A judge reportedly dropped a charge against a woman last week who was the first protester to be arrested outside the home of Mayor Michelle Wu after city officials passed an ordinance limiting when targeted residential picketing can take place .
Shannon Llewellyn was arrested in late April for “willful violation” of that order, according to a police report.
The controversial ordinance, proposed by Wu and backed by the city council in a 9-4 vote in March, prohibits any demonstrations targeting a specific residence between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.
The measure follows months of early morning pickets outside Wu’s home, during which protesters made clear their opposition to COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.
During a hearing in the West Roxbury Division of Boston City Court last week, Judge Steven Key said Llewellyn was “wrongly arrested” because violations of this ordinance are subject to a fine – 50 $ for the first offense, $150 for the second offense. , and $300 for the third offence, The Boston Herald reported.
“It shouldn’t have been a criminal complaint at all,” Key said during the hearing, according to the Herald. “It should have been, according to the order, it’s supposed to be a civil decision, not a criminal decision.”
“It was not an option given to you, and you have been arrested and charged in this case,” the judge told Llewellyn, the Herald reported. “I believe you were wrongly arrested and wrongly charged as a result.”
The judge also dismissed charges against Marie Brady and Danielle Mazzeo, who were arrested in a separate incident in June for protesting outside Wu’s home during prohibited hours with Llewellyn and Catherine Vitale, the Herald reported.
Llewellyn and Vitale are scheduled to return to court on September 29 for a motion to dismiss charges stemming from the incident, according to the Herald.
The City of Boston did not immediately respond to a Boston.com request for comment regarding the judge’s decision.
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