Harris County DA to drop charges against more than 600 Houston protesters

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Just hours after George Floyd's funeral service in Houston, the Harris County District Attorney's Office said it's dropping charges against 796 protesters in Houston.

District Attorney Kim Ogg said that the cases dismissed were for non-violent misdemeanor offenses, mostly obstructing a highway and trespassing.

Out of a total of 654 individuals criminally charged as a result of the protests, only 51 adults and one juvenile now remain charged with active cases. Their cases include 35 misdemeanor charges and 19 felony charges.

"The job of the prosecutor is to seek individualized justice in every case," Ogg said. "While probable cause existed for the arrests of those people who refused to disperse after being ordered to do so by police, our young prosecutors worked hard to identify the few offenders who came to inflict harm on others and intentional damage to property."

Dismissing the charges also allows law-enforcement authorities to focus resources on those who endanger public safety, Ogg said.

"We will always protect the First Amendment rights of peaceful protestors," Ogg said. "The only people I will be prosecuting are those who intentionally hurt others and intentionally destroy property."
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