Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Churchill supporter acquitted of assault charge

The News:

An activist accused of assaulting an officer at a University of Colorado regents meeting was found not guilty Monday in Adams County District Court.

Shareef Aleem, 38, was facing a second-degree assault charge for allegedly tussling with officer Greg Barthlome on Feb. 3, 2005. The regents were meeting about controversial professor Ward Churchill.

Aleem, a Churchill supporter, yelled at the event and expressed concern that students were not being allowed to speak.

The prosecution argued that Aleem attempted to grab the badge of the officer and pushed him down.

That's "expressing concern," all right.

The defense said the officer was the one who was harassing Aleem and the officer fell.

"Mr. Aleem was practicing his first amendment rights of free speech and he did not intend to hurt anyone," said his attorney, Mark Burton.

Aleem was in the news just last month when he avoided a 45-day jail term for contempt for wearing a T-shirt with a picture of executed murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams on it to court.

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