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Video exonerates Maine activist accused of brandishing a gun

April 2, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine county prosecutors have dropped charges against an activist accused of brandishing a firearm and threatening a passerby during a protest against police violence.

Rocco Wong, 33, was arrested and charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon after a Sept. 7 protest, Maine Public Radio reported.

A passing motorcyclist accused Wong and nine other demonstrators of stopping him and Wong of threatening him.

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According to defense attorney Tina Nadeau, video evidence was presented mid-March that showed Wong, who was carrying a weapon at the time for self-defense, being approached by the biker but he did not reach for the gun. Nadeau was unable to share a copy of the video.

“My client was walking away. It shows very clearly my client’s hands were up in the air or in their pockets, that there was no threatening whatsoever on the part of my client and that actually corroborates my client’s story that they tried to tell that night to police,” Nadeau said.

A Portland police spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a court document dismissing Wong’s case, prosecutors said that there was “insufficient evidence in light of video provided by defense counsel.”

Nadeau said that without the video her client’s case would have gone to trial based on “lies.”