The next demonstrator to stand trial was Maya Little, a graduate student in the history department at UNC and a prominent anti-Silent Sam demonstrator. Little was charged with inciting a riot and misdemeanor assault of a government official at Dec. 3 protests against the University's proposed resolution for Silent Sam.
The first charge against Little stemmed from potentially riotous behavior: an alleged attempt to push down the barricade around the base of the Silent Sam memorial.
However, Little’s attorney, Scott Holmes, said that though students rattled the barricade, it never actually fell. Furthermore, the charging document didn’t list any injuries resulting from Little’s behavior, thus making the charge of public disturbance incomplete, Holmes said. The prosecutor submitted a motion to amend the charges against Little, which Judge Long denied. The public disturbance charge against Little was dismissed.
Three members of the UNC Police Department were called to the stand. The first officer said that Little told the crowd to push on the barricade, then spat on his hand, leading to the charge of assaulting an officer. The officer also said that he didn’t see Little actively spit on him, though he did see spit on his hand.
The second and third police officers who testified said that they did see Little spitting toward officers, but neither of them saw Little’s spit land on an officer. Judge Long held off on a ruling in Little’s case until after the fourth demonstrator's trial, and ultimately declared Little not guilty of assault.
The fourth demonstrator, Brandon Webb, was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting a public officer during a "Nazis Suck Potluck and Food Drive," held on Sept. 8, 2018. After hearing witness testimony and reviewing video evidence, Judge Long found Webb guilty but issued a prayer for continued judgement, which means that his sentencing will be indefinitely delayed.
Many anti-Silent Sam demonstrators were in the courthouse during all four trials, and some mentioned a discomfort with the judge handing down the rulings.
“I’ve been very concerned with the behavior of the judge and a number of racist comments he's made,” said Lindsay Ayling, a graduate student in the history department at UNC who attended the trial with her fellow protesters. “In a previous case, that same judge found an anti-racist defendant guilty, called her behavior disgusting, and then compared her to Dr. King and said that she deserved to do some time, just like Dr. King did, in the Birmingham jail.”
According to an article from Indy Week on Jan. 19, Judge Long said to UNC senior Julia Pulawski: “I do think your conduct was reprehensible. I don’t think you deserve a long term in prison. I think you deserve a short time in the Birmingham jail like Dr. King did.”
Another attendee, UNC graduate student of history Samee Siddiqui, thought that the judge’s rulings indicated that the UNC Police were groundlessly charging protesters.
“What it shows is that there is a pattern of UNC Police, over the course of the last few months, consistently charging anti-racist activists, both with criminal charges and then at UNC giving them no-trespass orders, as a way to silence and stop anti-racist activism on campus," Siddiqui said. "They have targeted specific people, often, and despite being at Hillsborough Court, which, in my view, is a particularly cop-friendly court, and this judge being a particularly cop-friendly judge, has found the charges ridiculous.”