It took a jury all of 10 minutes to determine that the charges against Critical Mass cyclist Gus Ganley (assault on an officer, obstruction of legal process, and fleeing an officer) amounted to maggot-ridden pigshit: "not guilty" on all counts.
During the four-day trial, nine eye witnesses and three videos refuted the Minneapolis Police Department's claim that Critical Mass cyclists attacked police officers. Instead, the evidence corroborated Ganley's claim that the MPD initiated wanton use of force.
Of the 20+ alleged rioters arrested Aug. 31, the city attorney was only willing to charge five. Of those, charges against one were dropped and another pled down to a misdemeanor traffic offense. Two await trial.
Shortly after we broke the story, conspiracy theories swirled that law enforcement's unprecedented surveillance of the ride was due to the presence of a protest group gearing up for the Republican National Convention. The MPD publicly denied this. (In our follow-up on the story, an MPD spokesperson, when asked about the presence of an overhead helicopter throughout the ride, told City Pages: "The police department has never been able to help facilitate their ride because they're always in the back of the riders, so they decided to provide an aerial view to make it a better ride.")
But at the hearing, a Minneapolis police officer testified that police were instructed to monitor critical mass because of intelligence reports on RNC protest-planning, according to a press release circulated by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
The next Critical Mass ride is April 25th