Charges against New Orleans mayoral candidate Frank Scurlock stemming from a May 6 arrest at the Jefferson Davis monument in Mid-City were dropped Wednesday, his attorney said.
During a hearing before ad hoc Municipal Court Judge Donald T. Johnson, the city dropped the charges, saying it lacked sufficient evidence to proceed. Johnson was highly critical of the city's case.
Scurlock's attorney, Thomas Robichaux, said the city had violated several of his client's rights, including those of free speech and against false arrest.
"As we have held out since the beginning of this matter, there was no reason to charge Mr. Scurlock with anything, much less arrest him," Robichaux said.
Scurlock was facing charges of assault and crossing a police cordon after the videorecorded incident, during which he could be seen calling to officers during a demonstration at the since-removed statue of the Confederate States president.
As one of the officers left the scene, Scurlock approached the officer, who told him to back away. Scurlock was eventually arrested as several other officers converged on the scene.
Scurlock said he was not at the site as a protester but rather to talk with people on both sides of the issue. He said he was hoping to alert police to what he had learned when he was arrested.
City prosecutors on Wednesday raised the ante in their case against businessman and mayoral …
Robichaux alleged in a motion that the officer who arrested the wealthy local businessman had lied in a probable cause affidavit.
He said in the motion that a video of the arrest posted online “clearly shows that the defendant did NOT bump the officer, but rather, the officer turned and attacked the defendant, forcibly poking the defendant in the chest with his fingers and knocking him backwards.”
Can't see the video below? Click here.
Robichaux said the city "not only failed to prove up the basic elements of its case, it failed to even allege the basic elements of the crimes Mr. Scurlock was charged with."
After Wednesday's decision, Scurlock took to Facebook to announce that he had been "vindicated" after his day in court.
"Now, it's time to clean out City Hall," he continued. " A great day for Team Scurlock."
Scurlock is one of numerous candidates in the Oct. 14 primary for mayor. He has been running TV and print ads for his candidacy.
The regular Municipal Court judges recused themselves from the case because one of Scurlock's opponents in the mayoral race is Desiree Charbonnet, a former member of the Municipal Court bench.
Frank Scurlock, a candidate for New Orleans mayor and would-be developer of the former Six F…