On Monday, the Orange County District Court saw the appeal of two demonstrators who were arrested during an anti-Silent Sam demonstration on Sept. 8. Josh Mascharka and Julia Pulawski both appeared in court before Judge James Hill. Both were represented by Scott Holmes, who had previously represented other demonstrators involved in incidents related to Silent Sam.
Mascharka was charged with resisting arrest, to which he pled not guilty. Pulawski faced two counts of assault on a campus police officer. She had previously claimed that one of the officers involved in her arrest, Sgt. Svetlana Bostelman, lied under oath when giving testimony which led to Pulawski’s conviction.
Before the court appearance, Pulawski made a statement in front of the courthouse, where she reiterated her belief that she was not guilty and that the legal system was “just making us jump through some more hoops.”
Pulawski had also previously used her platform during the Chancellor's Award ceremony to criticize both campus police and interim Chancellor Guskiewicz’s handling of protests and demonstrations by pro-Confederate groups.
The district attorney chose to drop one of Pulawski’s charges against Sgt. Chris Burnette. Bostelman had previously testified that she saw Pulawski punching and kicking Burnette while he was arresting a different demonstrator. Burnette himself testified that he did not remember being punched or kicked during that day. Pulawski pleaded not guilty to her remaining charge of assault on a campus police officer involving Bostelman.
The video evidence entered by Pulawski’s defense in a motion to dismiss the case showed that Burnette was not next to Pulawski when she was arrested, as Bostelman had previously claimed. Holmes requested that the district attorney’s office review the evidence as soon as possible in order to dismiss the remaining charge.
Both protestors had their cases set to Oct. 7. After appearing in court, Pulawski made another statement, where she reiterated her belief in her innocence and that Sgt. Bostelman lied under oath in order to convict her. She also criticized campus police, the court and the UNC administration for what she saw as actions that “continually protected white supremacists and the police.”
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