PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the DNC protesters charged with allegedly breaching a perimeter fence in a no-go zone near the Wells Fargo Center has been detained, pending a hearing on Monday.
Over a two-day period, protesters have appeared before a federal magistrate for their initial appearances and released without having to put up bail money. But then a sudden snag developed with one of seven defendants who were in court on Thursday.READ MORE: Despite Uncertain Track, Crews In Tri-State Region Prepping Roads For Nor'easter
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Barry told the court, one defendant, Jeremy Graber of Rhode Island, carried weapons in the secret service designated secure zone. She says he had three knives dangling from his waistband and she wanted him detained for three days while they could investigate.
Defense attorney Paul Hetznecker strongly objected, saying his client was a paramedic ready to volunteer his services, if a protester was injured. Hetznecker says he may have needed those tools if demonstrators were pepper-sprayed by police.READ MORE: Program To Help Remove Snow For Seniors, People With Disabilities In Camden County Returns
“The government, in this case, asked that he be detained for a three-day detention hearing,” Hetznecker said, “because their position was that the three knives that he had on his belt were considered weapons.”
Attorneys called the security perimeter and ever-moving target and want the federal charges against the seven defendants dismissed. They’re critical of the message it sends to those exercising their right to demonstrate.
“My concern is that these ever-expanding zones of protection run up against free speech and First Amendmant rights, Hetznecker said.MORE NEWS: Taste With Tori: How Trip To Budapest Inspired Chris LaBonge To Bring Trolley Barn Public Market To Quakertown