Anti-war activist Nick Frabasilio’s legal troubles are finally over. After 4 months of endless court dates and bureaucratic stagnation he has come out victorious on all counts.
Frabasilio’s ridiculous criminal charges, including “participating in a riot” that didn’t occur, were finally dropped to an infraction of “disturbing the peace” to which he plead no contest on February 10th. A fine was waived in lieu of time served in court and it will not go on his record.
A civil suit brought by Frabasilio and his attorney, Larry Hildes, against the City of Berkeley and the police was also settled last month for $35,000, a percentage of which will go to pay legal fees.
In the end it appears that the trumped up charges and lengthy criminal court ordeal were the result of city pressure on the District Attorney to continue prosecuting the case as leverage against Frabasilio’s impeding civil suit.
Berkeley Sergeant Craig, who intentionally injured Frabasilio during the arrest, sending him to the hospital with a punctured cheek from a baton blow, was found guilty of using excessive force by both the Berkeley Police Review Commission and the Berkeley Police’s own internal investigation unit. The latter also sustained an allegation of “discourtesy” against Craig for threatening Frabasilio.
Frabasilio feels vindicated by the findings and is grateful to the dozens of courtroom supporters and witnesses who aided him. He remains outraged at the gross and seemingly systemic miscarriages of justice wrought by the police, the DA and the entire criminal “justice” system. “It’s bullshit”, he said.
Frabasilio also finds irony in his being found guilty of disturbing the peace while at an anti-war march. “If anything I should have been convicted of disturbing the war.”