Blogger wrestled to ground at Annandale parade found guilty of disorderly conduct

WASHINGTON — A political blogger who was wrestled to the ground by Fairfax County police at an 2017 Annandale, Virginia parade was found guilty of disorderly conduct.

Mike Stark told Fairfax County District Court Judge Mark Simmons he was at the parade to monitor and videotape Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, in his job with political organization ShareBlue. The group’s mission statement says it produces content to “deligitimize” President Trump’s candidacy.

Smartphone video, taken by a colleague of Stark, captured his heated exchange with Fairfax County police officers, who told him to get on the sidewalk. After Stark cursed repeatedly, including at the officer, he was placed under arrest.

The viral video showed Stark being taken to the ground by officers, with several officers involved in placing him in handcuffs.

At the time, Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler defended his officers, saying the officers used an approved take-down during the arrest.

On Wednesday, Simmons found Stark guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, but cleared him of the charge of fleeing police.

Stark told NBC Washington he is disappointed by the verdict, and may appeal.

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