- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 24, 2020

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Several people who were charged with disorderly conduct after blocking traffic and intimidating motorists on a major Delaware highway in a protest related to the death of George Floyd will not be prosecuted, the attorney general’s office said Wednesday.

Democratic Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a prepared statement that neither prosecuting the protesters, nor investigating police who responded to the June 9 incident south of Dover, “would serve a good purpose.”

“I may be demonized equally by those who push criminal convictions against protesters who were aggressive but non-violent, or against police who made arrests,” Jennings said. “Perhaps this is as good a sign as any that we must put June 9 behind us and find common ground.”

State police said the group entered onto U.S. 13, began acting aggressively toward motorists and blocked both lanes of travel. Police said the protesters were told repeatedly that the demonstration was not lawful because it was obstructing traffic. Authorities also said the protesters refused orders to disperse and prevented a Dover police officer in a marked police vehicle from proceeding through the area.

Police took 22 people into custody but released two without charges. Twenty were charged with four separate disorderly conduct offenses involving refusing to disperse, obstructing vehicular traffic, obstructing pedestrian traffic and “fighting or violent tumultuous or threatening behavior.”

Four individuals were also charged with resisting arrest, and three with hindering prosecution.

One of those taken into custody was Dover Post reporter Andre Lamar, who live-streamed the incident on Facebook, questioned why officers were arresting people, and repeatedly yelled, “I’m with the press!” as officers took him into custody.

Jennings ‘ office said Lamar had been with the protesters for several protests “sometimes in his personal capacity, other times as a reporter.”

Dover police said drone footage shows that Lamar did not put on his press credential lanyard until after police started making arrests, and that an officer rushed him after seeing Lamar rummaging through his backpack, not knowing that he was a journalist or what was in the backpack.

Officials with the Gannett Co., which owns the Dover Post, had no immediate comment regarding Jennings’ statement.

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