Aimee Smith Found Not Guilty
In a trial at the Middlesex County Courthouse on Thursday, January 13, Dr. Aimee Smith was found not guilty of charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest growing out of an incident at MIT on August 25, 2004. On that date, MIT police officer Joseph D'Amelio arrested Dr. Smith outside of the MIT Student Center during a dispute about First Amendment rights and the appropriateness of Dr. Smith's earlier arrest on June 4. Dr. Smith was arrested by MIT police on June 4 at Commencement as she and three other members of the MIT Social Justice Cooperative were distributing leaflets discussing the proposed NIH-funded bioterrorism laboratory to be built in Boston. Those charges against her were later dropped at the request of MIT President Charles M. Vest.
In the trial on the charges growing out of the second arrest, the judge, after listening to testimony from the MIT police involved and one Cambridge policeman, made an immediate finding that Dr. Smith's speech in this case was protected free speech, and rendered the not guilty verdict on that basis. This was in response to a motion by Dr. Smith's lawyer, Mr. Daniel Beck, for the dismissal of the case. The defense presented no witnesses and Dr. Smith did not testify.