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Hung jury in trial of Andy Lopez protester

  • 12/11/2013:A1: Ramon Cairo attempts to enter the City Council chambers at City Hall in Santa Rosa on Tuesday amid a protest of the October shooting of Andy Lopez by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy. Cairo later was arrested.

    PC: Andy Lopez activist Ramon Cairo attempts to enter the City Council chambers at City Hall in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Cairo was later arrested by Santa Rosa Police. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Jurors were unable to reach verdicts Thursday in the trial of Andy Lopez shooting protester Ramon Cairo.

The panel was deadlocked 10-2 in favor of acquittal on a charge of resisting officers by force in a Dec. 10 confrontation outside Santa Rosa City Hall. And it was split 10-2 for conviction on a second count of simple resisting arrest.

Conflicting police testimony and other evidence such as a video recording of the incident left it unclear whether a crime had been committed, one juror said outside court.

Judge Julie Conger declared a mistrial after three days of deliberation.

Cairo's lawyer called the impasse a victory for free speech. Cairo was among about 100 people protesting the Oct. 22 shooting death of 13-year-old Lopez by a sheriff's deputy.

"I think it means there are still enough people in our society who love freedom and democracy," defense attorney Izaak Schwaiger said. "And that they are willing to tolerate the growing pains of a free society."

Prosecutor Chris Brown could not immediately say if the misdemeanor case will be retried. Both sides return to court Friday.


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