A liberal activist reporter was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct Tuesday for yelling at police and harassing former GOP Virginia governor candidate Ed Gillespie in October.
Mike Stark, independent reporter and contributor to liberal blog Shareblue, was fined $500, The Washington Post reports. The judge dismissed a second misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.
Fairfax County Judge Mark Simmons said officers had given Stark many breaks during the incident, and that he “went from being a reporter to an actor” and initiated the confrontation.
“I took it to trial believing I had the law on my side,” Stark said. “So I’m surprised at the outcome.”
“I am pleased with the judge’s decision,” Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said. “I continue to stand behind the great men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department who work diligently to keep our community members safe every day.”
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In a video of the Oct. 28 parade in Annandale, Va., police are seen telling Stark to get out of the way of the parade.
“I’m just a reporter doing my job,” Stark tells police in the video.
“If you curse again, you will go to jail,” one officer tells Stark later.
Stark then shouts “Fuck this!” before police push him against a fence and then onto the ground.
— Holly Figueroa O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 31, 2017
Stark told The Daily Caller News Foundation that he was “surprised at the result (and obviously disappointed),” and is considering his next step. Activist and Hillary Clinton supporter David Brock, who started Shareblue and Media Matters for America, did not answer TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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