Videotape police, risk arrest and having your life altered
I would have rather an abusive, out of control judge sawed my leg off than doing this [click] to me.
Francisco Acevedo Jr., 19, walks into Superior Court in Hartford on Feb.1. Acevedo was acquitted Thursday of disorderly conduct, stemming from a 2006 incident at Conard High School in West Hartford.
Feb. 1, 2007
Copyright 2007, Hartford Courant
Acevedo Acquitted Of Disorderly Conduct
3:37 PM EST, February 15, 2007
By DAN JONES, Courant Staff Writer
A state judge Thursday acquitted Conard High School graduate Francisco Acevedo Jr., who was accused of disorderly conduct in June 2006 when he challenged an assistant principal's order to stop video-recording the arrest of another student.
Superior Court Judge Eliot D. Prescott granted a motion for acquittal, ruling that evidence presented earlier Thursday was insufficient for a reasonable person to find that Acevedo committed the alleged crime.
Acevedo, his mother, friends and his lawyer Jon Schoenhorn celebrated the ruling with smiles and pats on the back, as Prescott adjourned the court moments after the acquittal.
Acevedo, 19, says he video-recorded what he viewed as excessive force being used by a West Hartford police officer amidst the chaos sparked when unknown students released scores of crickets in the cafeteria as a senior prank. He put off the start of college to fight the charge.
A jury of six people -- four women and two men – heard testimony in the case, before the judge's ruling ended the court proceedings.
Acevedo, who has been working at a West Hartford gas station, has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming his constitutional free-speech rights were violated. He has claimed that school officials retaliated against him for a school walkout by more than 100 students that Acevedo led last May to protest harsh immigration laws.