A local filmmaker will have his day in court, just not yet. Ashton Burrell, 22, of South Eighth Avenue, was due in court Wednesday, Dec. 10, to answer to a Nov. 2 charge of disorderly conduct. However, the hearing has been rescheduled for Dec. 17.
The charge was the result of an incident that occurred when Mr. Burrell and three of his cast and crew were filming outside the Montgomery Avenue Apartments. One of their props was a realistic-looking toy weapon that resembled a .45-caliber handgun. Federal law prohibits brandishing realistic looking toy weapons unless the weapons each include an orange tip. The toy weapon being used by Mr. Burrell and his colleagues had no orange tip. If he is convicted, Mr. Burrell may be fined up to $100. Thus far, Mr. Burrell has declined to comment on the charges.
Mr. Burrell had pleaded not guilty to the disorderly conduct charge, prompting the court hearing. A person answering the phone at the borough court said that the hearing had been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 17.
The weeks since police filed the charge have been noteworthy for the positive developments in Mr. Burrell’s life as a community activist. On Nov. 12, the state appointed him to a one-year term on the advisory board to the state’s Human Relations Council. Also, on Nov. 24 and then again on Dec. 2, he helped to lead community discussions on racism and discrimination following the Darren Wilson grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo.