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18 people arrested at ICE protest; all have charges dropped before they're even arraigned

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports prosecutors this morning dropped trespassing charges against 18 people arrested in a Jewish-led "Never Again" protest at the ICE detention facility at the South Bay jail last evening.

Before the 18 - a number chosen by protest organizers for arrest because of its "good luck/long life" significance in Hebrew - could be arraigned in Roxbury Municipal Court, prosecutors filed "nolle prosequi" forms formally dropping the charges and leaving them with clean records.

Under previous DA Dan Conley, prosecutors would typically ask for "continuances without a finding" for peaceful protesters, under which the protesters would have their records cleared if they stayed out of trouble for a few months.

In a statement, the DA's office said:

Each of the defendants was charged with trespassing; none had any prior criminal convictions. The decision to file a nolle prosequi in these cases was based on prosecutors’ review of the facts of each case and the policies of this office. This decision is in accordance with District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ approach to such offenses and is also closely aligned with the handling of similar cases under District Attorney Rollins’ predecessors.

“As shown by our recent successful effort in getting an injunction to prevent ICE from undertaking civil arrests in Massachusetts courthouses, I believe that challenges to ICE’s actions are most effectively effectuated in court,” District Attorney Rollins said. “The protestors’ peaceful challenge of the inhumane detention policies of the Trump administration is protected by the First Amendment."

Free tagging: 


I understand the point of the protest, but absolutely no repercussions for illegal actions? That’ll open the floodgates


Long before Rollins. Is there an epidemic of trespassing in Boston as a result?


18 white people arrested at ICE protest..... all have charges dropped....etc, etc.


Pretty sure she wouldn't have thrown anyone in jail for protesting, no matter what their color.

Note that the former white guy prosecutor didn't simply dismiss the charges. This is a good change.


Or no matter what they’re protesting?

Because that’s the million dollar question.


Is your comment in regards to changes being dropped or the fact they were protesting at all?


They weren't all white people.


Since this was a "Jewish-led" protest, and since not all Jewish people consider themselves to be white, and since followers of many religions come in a wide array of skin tones --- perhaps it would be prudent to not slap a race label on the individuals arrested until they have the opportunity to self identify????


... identified herself as a Jewish Latina, born somewhere in South America. (I don't remember where, nor do I know if she was one of the people arrested.)


Must be.


I love it when a politician does exactly what they campaigned on. Well done Rachel Rollins.


Wow you were right Adam. MA is letting white people off the hook left and right. How very racist!


The "Never Again" protesters can now protest... again.


How the First Amendment works.


If the First Amendment had been overturned recently, then the people talking about Nazi things would have a leg to stand on. Fortunately, the First Amendment is still doing its job.

By the way, unless there is some bit of World War II history I am unaware of, "Never Again" is an odd phrase to be used as a rallying cry in this instance. I don't believe people were being thrown into jail and/or concentration camps in Germany because they were sneaking into the country illegally. However, I'm always willing to learn, so correct me if I'm wrong.



You are wrong!

"Never again" does not mean, literally, "exactly what happened in Nazi Germany must never be allowed to happen again! No more death camps in Poland!" It refers to any number of contributing factors and outcomes; in this case, it can mean:

  • the United States' willful blindness to burgeoning German atrocities must never be repeated
  • our refusal to accept refugees fleeing those atrocities must never be repeated
  • our internment of Japanese Americans must never be repeated
  • our willingness to dehumanize others for political convenience, exemplified then by our non-responses to the German pogroms and Japanese attacks on China, must never be repeated

A little creative thinking goes a long way. Obviously the next mass-scale terror won't look exactly like the last one. The point is to get better at recognizing the warning signs.


This is the first time "Never Again" has been explained to me in such a cognizant manner.

Added to the original post.

Lotta horrible takes from smug morons in these comments.


Democrats were all on message in February when Trump declared an emergency at the border, saying no crisis like a group of Holocaust deniers. Now they're saying conditions are worse than concentration camps. If they had only approved funding in February, conditions would have been better than without.


The Democrats were right in February and they're right now.

Trump and his goons manufactured a crisis by holding all immigrants and asylum seekers (sorry to disappoint you, but it IS legal to seek asylum) in their camps, rather than doing what previous administrations had done: Release the ones without any evidence of criminal backgrounds to relatives or other responsible people while they await their BIA hearings. So of course all the camps filled up and became not just way stations but concentration camps where children are not allowed to bathe or brush their teeths and where, if they're lucky, some guard will toss them a single brush they can all use during a lice infestation.


We have been told basically by every major media outlet except for Fox News that there is a lack of adequate accommodations at the detention facilities on the southern boarder. One of the repeated talking points is that migrants are being forced to sleep on the floors.

It is my understanding a government contractor that operates immigration detention centers on the U.S. and Mexico border placed an order for bedroom furniture. The order was for $200,000 which is no small sum.

Wayfair employees walked out in protest, refusing to fill this order.

How can those Wayfair employees possibly feel good about their actions? This contractor was trying to provide furniture to the migrants at these facilities (and probably nice furniture since Wayfair prides itself on “high quality products”).

We have a company right here in Massachusetts that is actively making the conditions at the Denton facilities on the southern boarder significantly worse.


Last I heard, Wayfair was going to fulfill the order and the employees were asking that the profits be donated.

Did something change?


You are not understanding it correctly. Wayfair employees would have been fine with filling the furniture order if the company donated its profit from the sale to charity. They did not want their employer to profit by supporting the inhumane internment program.

BTW, a boarder is either someone who rents a room, or who rides a skateboard. I don't know which the "southern boarder" you refer to is.


Not providing bedroom furniture to people who are (allegedly) sleeping on the floor is (in my humble opinion) inhumane.

Sorry about the spelling errors. We can put a man on the moon, but Apple autocorrect has a long way to go.


The crisis was manufactured by needlessly corralling people into unsanitary camps, causing the children among them to get dangerously sick.

It's manufactured. It's a crisis.

DO you have a point to make here?

Now that Rollins has deemed resisting and trespassing crimes that won't be prosecuted, why bother arresting them in the first place? Waste of time and money. See something you don't like, feel free to walk onto private property, block the entrance to an establishment, whatever. You won't be prosecuted plain and simple.



Police did clear the scene so that whatever traffic normally flows there could keep coming in/going out.

Also, sometimes people are arrested for more than one thing at a time. Somebody charged with both trespassing and a more serious crime are not going to just walk before arraignment.


Except the judge would usually just let them go. Then pressure mounted and the protesters simply kept coming back and back and when judges finally started sending people to jail for a few days, the protests stopped.

I'm going to assume the same would happen here. If this happened every day, eventually Rollins would be forced to actually prosecute. Like Adam said above, trespassing isn't a huge issue and if it only happens once, points are made and everyone can move on.