- What Happened
- How David feels about it
- Why is this unfair?
- What’s David’s background?
- Why David became an antifascist
- Why did David take a plea?
- What did David plea to?
- Who was the arresting officer?
- Who was the prosecutor?
- Why did the prosecutor pursue this case so aggressively?
- Are you serious?
- What can people do to help David?
- What can people do to help antifascism?
David went to an antifascist protest after attending the women’s march on January 20, 2018. The protest was aimed against a far-right event so-called “A Night for Freedom,” featuring alt-right misogynist goons such as Mike Cernovich and Jack Prosobiec. A fight broke out as David was leaving, and David was arrested. David’s leg was broken by officer Adam Keegan, who attacked David from behind without announcing his presence at all.
How David feels about it:
It’s complicated. He states he is proud to have gone out, but regrets what happened to the gentleman who was injured. David feels that the DA is treating him deeply unfairly, because he is in a convenient position to be made an example of.
Why is this unfair?
The gang assault law is deeply oppressive in and of itself. (See Gang Assault Law Statement) On top of this, the Proud Boys benefited from a double standard by receiving a slap on the wrist for a clear and targeted group assault. The Proud Boys are an alt-right men’s group interested in justifying rape and fraternity-style hazing who brutally jumped protesters around ten months after David’s arrest. The cop, Adam Keegan, lied about breaking David’s leg. David’s sentence is far above typical for a person in David’s position (no priors, has professional license, Bachelor’s Degree, strong family and community ties). This is not only David’s opinion. Every single lawyer he consulted with was shocked and confused at the high sentence, but admitted that there was no way out, stating if this incident had occurred three years ago, he would have gotten community service.
What’s David’s background?
David is a writer, artist, actor, funeral director, french translator, and activist. He is originally from the south and has been living in NYC for almost 10 years.
Why David became an antifascist
It’s incumbent on normal, decent people who know history to take it upon themselves to oppose fascism when it starts to gain momentum within the framework of a comparatively open and democratic society. Fascism is particularly dangerous because it encourages people to stop thinking for themselves and let authoritarian leaders make decisions for them, and because it slowly becomes normalized by taking over government and public life. The longer it goes unchecked, the more normal it becomes. It must be stopped in its earliest stages, or it rapidly becomes too widespread to control. No laws, cops, or politicians can do this for us. It requires everyday people opposing it in the streets and online, everywhere it goes.
Why did David take a plea?
David took a non-cooperating plea bargain because of the gravity of the gang assault law, the power of the prosecutor, and the current political climate.
What did David plea to?
Attempted gang assault and assault 2 /assault with an instrument (his shoe, which weighs less than 1/4 what a pair of converse allstars weighs, and which he was wearing when he kicked someone during the course of the brawl).
Please note that the original charges and narrative were completely fabricated. Officer Keegan, to justify breaking David’s leg, said he witnessed David stalk, beat, and choke an elderly man. In fact, the surveillance video shows nothing of the sort. A brawl breaks out, in which about a dozen people participate, and at some point the injured gentleman, who admitted he was drunk, falls off the curb and is then kicked by a group of people. Keegan enters after this and looks around, seemingly surprised, before charging at the person closest to him – David. When the prosecution received the surveillance footage, Keegan’s story changed completely. All the original charges were dropped and replaced with the gang assault charge and the assault with an instrument charge. Keegan has not suffered any disciplinary or legal action for breaking David’s leg, lying in a police report, or repeating this false narrative to the media.
Who was the arresting officer?
Adam Keegan (shield 3588) of the 1st precinct. His partner officer Christopher Meyers (shield 4482) of the 1st precinct, who arrived after Keegan broke David’s leg, also lied to support Keegan’s version of events. Their testimony is often contradictory and includes things that are physically impossible.
Who was the prosecutor?
Francesca Bartolomey. Her supervisor is Stewart Silber. Neither has offered any justification for the draconian charges or sentence in David’s case.
Why did the prosecutor pursue this case so aggressively?
Largely because of the current political climate. The Manhattan DA presents itself as a progressive institution that prefers alternatives to incarceration and keeping communities together, but does not practice what the office preaches. David is a first-time offender who the prosecutor acknowledged is at low to no risk of reoffending and who demonstrated sincere remorse, is a documented member of the community, and imparted no lasting injuries to the alleged victim. The DA never even offered anything other than incarceration. The alleged victim was not pushing for prison time, but the DA disregarded him in that respect. David wrote a letter apologizing to the man and asked his lawyers to have the DA pass it on to the alleged victim, and the DA refused.
Are you serious?
What can people do to help David?
Write, donate, visit, petition. Check this website for updates on his status and means of support.
What can people do to help antifascism?
Connect with local antifascist groups or form your own. Stay informed about the far right and protest all their events, no matter how innocuous they may seem. Make it your business to know where they go. Use your voice and resources to create space for others. Buy a ski mask and get in the streets—and know when to show restraint. Don’t put another comrade in David’s position.