Jurors find arrest of JFK conspiracy theorist constitutional

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by SEBASTIAN ROBERTSON / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 8:09 AM

DALLAS -- A verdict has been reached in the civil rights trial of long-time JFK conspiracy theorist Robert Groden.

Groden was arrested in 2010 for selling merchandise at Dealey Plaza without a permit. Two and a half years later, an appeals court threw out all charges against him.

After deliberating for an hour on Thursday, jurors found that Groden's 2010 arrest was not unconstitutional.

Groden was suing the City of Dallas, claiming his constitutional rights were violated in the process.

Groden's lawyers claim he was arrested by Dallas police without probable cause, and that this action violated his right to free speech.

Exactly four years ago Groden was first contacted by Dallas Police Sgt. Frank Gorka. Gorka warned him he could not sell with out a permit. The following day he arrested him.

It took 2.5 years for a court to rule that no such permit existed and throw out the charges. Groden says he spent nine hours in jail, even though he was charged with a class c misdemeanor. Those aren't usually punished with jail time.

During closing arguments Groden's attorney asked the city to replace $1,000 worth of merchandise confiscated, $900,000 in mental anguish, and $100,000 in damages to Groden's reputation.

E-mail: srobertson@wfaa.com

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