3 found guilty of obstructing traffic during Trump protest in Colorado Springs

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE 1/11/19 The Gazette:
Three people who were cited during a downtown Colorado Springs protest against President Donald Trump's policy of separating families at the border were found guilty Friday of intentionally obstructing a city street.

Sean Konik, Adam Biddle and Karyna Lemus will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 19, said Dan Kay, Konik's attorney.

The protest was held June 22 in front of City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave., with protesters lying in the northbound lanes covered with a banner.

"I feel like in returning a guilty verdict, the system worked exactly as it's supposed to, and that's suppressing dissenters," Biddle said Friday evening.

Three others were cited during the protest, Kay said. One case was dismissed, one person was fined $50 and another is awaiting trial.

Click here to read the full article by 11 News partner The Gazette.

"You have to leave at this time, you are blocking traffic. This is an official warning," an officer said, asking protesters to stop blocking traffic near downtown Colorado Springs Friday night.

At about 6:30 p.m., the immigration protesters laid down in the street at Kiowa and Nevada as they blocked traffic. Soon after, police were able to pick up the protesters peacefully and take them to another location.

Officers on scene told 11 News they wanted to avoid a fight and protesters said they were willing to accept any consequences for blocking traffic.

"Some people are here to get arrested -- with the act of civil disobedience, they hope to convey a symbolism behind what it means to stand for all rights and human rights and immigrant rights,” protestor Nayda Benitez said.

Benitez said she's an undocumented immigrant who grew up in Colorado Springs. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is in limbo right now. As a dreamer, she's been protected from deportation, but with her experience, she said she feels the need to stand up for what she believes in.

"Specifically calling for an end to the zero-tolerance policy enacted by the current administration. With this policy, families have been separated,” Benitez said.

Some people passing by agreed with the message, but not their method.

"It is screwed up, but the way they're going about it is completely wrong. Blocking traffic and doing things like that is putting themselves in position where they can go to jail and have a misdemeanor,” Zo Clark told 11 News.

By the end of the protests, six people were arrested and ticketed for obstructing traffic.