Gregory still fighting charges
To the editor:
On the morning of Nov. 2, 2010, James Gregory, now 45, was arrested for not providing identification but was charged by Cody Gentry with obstruction of governmental operations. Gregory at the time was a candidate for Blytheville city treasurer and getting his last few signs placed into position. Gentry stated in the police report "I observed a black male walking down the street," and decided to harass Gregory. According to the police video, Gregory was not yelling or making any statements other than pleading the fifth as well as stating his name seven times to Gentry. In the state of Arkansas, an officer cannot stop you just because and ask for identification. Mr. Gregory was in possession of his own sign at the time of arrest and Gentry knew this, but stopped and arrested him anyway. Gregory was on foot and Gentry was in a police cruiser, so Gentry's life could not have been in any danger, and Gentry had not observed Gregory doing anything illegal.
Blytheville District Court Judge Shannon Langston found Gregory guilty on Nov. 23, 2010, and Gregory appealed to Circuit Court. Langston did not want to hear the facts of the case and made a grave error in judgment with this case. The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled against the lower courts in these cases because of Rule 2.2 of criminal procedure. All corporation must be voluntary and not coerced.
Chief Thompson, who should know the law, knew it is impossible to charge a person with loitering while they are not lingering, but charged Mr. Gregory anyway. Thompson should have dropped the charges that morning but continued to try and make a case from nothing and failed because Gregory was trained to deal with police that do not understand the civil rights era..
On Jan. 11, 2012, 15 months later, the charges were ordered "nolle prosequi" by Judge Ralph Wilson Jr. and Mike Bearden in Circuit Court against Gregory's wishes and objections. Mr. Gregory will be taking this to the Arkansas Supreme Court to have the charges completely removed from his record and to get a judgment of "dismissed with prejudice" or an order to go to trial.