WAKE COUNTY – NAACP state chapter president Reverend William Barber and 11 other Moral Monday protesters were back in court Tuesday on charges of disrupting lawmakers during an April rally inside the state Legislative Building.
The group was the first of more than 900 people arrested during the weekly Moral Monday peaceful protests against legislation passed by Republican-controlled General Assembly during the summer.
The protesters were charged with trespassing, failing to disperse and violating Legislative Building rules.
One day of testimony in the trials of Rev. William Barber and the other 11 protesters was held in October, and the trials are expected to continue Wednesday, multiple news outlets reported.
General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver took to the witness stand Tuesday morning, explaining the rules about gatherings at the Legislative Building, WRAL reported. Defense attorneys argued that the rules, which were drafted in 1987, are vague and can be interpreted differently.
A handful of protesters have been convicted and are appealing, and a few others were acquitted. Charges against dozens of protesters were dropped after they agreed to perform community service under a deal offered by Wake County prosecutors.