City attorney says new evidence led to dropped case for Huntsville man who pulled gun at protest

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - WHNT News 19 is getting answers in the case of Shane Sealy, 35, who brought a gun to an immigration policy protest June 30, 2018. City prosecutors dropped the charges against Sealy Thursday after a municipal judge convicted and sentenced him in November.

Huntsville police arrested Sealy during the 'Families Belong Together' protest last year and charged him with harassment and reckless endangerment. After his conviction, a judge sentenced Sealy to jail, fines and probation. He appealed the conviction and had a trial set for this month, but that did not happen because of the dismissal.

City Attorney Trey Riley said new evidence presented after the trial did not match the charging document. So, they dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning the city can bring charges against Sealy again for this case if it's warranted.

Ava Caldwell emceed the June protest. She went to the city council meeting Thursday to try to get answers. She described the scene at the park when she says Sealy acted out.

"During the prayer, Shane Sealy marched back and forth with a sign in hand repeating racist and hateful slogans," Caldwell said to the council. "The rally organizer eventually jogged over to a police car to get their attention. It wasn't until there was an altercation, and Shane Sealy pushed one of the participants at the rally, who pushed Sealy back that Shane Sealy pulled a gun that the police walked up, and that was around 20-30 seconds after the gun was pulled."

Caldwell addressed the council before this new information about the evidence was public. She questioned the reason for dismissing the charges after conviction.

"He was found guilty, after half a dozen people, including myself, testified against him," Caldwell said during the meeting. "We were in fear for our lives and the lives of the other men, women and children who were in participation at this event. I want an explanation from the city attorney's office about why they think it was okay to dismiss a case where a judge had already found him guilty."

Caldwell and Riley said they are planning to have a meeting this week to discuss the dismissed case against Sealy. Riley said there is not an ongoing investigation in this case.

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