WILKINSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – A woman who was arrested by a police officer earlier this year outside a North Versailles movie theater was in court Thursday.
The woman, Melanie Carter, was arrested in a now viral video that was viewed on Facebook millions of times.
On Thursday, it was the police officer who arrested carter who was confronted by dozens of woman’s supporters outside the district magistrate’s office where the hearing was held.
Carter’s controversial arrest last February at a North Versailles movie theater by an off duty police officer working theater security was captured on video. The theater manager, who has since been fired, had asked Carter to leave, but she refused. She spoke up – complaining when she saw a group of black teenagers who were being escorted out of the theater by the officer for allegedly causing a disturbance.
The officer – Christopher Kelley – told Carter not to interfere before handcuffing her and charging her with resisting arrest, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and defiant trespass.
“I’m here to demand that the charges be dropped against her because it is not illegal in the USA to film a police officer,” Carter supporter Vanessa German said. “That is your first amendment right. We are demanding justice for her.”
“Clearly, she was being discriminated against and the young people at the theater were being discriminated against,” Carter supporter Amando Gross said.
Carter won a partial victory Thursday when the judge agreed to drop several of the charges she was originally accused of.
“We got one of the disorderly conduct charges dismissed, we got the refusal to disperse charge dismissed and now we move forward to full trial,” Attorney Brete Grote said.
“Usually these cases go to higher court anyway,” Carter said. ‘We got some of them dropped, we are going to continue this fight.