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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Fight The Power - Reign’s Day In Court
Friday, September 07, 2007

As some of you may remember, in late June there were mass arrests at New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade and one of those unlucky enough to catch the ire of the law was former Adam’s World Artist of the Week Reign. Back when it happened he told his story to me, including how he refused to plead guilty to any sort of charge simply to make the system happy, but instead got himself a court date to fight what he felt was a wrongful arrest since he did nothing other than show up at the parade. Today, as promised back in June, I’m bringing you the story of Reign’s trial.

His court date was set for August 9th in Manhattan. Reign was being charged with Disorderly Conduct and Unlawful Assembly. He noted back in June he didn’t even have time to commit any sort of disorderly conduct, not that he would, and questioned how he could be charged with Unlawful Assembly at a parade that was sanctioned by the city. The day he was arrested he was told they would drop the charge of Unlawful Assembly if he pled guilty to Disorderly Conduct. He saw many of his peers taking this “deal” to just have the entire situation over with. Reign, however, knowing he did nothing wrong, passed on the “deal” in favor of a court date.

Appearing before a judge Reign plead not guilty. He explains how quick the process went, saying “when I got to court they asked me if the lawyer who represented me the day I was arrested was there. I told them he wasn't. About 20 minutes later they called me up and before I could say anything the DA said ‘Your Honor, the people are making a motion.’ The judge said ‘OK,’ slammed the hammer down and the DA said all charges were dismissed. That was it.”

The ease with which this win came by for Reign was a point of pride, and he hopes it will inspire future people who are arrested for nothing and offered a “deal” to fight for their rights. Reign notes that not all of his peers could have been expected to handle the situation in the same way. “There may have been some who were overwhelmed by the whole situation and atmosphere” he notes, “and thought that it would be a faster process to just get everything over with.”

Unfortunately “The Man” wasn’t done with Reign quite yet. After spending all of an hour and change in court he exited the building, invigorated by his victory, only to find a very unwelcome slip of paper on his car. “I swear I thought I parked in a legit area with many regular cars around me,” Reign exclaims, “I did however see that a few of the cars around me had little ‘Court Officer’ stickers in the window, but only a few of them. They were by no means emergency vehicles.”

In the end Reign wraps up the saga of his 2007 Puerto Rican Day Parade experience succinctly by saying he’s “happy to be out of court, unhappy to have a $95 ticket because of it.” He reiterates, however, that this wasn’t just about him. “It's ugly that no matter where you are in your life, you can be made a slave to the injustices of the system. You never realize how vulnerable you really are until you lose something close to you that most people take for granted everyday... your rights.”

Despite the parking ticket Reign’s story illustrates that fighting for your rights can reap great benefits. Back in the day Public Enemy told us to “fight the power” and Reign has proven that one can not only fight it but that sometimes, sometimes, one can even win that fight.

Related Links

Adam's World: Parade Goers Told To March To Jail
Adam's World: Artist Of The Week – Reign
Reign on MySpace: myspace.com/supremereign


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:52 AM  
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