3 found guilty on charges stemming from AZ protest

AP News
Posted: Aug 05, 2011 9:08 PM
3 found guilty on charges stemming from AZ protest

A judge has found three immigrant rights advocates guilty of failing to follow police orders during a protest last year over Arizona's controversial immigration law and a crackdown.

The verdicts reached Thursday bring the number of immigrant advocates convicted of the same misdemeanor charge to 13.

All could face up to four months in jail and a maximum $700 fine when they are sentenced Aug. 23 by Justice of the Peace David Seyer.

The latest verdicts were handed down against immigrant-rights group leader Salvador Reza and the Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Boston-based Unitarian Universalist Association.

Another advocate was convicted of the same charge in the verdicts announced Friday. Two others were acquitted.

The advocates were arrested July 29, 2010, when dozens of protesters took to Phoenix streets on the day Arizona's new immigration law was set to take effect.

The protesters also were speaking out against Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio, who organized an immigration patrol the day the law took effect.

The protesters massed outside one of Arpaio's jails, beating on a metal door and forcing sheriff's deputies to call for backup. Officers in riot gear opened the doors, waded into the crowd and hauled off those who didn't move.