At­tor­ney to chal­lenge law used in go­rilla mask case

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

JOHNSON CITY | The at­tor­ney for a for­mer East­ern Ten­nessee State Univer­sity stu­dent says his client was act­ing within his First Amend­ment rights when po­lice say he dis­rupted an on­cam­pus Black Lives Mat­ter rally while wear­ing a go­rilla mask and carrying a rope and ba­nanas.

Pa­trick Den­ton, at­tor­ney for 19-yearold Tris­tan Ret­tke, said dur­ing a hear­ing Tues­day he’s work­ing on a mo­tion to chal­lenge the law used to bring a civil rights in­tim­i­da­tion charge against Mr. Ret­tke.

Mr. Ret­tke also faces dis­or­derly con­duct and dis­rup­tion of a meet­ing or pro­ces­sion charges.

The charges stem from a Septem­ber 2016 in­ci­dent in which he showed up at a Black Lives Mat­ter event wear­ing the mask. He told po­lice he wanted to pro­voke pro­test­ers.

Mr. Den­ton says he in­tends to take the case to trial.

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