Noche Diaz Gets Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Noche Diaz

Noche Diaz speaking at Times Square, New York City, on August 13 at a show stopping event that included major recording artists, community leaders, and family members of victims of police murder in the fight against police terror. Photo:

After a spirited rally of supporters outside Brooklyn Criminal Court on September 15, Noche Diaz was given an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (an “ACD”) at his court appearance on charges thrown at him after his arrest during the #ShutdownA14 action in New York City last April. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office refused to drop the charges outright—one misdemeanor and a violation with two counts that remained from his original charges—but backed off its requirement of five days of community service.

This is the same offer made months earlier to most of the other 41 arrested that day (and accepted by them) but which the DA had refused to offer Noche until the night before his trial. It means that all charges will be dismissed in six months, but also could be reinstated if Noche is arrested again within that time. It is necessary to remain vigilant and guard against any trumped-up charges on Noche or efforts to attack him in any way.

At the same time, this was a positive development for the people. What was concentrated here was whether the movement protesting police terror would be suppressed and its leaders locked down or if it would fight that suppression and criminalization as part of the larger battle to stop police terror. (For more on this, read “The Struggle to Stop Police Murder.”)

When Noche walked into the courtroom, it was clear he wasn’t standing alone. A visible presence of approximately 30 supporters filled almost half the courtroom, and the Brooklyn DA’s office had received calls from respected clergy, celebrated artists, community activists, and others, calling for the DA to drop all charges on Noche. Written statements of support from many others have been collected by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

After the judge entered and called Noche’s name, it was over in a few minutes. In a late-night phone call, his lawyer had heard from the DA’s office that it was willing to offer the ACD straight up with no “community service.” Noche and his lawyer were determined to fight the “community service” because in reality it is a penalty that carries an implication of guilt.

After the judge had announced the ACD, Noche and everyone who had come to support him went outside for a brief rally. Noche spoke to what had been accomplished and what the verdict meant:

“Last night, the DA’s office backed off. But this case was only the first of three—I’ve got two more coming up in October in Manhattan, and these have more serious charges, including inciting to riot, than this one did. We have to build on what we did here and get ready to build an even stronger political defense for these next trials, as part of building a whole national battle around #RiseUpOctober...

“After the April 14 national action to Stop Murder by Police, they tried to say that the people were the violent ones. [Mayor] de Blasio had the nerve to say that protesters assaulted police and were using ‘the right to peaceful protest as cover to initiate violence, cause mayhem or incite disorder.’ The only ones injured were the ones protesting police violence. There was no evidence presented by cops of any injury; the only concrete claim was an off-duty officer who said he was struck by protesters, which is a lie, and we have photo evidence showing in fact he was the violent one, pulling out a gun on protesters in front of a yellow school bus. We also have evidence of a woman assaulted who had her rib broken and was hospitalized. So who are the violent ones?”



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