Former North Carolina NAACP president Rev. Barber found guilty of trespassing

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Former North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber was found guilty Thursday of trespassing in Wake County.

The misdemeanor charge stems from a protest calling for Medicaid expansion at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2017. Thirty-two people were arrested during that demonstration, including Barber.

A jury determined he was guilty of second-degree trespassing.

The trial started Tuesday with the judge dealing an early blow to Barber's case.

Barber's attorneys wanted to argue that the General Assembly is a public building and therefore citizens could not be charged with trespassing.

The judge rejected that, saying that Barber's defense would instead have to argue that the arrest violated free speech.

Wednesday included testimony from the former Sergeant of Arms and the General Assembly Police Chief. The two testified about what the protesters were doing, saying that they were being loud and disruptive and not allowing people to pass or do their jobs in the building.

Barber took the stand on Thursday.

Barber stepped down as NC NAACP president in October 2017.
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