When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, hordes of protestors took to the streets to vent their frustrations. Many engaged in acts of civil disobedience. Others rioted and lit fires and vandalized property. Many of them are now being prosecuted for their crimes, even one who simply laughed.
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A Washington jury convicted 61-year-old Desiree Fairooz of “disorderly conduct” and “parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds.” Just how was she disorderly? She laughed out-loud during the confirmation hearing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Fairooz was found guilty, but she has yet to be sentenced. She could end up in prison for a year.
Fairooz was at the hearing with Code Pink. The group has been active since Trump won the election, and are not shy about disruptions. Yet Fairooz simply laughed. And it wasn’t a raucous belly laugh, either. You can hear it in the video below. It sounds more like a gasp.
The Huffington Post published an article about the arrest that implied the officer who arrested Fairooz was new to the job and inexperienced. “Katherine Coronado of the U.S. Capitol Police was in her second week on the job when she was assigned to keep watch over Sessions’ confirmation hearing on Jan. 10,” they wrote.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) noted Sessions’ history of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.” Fairooz, upon hearing that, laughed. Officer Coronado then asked her to leave. It is unclear at what point she was actually placed under arrest, but she didn’t leave the hearing quietly.
Another protester escorted out of Sessions hearing. Her original offense appeared to be simply laughing. pic.twitter.com/p6lWzBVFRW
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) January 10, 2017
The jury’s foreperson spoke with Huffington Post and tried to clarify the matter. “She did not get convicted for laughing,” the foreperson said. “It was her actions as she was being asked to leave.”
Either way, it was her laughter that drew the attention of Officer Coronado and caused her removal.
While many are shocked by the arrest, others feel like the rules of order must be obeyed. And Fairooz has a habit of disruptions. This image of her accosting Secretary of State Rice is a reminder of that Fairooz has been in the spotlight before.