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Prosecutors slam 'free speech' argument in Charlottesville riot case

Prosecutors say two men indicted on federal riot charges in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville are not protected by the First Amendment.

Posted: Mar 24, 2019 1:29 PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors say two men indicted on federal riot charges in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville are not protected by the First Amendment.

The Daily Progress reports that U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen made the argument in response to a motion to dismiss the indictment from lawyers for Benjamin Drake Daley and Michael Paul Miselis.

Daley, Miselis and two other members of the white supremacist Rise Against Movement were indicted in November on charges that include traveling from California to Charlottesville to incite, promote and participate in a riot before and during the rally in August 2017.

Defense lawyers say their actions were protected by the Constitution.

In his written response, Cullen said the case is "not about free speech or the right to assemble for political purposes."

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press)

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