Debate Protest Lands Presidential Candidate In Jail

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(CNN) — Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, was released from jail Wednesday after being arrested while protesting rules barring her from participating in presidential debates.

Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, were arrested near the site of Tuesday’s presidential debate, held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The Nassau County Policy Department said Stein and Honkala were charged with disorderly conduct, and subsequently released from jail Tuesday’s evening. They will appear in court November 8 to face the disorderly conduct charge.

A statement from Stein’s campaign said the two candidates “are now free from police custody after eight hours handcuffed to a metal chair in a remote police warehouse on Long Island.”

The Nassau County police would not comment on Stein’s description of her arrest or detainment.

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates stipulates that a candidate must demonstrate “a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate, as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations” in order to participate in the three presidential, and one vice presidential, debates.

The Green Party campaign statement states Stein and Honkala “recently polled 2-3% in four consecutive national polls.”

In a video of the arrest distributed by Stein’s campaign, a man is shown warning the candidates they risked being “run over by a cop” if they remained where they were. Stein is shown explaining in the clip, “We’re here to stand our ground. We’re here to stand ground for the American people who have systematically locked out of debates for decades.”

Stein and Honkala say their ticket will appear on 85% of ballots in November’s election, and have qualified for federal matching funds.

By Kevin Liptak – CNN

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