is all about
last minute invention
and lying ...N
- Miranda Massie
"There was no preservation of broken glass
windows or slashed tires," Conners said.
"Similarly, it is not surprising that the fence was
Ann Arbor Deputy Police Chief John Ceo testi-
fied during the hearing, telling Mattson about his
observations of the demonstrators.
"I saw counter-demonstrators assembled along the
perimeter of the fence, yanking on the fencing," Ceo
said. "They were bending the fence, climbing on top of
it and pushing and pulling it. They were clearly
attempting to tear it down."
Massie said there is no argument that counter
demonstrators had been pushing and pulling on the
fence, but that the issue was whether any damage
Massie said she believes that police had failed
to document the damages to better substantiate
their false charges.
"Out of 270 pages of police reports, there was
absolutely no documentation of damage to the
fence," Massie said.
"This case is all about last minute invention and
lying. It is ridiculous to bring charges on to peo-
ple when there is no evidence," she said.
Ceo told Massie that filing a report about
alleged damage to the fence was not his responsi-
bility and that he did not oversee the preservation
of this key evidence.
Defense attorneys said they believe the hearing
would set precedence for upcoming cases to begin
"It will be very hard for Judge Mattson to allow
(the prosecution) to go forward. ... Every legal
victory sets them back," Massie said.
Continued from Page 1
Sudarsan said instead that the Adivasi
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AIQ member and Business senior
Rachna Dhingra said the Adivasi had no
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