05/08/12 — Barber pleads guilty to charges

View Archive

Barber pleads guilty to charges

By From Staff And Wire Reports
Published in News on May 8, 2012 1:46 PM

RALEIGH -- The Rev. William Barber pleaded guilty Monday in Wake County District Court to misdemeanor disorderly conduct for his behavior while protesting budget cuts at the Legislative Building last year.

Barber, president of the state NAACP, and six other people were charged with trespassing and and disorderly conduct after the incident, in which the protesters disrupted a House session by chanting slogans from the gallery. They were taken into custody and Barber chose to spend the night behind bars as part of his protest.

The charge of trespassing was dropped and Judge William Lawton did not sentence Barber as a result of the conviction. The judge said he hoped Barber would learn from what he called "a teaching moment."

At the time of the protest and arrest, House Speaker Thom Tillis called Barber's actions "one of the most disruptive, disrespectful acts I've ever seen."

In 2010, Barber was one of 30 protesters who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges for disrupting a Wake County school board meeting to protest the elimination of busing to achieve student diversity.