RALEIGH, North Carolina — The top prosecutor in North Carolina's capital is dropping criminal charges against hundreds of people arrested at mass protests at the state legislature last year.
Wake County District Attorney Ned Mangum said Friday his move was prompted by a June 30 decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutional rights of people to peacefully assemble and protest government policies. That federal ruling has since been cited by state judges ruling in favor of Moral Monday protesters arrested by General Assembly police while chanting, singing and holding signs opposing the conservative agenda enacted by Republican lawmakers.
Of the nearly 1,000 people arrested in 2013, about half resolved their cases by agreeing to do community service and pay a modest fee. Mangum's action dismisses nearly all the remaining cases.
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