The news of this hit me hard this morning. Peter, you may recall, was beaten and pepper-sprayed while crossing the Canada-U.S. border at Port Huron, Michigan. For his troubles, they charged him with resisting arrest and assaulting a federal officer – a young man named Andrew Beaudry, who accused Peter of attempting to choke him during the beating Beaudry was administering.
Good people around the world – the first of which were Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi – mobilized to help us gather Peter the funds he needed for an excellent lawyer and a vigorous defense.
The fundraising worked wonders. The justice system of that place in Michigan failed profoundly and delivered a conviction.
Here is Peter’s own, more generous account of the verdict.
I would link to the local Port Huron paper’s coverage of the trial – it’s a good account – but the comments by local readers so sicken me that I cannot in any conscience send you there.
Here’s the Toronto Star’s wrap-up that went online today.
I will write more on this later.
CORRECTION: MARCH 22: Up top in this blog entry, I’d suggested that the Port Huron paper’s coverage of the trial was a good account.
In fact, I have since been informed that the paper incorrectly reported that Peter Watts was convicted of assaulting a federal officer. As of this morning, the newspaper has not corrected the error.
As a journalist myself, I regret my error in misplaced professional courtesy, and any inconvenience it may have caused.