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Dunn v. United States

976 A.2d 217 (2009)

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Dunn v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

976 A.2d 217 (2009)

Facts

Matthew Dunn (defendant) was part of a group that was protesting against animal cruelty outside of a pharmaceutical company’s building. The group was loudly chanting and yelling close to the building’s entrance. The building’s security team was standing between the protestors and the building, blocking the protestors from entering the building. The building’s security director, Mattison Agneu, was attempting to prevent a confrontation between part of his security team and the protestors when Dunn shoved the sign he was carrying into Agneu’s chest. The shove caused Agneu to step backward, and Agneu said “what in the hell are you —do you think you’re doing?” to Dunn. The protest eventually moved off to another location. After the protestors had left, an undercover police officer who had been observing the protest approached Agneu and told him that Dunn’s contact with Agneu amounted to an assault. Approximately one month later, the same group of protestors returned to the building, and the undercover police officer returned as well. The police officer asked Agneu if he could identify the protestor who had shoved him. Agneu identified Dunn in the group. Dunn was arrested and eventually convicted of assault for shoving Agneu. Dunn was sentenced to seven days’ imprisonment, which was suspended, six months’ probation, and $100 in fines. Dunn appealed, alleging that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he had shoved Agneu and that the assault was in any event de minimis and should not have been prosecuted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Oberly, J.)

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