March 8, 2022
Dear friends and family of Eric King:
On behalf of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, thank you for your continued interest and support for our client Eric King who faces a federal felony assault on a correctional officer charge. Yesterday Eric’s legal team (Lauren Regan, Sandra Freeman, Sarah Alvarez) were in federal court in Denver for our final pretrial conference before our jury trial starts on Monday, March 14, 2022. This court has very specific and strict rules that must be followed if you are planning to come to court in person. The federal courts are also following federal COVID restrictions which means there will be very limited access for the public in the actual courtroom (like less than 20 seats total), the public will not be able to be in our courtroom during jury selection because the whole courtroom will be filled with prospective jurors, and of course, you will need to wear a mask at all times in the courthouse. Please read on for some tips and precautionary warnings that are included in the Court Order (View the full order here: Trial Decorum Order from Judge Martinez).
There will be a telephone access line throughout the entire trial, including jury selection so that anyone who would like to follow along can do so. The public access telephone number is: 877-336-1828 and enter access code 9449909#.
The trial will take place at the Alfred A. Arraj Federal Courthouse, Courtroom A 801, 901 19th Street, Denver, CO. It is anticipated to be a 5 day jury trial.
Once you step onto federal property you are within the jurisdiction of the US Marshalls. There are cameras and monitoring 24/7. If anything can be construed as a potential disturbance to the trial or court administration it could threaten Eric’s ability to have a public trial. Please be careful!
The COURTHOUSE will open at 7:00 am each day.
Our COURTROOM (A801) opens at 8:15 am Monday-Friday first come, first served. Everyone must be seated by 8:30 for the start of court each day. People are allowed to wait for a seat in the lobby outside the courtroom.
To enter the courthouse, you will need a valid photo ID—either a state issued ID or passport. You will go through metal detectors—to hasten the speed with which you can get into court, we suggest you minimize what you bring with you—and make sure you don’t have ANYTHING that could be construed as a ‘weapon’ including forks, camping knives, etc. Sanitize your bags and pockets before you go through the metal detectors! The court encourages people to leave all electronic devices at home or in your car.
Per court order “No device whose exclusive or principal use is as a camera or video recorder may be brought into or used in the courthouse …. There is absolutely no photography or recording permitted anywhere within the courthouse.”
In addition, NO CELL PHONES OR OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES ARE ALLOWED IN THE ACTUAL TRIAL COURTROOM. If folks organize among themselves to have a friend sit in the hallway with their phone, that is permitted by the order, but if you try to bring it into court, or if you forget and get caught, you will be banned from re-entry.
The court has some strict rules in this order about the courtroom—the order indicates that once you are seated, you are not supposed to get up and/or leave until a break in the trial proceedings (to minimize disruptions/distractions), and of course don’t make any gestures or statements in court that could get you, or us, in trouble with the Court.
The Court has also put rules in place regarding what you can wear in order to ensure that the jury does not become biased toward one side or the other–we would not want people in the courtroom wearing t-shirts that said ‘we <3 prison guards’ because of the effect it could have on the jurors, and the same goes for anything that might overtly construe your love for Eric or his politics. (:
The order specifically says, “No one observing the trial proceedings in the courtroom or any other location within the courthouse may wear or carry any clothing, buttons, or other items that carry any message or symbol addressing the issues related to this case that may be or become visible to the jury. This includes a prohibition of any sign or clothing bearing the name or likeness of any of the parties. No banners, posters, or similar items are permitted within the courthouse.”
No food or beverages are allowed in the courtroom, except for water.
Media interviews or broadcasts must be conducted outside the courthouse.
NEVER talk to jurors or witnesses for any reason while trial is going on. This could result in a mistrial that could be detrimental to Eric.
Thank you very much for your support!