Kip Billups will not be punished for protesting at Amarillo City Hall last year.
On Wednesday, charges of obstructing a passageway/highway were dismissed against the 50 year old mayoral candidate in a Potter County court. Billups was charged last year after setting up a tent on the steps of Amarillo City Hall during a protest last March. Judge Walt Weaver issued an instructed verdict acquitting Billups of the charge.
In a video recorded immediately following the verdict, Billups said he was excited about the result, echoing his sentiment that the charges were retribution for his position as a political opponent of the Amarillo City Council.
“Like I’ve always stated, it was a really weak case to begin with,” Billups said. “It was a matter of civil disobedience and First Amendment rights.”
“God bless America. It got thrown out,” Billups added.
Ryan Brown, a local criminal defense attorney, served as Billups’ lawyer.
Billups will now go on to face incumbent Ginger Nelson and challenger Claudette Smith in the Amarillo mayoral contest. Early voting will begin on April 22nd, with election day scheduled for May 4th.