Occupy Denver: DA drops felony assault on police officer charge that got John Sexton fired

john sexton.jpg
John Sexton.
An early morning phone call with John ("J.T.") Sexton reveals two things: He is good with mornings, and he is elated. For the past two weeks, an investigation for felony assault on a police officer has trailed the Occupy Denver protester like a minor plague, and it has ruined both his career (fired) and his reputation (tarnished) in its wake. Last night, then, was a rebirth of sorts: Although Sexton was unsurprised to hear it, the defense attorney's office dropped the investigation.

Instead, the charge has been remanded back to the city attorney's office, which means Sexton now faces city ordinance violations of resisting an officer and creating a public disturbance. The news is a small victory, particularly given that the felony investigation cost him his job as an insurance salesman, but it serves to clear up a murky back story.

In the weeks following his arrest, Sexton's name was consistently tied to accusations that he was the protester who pushed over a police car -- despite the fact that video evidence proved the opposite.

john sexton choke hold.jpg
John Sexton is placed in a chokehold during interaction between police and Occupy Denver.
Courtesy of Tanner Spendley
"It's a tiny victory, but we're still fighting," Sexton says. "I knew I wasn't guilty in the first place and knew there was no case against me, so I can't say I was really surprised by it. I lost my job and with it being reported in the press, there was some defamation of character. One false charge can ruin someone's life."

In the meantime, however, there is comfort: Sexton's original bail, posted by someone whose identity he still doesn't know, was set at $20,000, a level higher than any other case related to Occupy Denver so far. With the felony investigation officially removed from Sexton's case, he is free to participate more heavily in Occupy Denver -- and no longer risks jail time away from his black lab Whiskey.

For me, these charges just put it out there how messed up the justice system is," Sexton says. "The system system doesn't work for you; it works against you. Now that this charge is dismissed and I don't have a $20,000 bond, I can be more active instead of running away when cops are there."

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver profile: John Sexton says he was falsely accused of felony assault on cop."


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11 comments
Kalen's Internet Resources
Kalen's Internet Resources

Sounds like the sexually assaulting a cop charge was just a way to discredit this guy. Not a fan of OWS's agenda, but I am more opposed to the cops frankly.

Jtcolfax
Jtcolfax

Here is a pic of the subject of this story, at a GA in the Gov's office where he first announced this good news.  (An occupier is modeling donated Jak Pak jackets on Gov. Hickenlooper's floor in the foreground.  Mr. Sexton is on the couch in the upper left corner).http://i1089.photobucket.com/a...

Hip
Hip

Wow, so sorry for all your trouble caused by trying to do the right thing. JT. Thank you Kelsy for the story. I found it on face book, but hesitated to click like as although I like the story coming to light, but hate why the story had to be written. Hoping something wonderful happens out of this, for you, JT.  Thanks for being down there at Occupy Denver, I would be there more but am getting a little older and health can't take the sleep overs this time of year.

 Reno
Reno

Fuckin Gestapo COPS!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Which fine firm fired Mr. Sexton?  I would like to know who believes that being assaulted and choked by police disqualified him to represent them.

Colorado needs to adopt a new regime of publicly identifying people who are arrested, when they are arrested, and of not filing false criminal charges.  As a start, we need to rid ourselves of District Attorney Mitch Morrissey and find a progressive who does not accept the systematic deprivation of suspects' rights for the job.  The fact that The Democratic Party of Denver offers up this man (only) to represent the interests of the People of Denver in the prosecution of crimes is more than enough reason to leave it -- https://www.sos.state.co.us/Vo...

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

... the defense [sic] attorney's office dropped the investigation.

Editorial check!

... accusations that he was the protester who pushed over a police car [sic]

Wow, that's one SuperProtestor!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

When has Denver ever had a DA who cared about citizens rights over the SuperRights of cops ?

Bill "never charged a killer cop" Ritter ?

Department OfThe Internetz
Department OfThe Internetz

try as hard as you want, but nobody will ever usurp Robert Chase as the Chief of the Westword Grammar Police.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I do not know enough about the history of Denver, but I can see that much of it should not be repeated.

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