CHERYL BIREN-WRIGHT IS ARRESTED IN PHILADELPHIA FOR BEING A REPORTER
by Walter M. Brasch
OEN Senior Editor
A former OpEdNews managing editor has filed suit against the city of Philadelphia and eight of its police officers, accusing them of violating her Constitutional rights.
Cheryl Biren-Wright, Pennsauken, N.J., charges the defendants with violating her 1st, 4th, and 14th amendment rights. The civil action, filed in the U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, is based upon events during a peaceful protest Sept. 12, 2009, at the Army Experience Center (AEC) in the Franklin Mills Mall.
According to the complaint, Biren-Wright, who was not a part of the demonstration but at the mall as a reporter-photographer, was arrested and charged with failure to disperse and conspiracy, second degree misdemeanors. The charges were subsequently dropped by the Philadelphia district attorney.
The Philadelphia police also arrested and charged six protestors with conspiracy and failure to disperse--Elaine Brower, 55, New York, N.Y.; Richie Marini, 35, Staten Island, N.Y.; Joan Pleune, 70, Brooklyn, N.Y.(one of the original Freedom Riders in 1961); Beverly Rice, 72, New York, N.Y.; Debra Sweet, 57, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Sarah Wellington, 26, Piermont, N.Y. Two months after Biren-Wright's case was dropped, the six protestors were found not guilty in Philadelphia Municipal Court.