TODAY: Dan Choi's Trial Begins
Along with a dozen other activists, Dan Choi was arrested last November after handcuffing himself to the White House fence in a DADT protest. Choi was the only one to reject a government offer of six months probation. His trial begins today.
Choi said he rejected the offer and requested a trial, where he said he intends to defend what he calls his First Amendment right to stage a peaceful protest in front of the White House for a “just” cause. According to Choi, who has emerged as a nationally recognized gay activist, the government offer created tension between him and some of the other protesters. He said prosecutors initially said the offer would only be extended if all 13 people arrested in the Nov. 15, 2010 White House protest accepted it. “The 12 that were arrested with me are my friends,” Choi told the Blade. “So this prosecution tactic tried to rip us apart.” In a last minute decision, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office agreed at a court hearing in May to allow the other 12 arrestees to obtain the probation agreement even though Choi refused the offer.Choi is charged with one federal count of failure to obey the lawful order of a police officer. Here's the video of the protest and arrest.