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Small group of inauguration protesters rejecting plea deals

CORRECTION 4/17/17 9:11 a.m.: An earlier version of this story inaccurately reflected how many protesters arrested on Inauguration Day agreed to take plea deals. The story has been changed to reflect the correct information.

EARLIER 4/15/17 6:20 p.m.:

WASHINGTON — Sirens, flash-bang grenades and protesters filled the streets of the nation’s capital as thousands descended on Washington to protest the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. Law enforcement arrested 214 demonstrators.

While one has taken a plea, about 20 of the demonstrators have rejected the idea of a plea deal and are fighting their charges in court, BuzzFeed reports.

The demonstrators formed the group “L12” — because of the location of the arrests on L and 12th streets Northwest.

Spencer Kaaz is a member of “L12” and he said law enforcement agitated the crowd. The Arkansas native vividly recounts what happened.

“They detained us for eight hours on the street corner with no food and water and wouldn’t tell us what we were being charged with and then held us for 36 hours without being put in front of a judge,” Kaaz told WTOP.

Kaaz said what he experienced was a violation of his constitutional rights and that risking arrest is something he’s willing to do again in order to exercise his First Amendment rights.

Kaaz will travel to D.C. for his court date on April 28. He said he intends to participate in the March for Climate Change the following day.

The total damage from the protest demonstration surpassed $100,000.


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