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Charges against arrested N.C. reporter dropped

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The Wake County District Attorney's office has dropped misdemeanor charges against veteran Charlotte Observer reporter Tim Funk after arresting him…

The Wake County District Attorney's office has dropped misdemeanor charges against veteran Charlotte Observer reporter Tim Funk after arresting him in June during a protest.

Police picked up Funk on June 10 at the Raleigh General Assembly where more than 80 people were demonstrating in a weekly "Moral Mondays" protest against the legislature's conservative policies on issues like voting rights and abortion. General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver said in June that Funk was the only reporter who failed to heed three warnings from officers asking the crowd to disperse.

Funk was wearing his Charlotte Observer press credentials around his neck when he remained to interview a group of about 60 protestors peacefully waiting for arrest. Officers moved him aside before handcuffing and taking him to the Wake County magistrate’s office to be arraigned on trespassing and failure to disperse charges. According to the Observer, Funk was released at about 11 p.m. the same day.

"This is clearly the right result, and we congratulate the district attorney for making the right decision," said Rick Thames, news editor of the Observer.

The incident was taped by a bystander, which Thames said showed that Funk was only doing his job in a public building.

"He was clearly not obstructing the police." he said. "It's hard to understand why he was arrested in the first place."