- Associated Press - Friday, May 19, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Maine judge is expected to issue a ruling next week in the case of Black Lives Matter protesters who were charged with obstructing a public way.

The group organized a protest last summer after black men were killed by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. Seventeen protesters were charged with obstructing a public way.

A judge recused himself from the case and a new judge presided Friday as attorneys looked for a way to resolve it. The protesters were close to a plea deal at one point, but it fell apart.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Ackerman says protesters violated conditions of a restorative justice meeting by demanding to gather as a single group. Defense attorney Thom Hallett says Ackerman committed an ethical violation during the restorative justice proceeding.

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