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Attorney Basso champions our clients First Amendment rights following arrest of Boston's "Straight Pride" parade counter-protesters

August 2019

Boston Municipal Court - Central Division (case no. 1901CR004793, 1901CR4780, 1901CR4770, 1901CR4782, 1901CR4769); Supreme Judicial Court case no. SJ-2019-0366

On August 31, 2019, a group staged a "straight pride" parade through the streets of Boston.  While hundreds attended to support the parade, thousands turned out to protest the hate-fueled anti-gay rhetoric on Newbury Street, City Hall Plaza, and Boston Common.  Police responded swiftly and violently, firing tear gas at the peaceful protesters and arresting dozens engaging in their First Amendment right to engage in political speech.  This was an alarming result, considering that our founding fathers planted the seed of our nation's right to political speech in own Boston Common.

Attorney Christopher Basso represented five of the protesters who police arrested on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.  One case went up to our Commonwealth's highest court, the Supreme Judicial Court, and resolved in the client's favor with a notice of nolle prosequi - a notice that the Commonwealth had chosen not to proceed with the prosecution. See docket SJ-2019-0366.  Another case resolved with an entry of nolle prosequi without any action before the SJC.  The Commonwealth agreed to dismiss the remaining three cases upon completion of 15 hours of community service, without any admission or finding of any wrongdoing.  In the end, all five cases resolved in the clients' favor, vindicating their First Amendment rights.

Practice area(s): Appeals, Criminal Defense, Constitutional Law

Court: Boston Municipal Court Central Division

Eric Burdette

ASSOCIATE, Erkan & Associates, LLC Eric Burdette is an attorney licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Attorney Burdette graduated from Harvard with a BA in Philosophy in 2014. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law where he...

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