The jury has found all five defendants not guilty of misdemeanor assault, and not guilty of assault causing great bodily injury, also a misdemeanor. About 30 supporters of the defendants were in the courtroom for the reading of the verdicts, which began at about 3:40 p.m. Some cried quietly as the clerk read the decisions for each person. After the reading, there was a brief round of applause before the judge released the jury.
One of the defendants, Scott Hedrick, said it was a relief for the case to be over.
“It’s been over a year of this,” he said. “It was intense. We’re all just ready to move on with our lives.”
The men, who met through the underground punk scene, said they now plan to hold benefit concerts to help raise money for their attorneys.
Several jurors told Berkeleyside the group found itself in agreement relatively early on regarding the not guilty verdicts. But they wanted to make sure they worked through the process carefully. They deliberated for nearly a day. Ultimately, they said, they were not convinced a crime had occurred. There were other viable explanations for what took place, they said.
Original story: March 4, 2017, brought a day of violent political clashes to downtown Berkeley’s Civic Center Park. The event, dubbed the “March on Berkeley” by its pro-Trump organizers, was the first of several large protests in the city in 2017 that would pit pro- and anti-Trump activists against each other. There were verbal altercations and street brawls. And despite efforts by some to keep events peaceful, nearly every rally resulted in violence and arrests. Both sides have blamed the other for provoking the fights.
Wednesday, a trial began in Alameda County Superior Court where jurors have been asked to decide if five self-described “anti-fascist” defendants are guilty of attacking Trump supporter Moshe Daniel Quillinan during his evaluation by Berkeley firefighters for a large cut on his head that ultimately required 10 staples to close, according to testimony last week.