In noisy party case, jury strikes a blow for the right not to show an ID

Brendon Manuel Dos Santos, 23, was found not guilty of attending a noisy party in Grand Forks, N.D., Wednesday. But was he on trial for that charge or was it really because he wouldn’t so something he didn’t have to do?

It’s the kind of citation that is usually resolved by paying a fine but it got elevated to a jury trial, apparently because the party-goer stood his ground.

The Grand Forks Herald says Dos Santos’ acknowledged being at the party. He acknowledged that it was loud. Case closed.

But Dos Santos objected to what happened when the cops showed up to investigate the complaint from an apartment-house neighbor about the party.

Grand Forks police asked everyone for their ID’s. But North Dakota is not one of the state’s where people are required to provide identification.

“There’s no law that requires them to do that. You don’t have to give up your ID on demand like that,” said Dos Santos’ attorney Ted Sandberg.

Dos Santos refused so he was handcuffed and hauled to jail. He was the only person cited under the city ordinance besides the apartment resident.

“The jury did not like that,” Sandberg tells the paper.

Assistant city prosecutor Sarah Gereszek said it can be hard for a jury to understand the impact noise has on neighbors.

But, led by the defense, the jury was apparently not happy that someone was arrested in retaliation for not waiving a right.

“You have to take that to a jury, because that’s a situation where the citizens then step in and say, ‘We can correct this,'” Sandberg said.