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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Most people arrested at last year’s protest-turned-riot in downtown Spokane had their charges dropped

Police hold a standoff with hundreds of protesters on May 31, 2020, outside the Spokane County Courthouse.  (JESSE TINSLEY/The Spokesman-Review)

Most of the charges faced by people in connection to the protest-turned-riot a year ago in downtown Spokane were dropped, court records show.

There were 23 people arrested in connection to the event on May 31, 2020 in Spokane. The majority of those people were charged in Spokane Municipal Court with misdemeanors like disorderly conduct or malicious mischief.

Thirteen people’s charges were dismissed, according to court records. Three people’s charges were dismissed with prejudice, meaning the case cannot be brought back into court. Court records do not show any charges filed for one of the people the Spokane Police Department said was arrested.

Four people had a stipulated order of continuance put in place, stating charges will be dropped if they don’t break the law within a certain period.

Six suspects still have pending cases or were found guilty.

Rosemariaeh aka Corrine Brown, 19 at the time, was charged with failure to disperse. She didn’t show up to court and now has a warrant out for her arrest.

Zaxch Hasbrouck, 55 when arrested, was charged with second-degree malicious mischief. He also has a warrant out for his arrest after not showing up for court.

Gene Gallagher, 33 at the time, was charged with possession of an incendiary device and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail toward police. His trial is currently set for July 19.

Steven Tharaldson, 40 at the time, was charged with arson and commercial burglary, and those charges had an “uncontested resolution” at the end of June.

Nathan Thomason, 36 when arrested, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing a police officer. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and the obstruction charge was dismissed with prejudice. He has multiple vehicle-related prior citations and one conviction for a violent offense.

Thomason is the only person so far found guilty of a crime related to the protest.

While acknowledging that every arrest is nuanced, Police Chief Craig Meidl said he is disappointed that many people he believes violated the law didn’t face consequences for what happened that night.

Meidl called the unlawful assembly, declared after protesters looted the downtown Nike store, an “overwhelming tense situation” and blamed the escalation from the earlier peaceful protest on people using the event “as cover to engage in predatory behavior.”

“It weakens the legitimacy of law enforcement when we’re trying to keep downtown safe,” Meidl said of the charges being dismissed. “It sends a message that you’re not going to be prosecuted.”