Press conference about Sunday protest

Jessica Lopez, left, and Dylan Davis, two of the three protesters who was arrested on Aug. 5, speak to media on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. Lopez talked about the planned protest for Sunday at 5 a.m.

A judge is giving attorneys for seven of the roughly two-dozen people charged during last summer’s protests more time to prepare for court.

During video status conferences Thursday, attorneys involved in the cases told Lancaster County President Judge David Ashworth they needed more time to exchange information. In response, Ashworth moved the cases to June.

Status conferences are opportunities for defense and prosecution attorneys to update a judge on where the case stands and get an outline of the schedule going forward. 

Most of the arrests were made in September at a protest outside the Lancaster city police headquarters after the police shooting death of Ricardo Muñoz. In the wake of the Munoz protest, at least a dozen people were charged, and District Judge Bruce Roth initially set $1 million bail for several of the arrested. Bail was subsequently lowered.

Among cases moved are those of Dylan Davis, who was a protest fixture and had been arrested earlier in the summer; and Jessica Lopez, another protest fixture who, separately, is suing a city detective claiming he sexually assaulted her during a November 2017 traffic stop.

Davis is charged with riot, dangerous burning and related offenses, while Lopez is charged with riot and related offenses.

Cases against a handful of protesters have already concluded, with six convictions for blocking traffic.

In January, Julio Torres, 23, of Lancaster, was sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to aggravated assault — a second-degree felony — and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. A riot charge was dropped.

He had been accused of throwing objects at Lancaster city police and a barricade into the street near the police station on June 1 following social justice demonstrations in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

His attorney said Torres had only been moving the barricade to protect protesters.

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