The fate of a Davenport man accused of bringing a gun onto school district property while he was distributing white supremacist fliers that ignited community outrage is now in the hands of a judge.
In January, Local 4 News was the first to report on the arrest of James Mathias, who faces charges of carrying a gun on school property.
The fliers he was distributing at Brady Street Stadium last October were from a white supremacist group.
Today at a hearing in Scott County Court, Mathias’ attorney claimed that it was the racist nature of the fliers that drew police attention to him.
Mathias’ attorney Ryan Beckenbaugh tells Local 4 News that Davenport police Captain Jamie Brown testified at today’s hearing. He’s the officer who saw Mathias had a gun while he was questioning him.
Beckenbaugh says what Mathias was doing — while distasteful to many — constitutes free speech and was not illegal, therefore he shouldn’t have warranted police to question him.
Mathias’ motion is seeking evidence in the case be suppressed, which could result in the charges being thrown out.
Mathias previously filed to have the case be dismissed in a separate motion questioning whether the parking lot of an school-owned athletic facility constitutes “school grounds.”
No word on when Judge Tabor is expected to issue her ruling. Mathias declined our request for an on-camera interview.