On Oct. 31, Ian Graham got dressed for work. Although he is a photographer and more likely to wear jeans on the job, he put on a coat and tie.
Later that evening he was wearing handcuffs.
Around 1 a.m., when the typical Halloween bash is at its scariest, he got a phone call from Preston Duncan, the publisher of RVA Magazine. The police were moving on the Occupy Richmond site. Let’s get over there and cover it, Duncan said..
In an account published at rvamag.com
, Duncan wrote that while he and Graham were standing on the public sidewalk on the perimeter of the plaza, they were threatened with arrest by the police. They moved to the area designated for journalists. But the view from that corner was obscured.
Graham walked to the middle of a crosswalk to get a better angle. He was arrested for trespassing and handcuffed.
Graham was charged under Virginia Code § 18.2-119
, a section called “Trespass after having been forbidden to do so.” It is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Graham told me that he was supposed to have a hearing on Nov. 18; he and his lawyer, Patrick Anderson, expected the charges to be dropped. But the Richmond commonwealth’s attorney’s office for some reason is playing hardball
, so Anderson got a continuance.
Anderson, who has been retained by the American Civil Liberties Union to represent Graham, said he couldn’t comment except to confirm that the matter is set for trial on Jan. 24. The Richmond commonwealth’s attorney’s office wasn’t talking either; they didn’t return my call by press time.