A local filmmaker and three others are facing disorderly conduct charges over a movie prop.
Police have confirmed that they have charged Ashton Burrell, 22, of South Eighth Avenue; Richard Copier, 27 of Dumont; and Luis Suarez, 28, of Clifton with disorderly conduct in the incident Sunday morning, Nov. 2. A fourth person, Jerry J. Garcia, 26, of Edison also was charged with unlawful possession of an imitation firearm.
Mr. Burrell and the other men were filming a short movie at Highland Montgomery Apartments. One of the props for the movie was a toy firearm designed to resemble an actual .45-caliber handgun.
Mr. Burrell, 22, is the founder of LIVE Mentorship. In recent months he has helped to organize rallies in Highland Park against police brutality in Ferguson, Mo. and in support of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen shot to death by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012.
When it became apparent that the firearm was a toy and not an actual weapon, Mr. Garcia was released on his own recognizance after being arrested and charged. Mr. Burrell and the others were told they would be charged with disorderly conduct.
Disorderly conduct charges carry fines of up to $500. State statute defines disorderly conduct as fighting, threatening or violent behavior or creating a dangerous condition by an act with no legitimate purpose.