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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Protesters charged with pedestrian interference

6/25/2010  2:00:00 PM
Kimberly Mills  (206) 684-8602

Thirteen of the 22 people arrested Wednesday afternoon for blocking streets near the Federal Building at 2nd Street and Madison Avenue will be arraigned Saturday June 26 at the King County Jail on the misdemeanor charge of pedestrian interference.

Eight others pleaded not guilty to the charge Thursday and are scheduled to appear for a pre-trial hearing at 1:30 p.m. July 26 in Courtroom 1003 in Seattle Municipal Court. The City Attorney’s Office declined to charge a 17-year-old because, as a juvenile, he is under King County's jurisdiction.

The cases of those arrested – among the 150 to 200 people who protested in support of federal immigration reform – are being consolidated. The defendants are represented by private counsel.

Seattle Municipal Code SMC 12A.12.015 Pedestrian interference. A. The following definitions apply in this section: 1. "Aggressively beg" means to beg with the intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods. 2. "Intimidate" means to engage in conduct which would make a reasonable person fearful or feel compelled. 3. "Beg" means to ask for money or goods as a charity, whether by words, bodily gestures, signs, or other means. 4. "Obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic" means to walk, stand, sit, lie, or place an object in such a manner as to block passage by another person or a vehicle, or to require another person or a driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. Acts authorized as an exercise of one's constitutional right to picket or to legally protest, and acts authorized by a permit issued pursuant to the Street Use Ordinance, Chapters 15.02 through 15.50 of the Seattle Municipal Code, shall not constitute obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic. 5. "Public place" means an area generally visible to public view and includes alleys, bridges, buildings, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, sidewalks and streets open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them. B. A person is guilty of pedestrian interference if, in a public place, he or she intentionally: 1. Obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic; or 2. Aggressively begs. C. Pedestrian interference is a misdemeanor.

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