Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant. (AP / Elaine Thompson)

A SeaTac city judge abruptly dismissed disorderly conduct charges against Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant and two other defendants Friday, saying police — not protesters — blocked traffic during a demonstration over wages.

The Seattle Times reports:

The defense didn’t need to call witnesses and the jury didn’t deliberate because Judge Ann Danieli terminated the trial moments after prosecutors rested their case.

Danieli agreed with a defense lawyer, who argued the prosecutors had failed to present sufficient evidence that Sawant, the Rev. John Helmiere and airport worker Socrates Bravo engaged in disorderly conduct by intentionally blocking traffic.

Testimony from police officers showed that it was police who blocked traffic on International Boulevard in the minutes before Sawant, Helmiere and Bravo were arrested, the judge said.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig