- Photo by Kendall
- Jonathan Zook testifies
The first jury trial of an Occupy Portland "arrestee" concluded today—with a jury saying "not guilty" on three of the four charges facing occupier Jonathan Zook, including the pretty serious charge of assaulting an officer. It's a partial victory for the movement, with Zook still convicted of "interfering" with an officer, but it gave more weight to the idea that juries are likely to be sympathetic to other occupiers when, and if, they go to trial.
Zook was originally charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, assaulting an officer, and interfering with an officer. But as the Occupy Portland media collective tweeted earlier this morning, Zook was cleared of the first three counts. On the remaining count, a little before noon today, according to Occupy's media folks, Zook was sentenced to one year of probation and 80 hours of community service and also was slapped with a $400 fine. But things could have been much worse for the middle school teacher.
Earlier today, the Portland Occupier posted a recap of the crucial testimony that likely swayed the jury during yesterday's proceedings. And as the Portland Occupier reported yesterday, he jury selection process for Zook’s trial showed a sharp bias toward Occupy.
Zook was the first occupier to to have jury trial, but he might not be the last. Without getting into the nitpicky nuances of the legal dueling between the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, whether dozens of remaining cases go to trial—cases the DA is trying to fast-track as "violations"—might be decided as early as April 30.