Man arrested for refusing to put gun away at protest claims law is unconstitutional

Updated: Sep. 21, 2020 at 4:17 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A man arrested for refusing to put away a loaded gun during a protest claims the law that landed him in jail is unconstitutional. Forty-nine-year-old Walid Hakim was arrested during Sunday’s protest at the Confederate of Defenders of Charleston monument.

Hakim is charged with brandishing a deadly weapon.

In bond court Monday afternoon, Hakim said he is a member of an organization called the Civil Defense Corps based in the Midlands of the state. One of Hakim’s supporters said the group investigates hate crimes and defends protesters.

Hakim told the judge he and some other members of the organization were invited to Sunday’s protest on the battery.

However, Magistrate Amanda Hazelden said the permit holder for the protest did not invite Hakim and the others.

Cops say Hakim violated the city ordinance that prohibits brandishing a gun and that’s why they arrested him.

Hakim told the judge he should not have been arrested.

“My attorneys and I are under the impression that that Charleston city law is unconstitutional,” Hakim said.

The judge said she is troubled by Sunday’s events.

“Sir I’m having a hard time to think of any justification as to why appearing with multiple firearms to a peaceful protest in the City of Charleston is not a dangerous situation and I’m struggling with that,” Judge Haselden told Hakim. Judge Haselden ordered Hakim not to participate in any rallies with more than 10 people in Charleston County unless he is the permit holder.

The charge against him is a misdemeanor that carries a bond of $1,087.

Hakim is due in Charleston municipal court on October 2.

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