Donald Trump’s Arraignment was Entertaining, Joyful and Peaceful

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(Photo by C. Aklu)

By CHAITRAM AKLU

EQUAL AND EXACT JUSTICE TO ALL MEN OF WHATEVER STATE OR PERSUASION. (Engraving on the Criminal Courts Building)

Donald J. Trump the twice impeached former president appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on April 4, 2023, the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. He was arrested and arraigned on Indictment No. 71543-23 on 34 felony charges of falsification of records pertaining to his business. The charges stemmed for hush money payments made to adult porn star Stormy Daniels just before the November 2016 election.
Trump, the 45th U.S. President who had predicted “potential death and destruction” if he was indicted, was accompanied in court only by his lawyers, and pleaded “not guilty” to all 34 counts during the 57-minute arraignment. It was the same courthouse where the “Central Park 5” were tried and wrongly convicted. Trump had taken out a one page advertisement calling for the death penalty for them. He has now made the history books as the first sitting or former president to face criminal charges.

A man wearing a wig with orange hair, suit and red tie impersonated Donald Trump and engaged in a dialogue with a buddy impersonator of Abraham Lincoln. The Trump impersonator said he was not a Trump supporter but was there to make money and get publicity. (C. Aklu photo)

A crowd assembled in Collect Pond Park across the street from the courthouse that also houses Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s Office. The NYPD had set up barriers dividing the park (leaving a no-man’s land of about 12 feet) one half for pro-Trump supporters and the other for anti-Trump protesters and others. Pro-Trump supporters were outnumbered by far by anti-Trump protesters, and reporters from local, national and international media houses. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican from Georgia who peddles conspiracy theories and who compared Trump’s arrest and arraignment with Nelson Mandela and Jesus Christ came to event briefly. When she tried to speak using a bullhorn she was overwhelmed and drowned out by counter protesters within minutes. She did not go into the park where Trump’s supporters were expecting her.

Greene left the area after a few minutes. A poster bearing her photograph and captioned: ESCAPED please do not engage call (phone number) was taped at several places around the park by counter protesters. She later blamed DA Bragg for the treatment she received.

Another Trump impersonator wore a wig and a prison orange jumpsuit. (C. Aklu photo)

The event was a colorful, peaceful and entertaining atmosphere. It is possible that Greene took Mayor Eric Adam’s warning seriously to – “be on your best behavior”. The former president’s supporters probably were also very mindful that some of the “patriots” that attacked the nation’s capital on January 6, 2021 are still in prison and the feds are still looking for others. This could possibly explain why a few with placards refused to have their faces photographed.

On a park bench in the pro-Trump section, an Asian gentleman came and sat next to me. He introduced himself as a Pilipino, and spoke as someone who was well informed. He then began to “explain” that there would be no election in 2024; that Trump is still the president; that the person in the White House is not Joe Biden – Biden is taller, and if I looked carefully, I would see that the person is a fill in and if I looked at the hair line I would see that he is wearing a mask; that Biden and the Democrats are working for China and Russia; that is why they are sending so much money to Ukraine. After I had “learned” enough I continued traversing both sides of the park.

A woman in black coat sat quietly holding a sign that read: “WITCHES KNOW THIS IS NOT A WITCH HUNT.” (C. Aklu photo)

A man wearing a wig with orange hair, suit and red tie impersonated Donald Trump and engaged in a dialogue with a buddy impersonator of Abraham Lincoln. The Trump impersonator said he was not a Trump supporter but was there to make money and get publicity.

Trump had said that he has more lawyers than Al Capone (Scarface) whose occupation was listed as a gangster. Both were from New York City. Capone, who was a symbol of violence, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax fraud and served time at Alcatraz where he was diagnosed with syphilis and later gonorrhea. After he was released his mental capacities declined to that of a 12 year old. He had a stroke, pneumonia, and finally a heart attack that killed him.

Trump faces at least four years in prison if convicted of the crimes he is charged with.

Then there was the well-built African American woman in high heels and a bikini, her breasts covered in masking tape. Her body covered with powder, she stood on the sidewalk and proclaimed that she was white. (C. Aklu photo)
Don Folden well known for his appearances on TV news clips as The Truth Conductor from Washington D.C., held his “STOP HATING EACH OTHER BECAUSE YOU DISAGREE ….” sign. He gave out his card advertising his tour business. (C. Aklu photo)
This wheelchair bound man came and made his point with his lighted “LOCK HIM UP.” sign. (C. Aklu photo)
A dog also made his rounds with his “LOCK HIM UP” sign. (C. Aklu photo)
A woman impersonator was dressed in police uniform. She held an effigy of Trump by the collar with one hand and a string of fake money in the other. She told me she got him for “Hush money payments.” (C. Aklu photo)
A group of African Americans wearing white t-shirts identified themselves as “Blacks for Trump” in big bold print across their chest. They traveled from Miami. (C. Aklu photo)