Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Law-abiding protesters of Alabama’s big College Day of Resistance are fighting life-altering charges

From my colleagues at

The Birmingham Post-Herald reported Friday that the large group of people arrested during the Monday Capitol protest were now being processed at Central Jail. More than 100 people are in custody, but only 20 are charged with felonies. The group accused of committing the vandalism that damaged the Capitol earlier in the week are now facing misdemeanor charges.

The Post-Herald reported on Saturday that people in jail included eight people who already had no serious criminal histories.

“I don’t think they’re trying to make an example of them,” Sam McCuin of Samford University told the Post-Herald. “If [the charges] were serious, all of a sudden they’d be facing felony charges.” McCuin was the leader of last week’s protest, which descended into chaos when the students ran from the Capitol while police in riot gear descended in force.

People arrested during the protests and arrested last week include Zachary McGee, 19, who was arrested with his sister Ashley McGee, 19, and was charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic. Jack Britton, 21, charged with inciting a riot and first-degree criminal mischief, was among the dozen or so arrested on Thursday. Alexander Jackson, a 23-year-old student, faces the same charges.

Four people who were arrested Wednesday after an encounter with the police were booked on charges of threatening or dissuading a witness from filing a police report. The four were identified by city officials as: Xyanne Williams, 25, West Point Avenue, Van Buren, Ark.; Brandon Donalson, 29, Van Buren, Ark.; Adam Rhodes, 20, Semmes, Ala.; and Nicole Griffith, 22, Chase Road, Tuscaloosa. Officers were looking for two other people wanted for warrant service related to the confrontation with the officers, but neither were detained by police, officials said.

Court documents indicate that charges against at least a dozen others may have been too minor to even land them in jail. That may not sound like that big of a deal, but many charged with felonies for what seemed like minor incidents at the Capitol – like throwing a rock through the window of a bus – find themselves behind bars awaiting trial.

Check out more details about the fine young people who have already had their lives permanently and irrevocably changed by yesterday’s protests here.

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