Alexander Arbuckle, the defendant in the first Occupy Wall Street case to actually go to trial, has been acquitted after video of the incident in question showed him breaking no laws. The best part: Arbuckle was hoping to defend police officers working at Occupy protests with his NYU photojournalism project when he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly blocking the street. “I felt the police had been treated unfairly on the media,” he told the Village Voice. “All the focus was on the conflict and the worst instances of brutality and aggression, where most of the police I met down there were really professional and restrained.”
Arbuckle’s schoolwork brought him to a January 1 march, where luckily Occupy’s most diligent live-streamer Tim Pool was taping the action. In the clip, later used as evidence along with the NYPD’s own video footage, protesters are clearly seen using the sidewalk like they were asked to, with only the swarm of officers blocking traffic. (Pool’s video can be seen here, with the arrest action taking place around minute 35.)
“What’s happening is very similar to what happened in 2004 with the Republican National Convention,” Arbuckle’s lawyer told the Voice. “It’s just a symptom of how the NYPD treats dissent. But what has changed is that there is more prevalence of video. It really makes our job a lot easier to have that video.” This “dissenter” just happened to be a potential ally.