Thursday, 27 January 2022 14:36

Charges Dismissed Against Local Black Lives Matter Leader in Connection with July City Protest

By Thomas Dimopoulos | News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Charges were dismissed this week against All Of Us co-founder and local Black Lives Matter leader Jamaica Miles in connection with a July 14, 2021 protest in Saratoga Springs. 

Miles was charged with unlawful imprisonment - a misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct - a violation, alleging she obstructed vehicle traffic and in so doing restrained the movement of the occupants of a vehicle on Broadway. 

Of specific issue is a passenger in a vehicle with a blocked path who called 911 and asked something be done regarding the crowd so he can drive home to take his prescription medication, according to court documents.

The court found that Miles never engaged with the driver or passenger of the vehicle and was “unaware of its occupants pleading with protesters to move so they could proceed on the roadway or that the passenger had a heart condition and needed to take medication,” according to the court’s Findings of Fact.     

A misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of one year and a fine of up to $1,000.  Saratoga Springs Judge Francine Vero granted a motion to dismiss the charges on Jan. 24. 

“It is the People’s position that of all the individuals depicted (in video footage), Ms. Miles has the ‘highest level of culpability’ because she is ‘leading the group,’” according to court documents.  “The court disagrees with the People’s assessment of Ms. Miles’ conduct. Ms. Miles is not the most culpable, she is simply the loudest.”

Thirteen people were ultimately arrested in connection with the protest, the majority nearly two months later. 

“Today’s decision does not only impact me. It impacts every single person who dares stand up and speak out for what they believe in,” said Miles in a statement, following the dismissal of charges. “I was targeted because I speak out against injustice and people listen.” 

“My office will review thoroughly the case law cited by the court to decide if we will seek appellate review of this decision,” Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said in a statement. 

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