Woman On Trial For Laughing "Loudly" At Sessions Hearing
A 61-year-old activist laughed during Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing in January.
This week, she's on trial for the "crime."
That activist is Desiree Fairooz, a protester affiliated with the liberal advocacy group Code Pink. Fairooz was arrest when Sessions (still a senator back then) was being vetted for his current post as attorney general.
HuffPost justice reporter Ryan Reilly captured video of Fairooz's arrest:
On Tuesday, Reilly reported details of the woman's ongoing trial.
Fairooz laughed when Alabama Senator Richard Shelby said during the hearing that "treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented."
After that point, she was arrested by US Capitol Police officer Katherine Coronado, who was working her second week on the job. At the time, Fairooz had been sitting in the back of the room where the hearing was held, and Reilly reports the laugh did not disrupt Shelby's speech.
Still, US attorneys, who work under Sessions at the Department of Justice, are pursuing charges against Fairooz this week for "disorderly and disruptive conduct," according to HuffPost.
Along with Fairooz, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi are on trial for dressing up as members of the KKK as protest at the Sessions hearing.
On Monday, Officer Coronado testified that Fairooz's laugh had occurred "very loudly" and prompted people in the audience to turn their heads.
The defense, for its part, argued that audience members had laughed at other points during the hearing without incident.
Fairooz has been known to protest over a number of different issues. She protested against the Dakota Access pipeline and could be seen in the video below protesting against Israel in 2014.
It no surprise, then, that she attended Sessions' hearing as an adversary, as many others had done.
Needless to say, the 61-year-old is experienced in protests. And yet, regardless of how many times she's picketed, this is sure to be the first time she's facing trouble for laughing (very loudly).
Update, 5/3/17: Fairooz, Barry and Bianchi were found guilty on Wednesday. They face up to a year in jail and/or $2,000 in fines. Sentencing will be done in late June.
Citations: Huff Post