The case against a 29-year-old woman arrested and charged with vandalism for writing “9/11 Truth” and other statements in chalk on the First Street Bridge over Napa Creek was dismissed Friday in Napa County Superior Court.
Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein said his office has dismissed the case against Amy Larson in the interest of justice.
“After full review of all the facts and circumstances surrounding this case, we determined a dismissal of this matter was in the best interest of justice,” Lieberstein said Friday afternoon. He declined further comment.
Larson’s case whipped up a storm of protests online after she was arrested on Sept. 11 and then charged with misdemeanor vandalism for writing the chalk messages on public sidewalks.
Police contended her writings were similar to many others in Napa, an allegation Larson denied.
Her defenders said she was within her free speech rights to write in chalk, which, unlike spray paint, would soon be worn away.
Larson, who is married and is employed as a cellar worker, said she chose to spend 30 hours in jail rather than pay bail.
She said she wrote the messages with children’s chalk in an effort to have people think for themselves.
She made her first court appearance Wednesday when she was assigned a public defender. She was due to return in court on Oct. 24.
Napa Police brought the case to the district attorney’s office. On Friday, Napa Police Capt. Jeff Troendly said “ We respect his decision to not move forward with the prosecution.”
Larson could not be reached for comment Friday.