Occupy Asheville releases video of Helen Roberts arrest, says charges dropped

Occupy Asheville demonstrators have released video of Helen Roberts being arrested for passing out “advertisements” at a Nov. 2 protest. In the video, Buncombe County deputies ask demonstrators to leave the lobby but also note that friends and family can wait there.

Sources are reporting that charges against Roberts have been dropped, but Xpress has not confirmed the news (county offices are closed for Veterans Day).

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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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12 thoughts on “Occupy Asheville releases video of Helen Roberts arrest, says charges dropped

  1. Barry Summers

    We need to find out who ordered this and demand they account for themselves. Just because they may have dropped the charges, the chilling effect is still there:

    “Oh sure, you may think you know the law and think you have “rights”, but WE decide whether to respect or ignore those “rights” at will. Exercise your precious “rights” at your own risk… (And yes BTW, as you now know, when we’re not videotaping you for later identification, we joke about lynching you.)”

    Once it becomes illegal or a paid privilege or to just plain too intimidating in this country to hand out political flyers in the public square, this “American Experiment” has officially failed, IMHO.

    • bill smith

      Not to mention the fiscal and judicial irresponsibility of charging someone with such an “offense”, only to have it later dropped.

  2. ta33

    As a result of this APD buffoonery, they no longer have the right to complain about their lack of resources, if this is how they are spending their time. Whether an attempt at stifling free speech via intimidation or just plain incompetence, this does not bode well for the reputation of the APD.

  3. Lamont Cranston

    Oh sure…Arrest first, and then figure out the fact that a mistake was made. Sorry, but the APD cannot act like this, and somebody has to answer for this behaviour. This isn’t some trivial act, but one that involves the denial of civil liberties that could affect us all someday.

  4. LOKEL

    My guess is someone is reading up on what is covered by the US Constitution (or Supreme Court decisions) and decided that the City can not afford a n ACLU challenge in Court to the “no handing out fliers” law in AVL.

    Especially when there were all sorts of folks handing out “information” at voting sites all across the City on election day.

  5. Michael Hopping

    I report for the Indie.

    Late Friday afternoon I received a phone message from APD Lt. Welch, informing me that the District Attorney has decided not to pursue the flier distribution charge against Ms. Roberts. Lt. Welch wasn’t sure of the actual mechanics of how the charge will be dropped. It might simply go away at this point. Alternatively, Ms. Roberts may have to attend a “first appearance” court hearing at which the charge will be officially dismissed.

  6. Barry Summers

    Do we breathe a sigh of grateful thanks, or do we demand that the people who attempted this obscenity be dragged out into the light to explain themselves?

    • Barry Summers

      I mean forget the Koch Brothers, Art Pope, or the Mexican drug cartels. Are either Ron Moore or Bob Oast secretly working for King George III?

  7. helenrosey27

    just to be clear, i was taped and cited for this on nov. 2, warrants were issued nov. 4 and i was arrested nov. 7

  8. helenrosey27

    and i just wanted to add a thank you to everyone who has shown me support :) love you guys

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