LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Bail modification hearings took place on Thursday morning for nine of the 13 protesters who were charged with multiple felony counts after a protest turned violent on Monday morning in Lancaster City.
Protests followed after the shooting death of 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz by a Lancaster police officer. He was seen on body camera footage charging the officer with a knife.
District Court Judge Bruce Roth initially set the bail for $1 million, partially because Lancaster police requested the bail to be high.
Multiple social justice organizations and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman called the original bail amounts unconstitutional. Five protesters petitioned for a lower bail, and other protesters had their bail reduced by Roth after he reviewed the bail on Thursday at the Lancaster County Courthouse.
In an email to abc27, Roth said he chose to review the other cases because he wanted everyone arrested to be treated equally.
While the bail reductions varied for everyone, it meant those arrested like Dylan Davis were able to walk out of the Lancaster County Prison on Thursday.
“It feels good,” Davis said about having his bail reduced. “It was a weird couple of days.”
After the bail reduction hearings, Lancaster Stands Up, SafeHouse Lancaster, and the Lancaster NAACP held a press conference.
Eliza Booth with Lancaster Stands Up said that the original bail amounts were extreme.
“It was set to that obscene and unconstitutional amount to silence people who dare speak out about systemic injustice and the need for changes to the broken police system and justice system that we have,” Booth said.
Isaac Etters, co-executive of Lancaster SafeHouse, argued by setting the bail so high, the Lancaster judicial system proved the kind of systemic racism that activists were protesting in the first place.
“These people are out for justice,” Etters said. “They are going to stands with their friends and they are going to make it clear to this city they are not going to stand for injustice of this measure or any other.”
Here’s a breakdown of what the bail amounts changed to:
Bails reset after petition by Judge Dennis Reinaker:
- Yoshua Dwayne Montague – From $1 million to $100,000 cash or 10%, house arrest
- Kathryn Patterson – From $1 million to $50,0000 unsecured
- Taylor Enterline – From $1 million to $50,000 unsecured
- Dylan Davis – From $1 million to $50,000 unsecured; is on house arrest
- Alexandria Wise – From $100,000 to $50,000 unsecured; is on house arrest
Judge Roth revisited the bail amounts for the following protesters:
- Barry Jones – $1 million to $100,000 unsecured, is on house arrest
- Jamal Shariff Newman – $1 million to $100,000 straight
- Talia Gessner – $1 million to $50,000 cash or 10%, if released, house arrest
- T-Jay Fry – $1 million to $25,000 straight, house arrest