Target: Montgomery County, Ohio, Prosecuting Attorney Mathias H. Heck, Jr.
Goal: Drop charges against man who non-violently interrupted the Trump rally in Dayton.
A 22-year-old protester was arrested for disorderly conduct and inducing panic at a rally for Donald Trump in Dayton, Ohio. Thomas DiMassimo attempted to jump on the stage and grab the microphone in protest of Donald Trump so he could criticize the politician and businessman for being racist.
Trump is known for his inflammatory rhetoric, including hateful remarks against Muslims, Mexicans, and many other marginalized groups. DiMassimo is an activist who has participated in other non-violent anti-racist protests in the past. While attempting to exercise his First Amendment right to protest, DiMassimo climbed over a metal fence in order to grab the microphone so he could be heard. He was immediately tackled by secret service and arrested and brought to Montgomery County Jail. DiMassimo was bailed out but still faces charges of disorderly conduct and inducing panic. These charges should be dropped against this peaceful protester attempting to counter the racist messaging of Trump and his supporters.
Trump later accused DiMassimo of being a member of ISIS, which has absolutely no basis in fact. It is this kind of baseless accusation and disregard for the truth that makes Trump so dangerous. Protesters standing up to Trump should be applauded – not charged.
Dear Prosecuting Attorney Heck,
Drop the charges against Thomas DiMassimo, the protester arrested at the Dayton Trump rally. The 22-year-old activist was charged with disorderly conduct and inducing panic at the March 12 event. DiMassimo was engaged in non-violent protest and was attempting to assert his first amendment right of speech and protest. At no time was anyone harmed –or at risk of harm –by his actions.
Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump and his bombastic brand of rhetoric, Americans should be able to engage in non-violent protest without suffering consequences that could blight their records and affect their future. Young activists like DiMassimo play an important part in American democracy and that expression of speech should be protected when there is no threat of violence.
As a prosecuting attorney you have the discretion to drop the charges against DiMassimo. We ask that you use this discretion to drop these charges. DiMassimo never posed a risk to public safety or orderly conduct, therefore he should not be charged with such. The Trump rally in Dayton continued as planned even with DiMassimo’s interruption.
We urge you to use your discretion to drop the charges against Thomas DiMassimo.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jim Beckwith