On Thursday, the Orange County District Court came to a legal decision on the four suspects who were accused of toppling Silent Sam.
Earlier in the day, one of the defendants, Shawn Thomas Birchfield-Finn, was stopped upon entering the courthouse when passing through the security detectors. According to a press release by Alicia Stemper, director of public information and special services at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, it was discovered that he was carrying a 3 ½ inch Buck pocket knife.
Trials regarding anti-Silent Sam protesters have been ongoing throughout the past couple of months. In December 2018, there were 20 cases continuing against people involved in the protest. Previously, the trials were met with demonstrations outside the Orange County Courthouse.
Birchfield-Finn was released on a written promise after being presented before the magistrate, his court date for the new charge was set to May 2.
Much of the trial was focused on the footage of a WRAL report, which the district attorney used as evidence to show that the four defendants had been involved. The judge was ultimately unable to interpret much from the video, due to its low resolution. The attorney hired by the defendant also pointed out that in addition to the lack of clarity in video quality, the footage did not show Silent Sam being brought down.