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The Daily Tar Heel

Charges dropped against UNC professor Dwayne Dixon

Dwayne Dixon Trial
UNC Assistant Professor Dwayne Dixon is followed out of the Orange County Courthouse while Patrick Howley records him. Dixon and Howley were in court regarding a civil case in which Howley had recorded Dixon allegedly assaulting him at the protest the night Silent Sam was forcibly removed. The case was dismissed due to mistakes in the filing paperwork.

Charges against UNC professor Dwayne Dixon were dropped on Thursday morning at the Orange County Courthouse. 

Dixon was charged with simple assault by editor-in-chief of Big League Politics, Patrick Howley. Judge Samantha Cabe dismissed the case due to a mistake in the charging document, which wrongly refers to Dixon as the victim instead of perpetrator.  

The incident in question occurred on Aug. 20, the day Silent Sam was forcibly removed from its pedestal. Dixon was accused of striking Howley twice and unsuccessfully attempting to strike a third time while Howley followed Dixon, attempting to ask him questions for Howley's website of which he is part-owner and editor-in-chief. 

Dixon’s lawyer, Scott Holmes, spent the time in court attempting to prove Howley’s biases against Dixon. Holmes asked Howley about an incident that occurred last spring when Howley entered Dixon’s place of work uninvited, attempting to interview him. Howley alleged Dixon assaulted the photographer with him at that time but chose not to file a report about the incident. 

A cell phone video was shown as evidence in court. In the video, Howley is filming with a cell phone as he and Dixon argue about the events in Charlottesville. In the video, Howley alleges that Dixon, a member of Redneck Revolt — an anti-facist and anti-racist community defense organization — assaulted him.

Holmes said the video directly contradicts Howley’s testimony given to the magistrate the night Howley filed the claim. Judge Cabe dismissed the case following Holmes' request to drop the charges due to these inaccuracies. Judge Cabe cited a mistake where the filing papers referred to Dixon as the victim instead of the perpetrator for the reason to throw out the case.  

Dixon gave a speech outside the courthouse at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday to a small crowd of supporters before his trial.

“When I go into today, the things that are going to happen to me are largely immaterial. I am not concerned. This is completely based on untruths,” Dixon said. “I will continue continuing a life of joy and happiness surrounded by my comrades working hard for the freedom for the lives of all the people around me.”

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