All remaining criminal charges against demonstrators who blocked a section of the 101 Freeway in protest of President Trump in 2017 have been dismissed, ending a years-long legal drama that revealed Los Angeles police placed an informant inside of a non-violent political group, officials said Thursday.
Members of the group Refuse Fascism were charged with criminal trespass in late 2017, after eight of their members blocked a section of the 101 Freeway during a protest, records show.
The LAPD launched an investigation of the group in advance of planned protests to mark the one-year anniversary of Trump’s election victory. Court records reviewed by The Times last year showed police sent an informant to infiltrate the group during four meetings at an Echo Park church the next month.
Chantelle Hershberger, a 30-year-old Refuse Fascism member who was awaiting her third trial on the trespass charge after the past two ended in hung juries, said the dismissal of charges was especially important to her after the LAPD arrested thousands of people for violating curfews or failing to obey dispersal orders during days of protests in response to George Floyd’s murder.
“It’s needed now more than ever with Trump coming down and attacking all these Black Lives Matter protesters … we need to stand together,” she said.