Submitted: January 8, 2014.
Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CMD-6663-12). (Hon. Yvonne Williams, Trial Judge).
James E. Drew was on the brief for appellant.
Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney, and Anne Park, Elizabeth Trosman, Chrisellen R. Kolb and Benjamin Brooks, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief for appellee.
Before THOMPSON and EASTERLY, Associate Judges, and NEBEKER,[*] Senior Judge.
Nebeker, Senior Judge :
The trial court found appellant Edwin Cheek guilty of one count of misdemeanor assault on a police officer (" APO" ), in violation of D.C. Code § 22-405 (b) (2012 Repl.). Appellant appeals his APO conviction on the grounds that the government failed to set forth sufficient evidence to support the conviction and that his speech was protected by the First Amendment. For the reasons stated below, we affirm.
On April 16, 2012, Metropolitan Police Officers Blier and Jones were patrolling in a marked police vehicle in the 1100 block of Mt. Olivet Road, N.E., when they observed two girls who appeared to be fighting in the street with a " large, disorderly crowd of 20-30 people in the middle of the street watching." As the officers approached, one of the girls attempted to run and Officer Blier placed her in handcuffs and began questioning her when a woman whom the officer knew to be mentally ill approached him and began yelling. Officer Blier told the woman to get off the street so she wouldn't get hit by a car, and she walked away. Appellant then approached the officer, yelling at him, cursing, and staggering, upset over how the officer had treated the woman. He " appeared to be extremely intoxicated" and did not heed Officer Blier's repeated orders to back up, moving away only when another citizen led him away from the scene.
Several minutes later appellant returned to the scene where Officer Blier was questioning the girl he had arrested. He approached the officer, screaming and cursing, and again he repeatedly ignored Officer Blier's orders to back up. Margaret Williams, a neighborhood resident, witnessed appellant asking the officer why he had slammed the girl down to the ground, and thereafter the officer arrested appellant for interfering with the investigation.
Following a bench trial on July 19, 2012, the trial court found appellant guilty of assault on a police officer (" APO" ) in violation of D.C. Code § 22-405 (b) (2012 Repl.) for " interfering" with Officer Blier's investigation of the fight. Appellant was sentenced to 180 days of incarceration, with execution suspended to supervised probation for one year and a $50 assessment. On July 23, 2012, appellant filed a timely notice of appeal.
Appellant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his APO conviction. We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, and will reverse a conviction for insufficient evidence only where the government has failed to present evidence from which a reasonable mind might fairly infer guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Se ...