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Antiwar Protestor Settles Civil Rights Claim Against State Police For $500 Thousand

Despite having no alcohol or drugs in his body, police arrested Phil Chinn for DUI in the early afternoon on May 6, 2007, as he was driving to attend an antiwar protest in Aberdeen, WA. Turns out that Mr. Chinn, a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, had been identified as an anarchist to state law enforcement officials by John Towery, an undercover agent with the Army Force Protection Intelligence Unit, who had penetrated local antiwar protest groups, a flagrant violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Read this hot-off-the-press story by Rick Anderson, published yesterday by the Seattle Weekly, about Mr. Chinn’s arrest, the trumped up case against him, and the circumstances that led to his subsequent civil lawsuit against the police for violation of his civil rights, a case that recently settled for $500,000.

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Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.