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Virginia judge jails woman without bail for exposing one breast at equal rights demonstration

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An activist who supports the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is being held in jail without bail after she exposed her breast during a protest.

According to Richmond Times-Dispatch, Michelle Renay Sutherland, 45, reportedly exposed one of her breasts while dressing as the Roman goddess Virtus, who appears in similar garb on the Virginia state seal.

The protest took place as Virginia lawmakers were debating whether or not to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

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On Monday, a magistrate set a secured bond of $700 for Sutherland.

But during a video hearing on Tuesday, Judge Lawrence B. Cann III ordered the activist to be held without bail until her court date on March 21.

Equal Means Equal activist Natalie White suggested that the judge is treating Sutherland like a political prisoner.

“They’re putting the goddess of virtue in jail and this is the goddess that is on the seal of Virginia overthrowing a tyrant,” White told the Times-Dispatch. “You know that this is coming from a political standpoint.”

VAratifyERA group spokesperson Kati Hornung also issued a statement to the Times-Dispatch.

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“The system was designed by men, for men, and they seem intent on scaring women from political speech. In this situation we see a man exerting authority, who had no basis for that authority because Ms. Sutherland was not doing anything illegal.

“Further, the judge overstepped the boundaries of reasonableness, perhaps to make an example of Ms. Sutherland. This is part of the reason why we need the ERA, because the system is so male centric and they don’t know what to do with women who challenge their authority by using their First Amendment protected rights.

“We hear Ms. Sutherland is in good spirits and talking with women in the jail about the Equal Rights Amendment. She now has a very good attorney and we hope she will be out shortly. Women will not be silenced.”

Kevin Martingayle, president of the Virginia State Bar, said that the judge’s order is unusual.

“What the woman did in reenacting the flag/seal is classic political speech entitled to the highest free speech protection known to law,” Martingayle explained. “She should win and the denial of bond seems to be totally inappropriate. I am very surprised to see that done in a case in which she’d be unlikely to get jail time even if convicted.”

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Sutherland reportedly has no criminal record.

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Manhattan DA announces protesters arrested by NYPD will not be charged: ‘Our office has a moral imperative’

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The Manhattan District Attorney announced on Friday that his office would not be prosecuting protesters arrested for low-level crimes.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. announced that Unlawful Assembly and Disorderly Conduct would not be prosecuted during the demonstrations over police violence.

"“The prosecution of protestors charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve. Days after the killing of George Floyd, our nation and our city are at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront racism and systemic injustice wherever it exists. Our office has a moral imperative to enact public policies which assure all New Yorkers that in our justice system and our society, black lives matter and police violence is a crime. We commend the thousands of our fellow New Yorkers who have peacefully assembled to demand these achievable aims, and our door is open to any New Yorker who wishes to be heard," Vance said in a statement.

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Chicago Police Board president files complaint alleging he was struck 5 times by cops at George Floyd protest

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On Friday, WTTW reported that Ghian Foreman, the president of the Chicago Police Board, has filed a complaint alleging he was beaten in the legs five times by police officers at a protest against the killing of George Floyd last Sunday.

The Chicago Police Board is an independent civilian commission that has power over police disciplinary cases.

"Foreman filed a complaint with the Citizens Office of Police Accountability alleging that he was struck by at least one officer during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police, said Ephraim Eaddy, a spokesperson for the agency," said the report. "Foreman’s complaint, which identifies the officer Foreman said struck him, is one of 344 complaints of police misconduct filed with COPA between midnight May 29 and 7 a.m. Friday, Eaddy said. The complaint itself is confidential."

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Derek Chauvin accused of illegally voting in Florida — where he was allegedly registered as a Republican

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Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been accused of committing felony voter fraud in Florida.

Dan Helm, a candidate for Supervisor of Elections in Pinellas County, sent a letter to the State Attorney of Orange County outlining the allegations.

"I write to inform you that, Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd in Minnesota, voted in Orange County Floriday in 2016 and 2018 as a registered Republican," Helm wrote to Aramis Ayala.

He said he discovered the information in the voter file.

"While living in Minnesota, working there, paying taxes there, Derek Chauvin cannot claim residency in Orange County. His home, residency and where he intends to live is in Minnesota, not Florida," he charged. "This is a violation of our election laws, specifically Fla. Stat. 104.011 (2)."

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