Jeff Olson was found not guilty of vandalism today after writing anti-bank messages about Bank of America on public sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year.
Olson was charged with 13 counts of vandalism and faced 15 years in jail, plus $13,000 in fines.
Olson had written the anti-bank messages in front of three Bank of America buildings in San Diego, California.
Darrell Freeman, Vice President of Bank of America’s Global Corporate Security, pushed San Diego authorities to prosecute Olson for writing messages such as: “No thanks, big banks” and “Shame on Bank of America.”
San Diego Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard was in communication with Bank of America, assuring the multinational corporation that Olson would be charged.
As reported by the San Diego Reader, Judge Howard Shore banned Olson's lawyer from mentioning the "First Amendment."
Despite that highly-questionable ruling, the jury still voted "not guilty" in Olson's case, notes NBC San Diego.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner had called the prosecution of Olson by San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith “a stupid case,” reported the Los Angeles Times.