Sorry we haven't been able to share more information with you recently. Things got pretty hectic pretty quick. I am currently in Florida with my Youth at Bible Camp, so I haven't had the time to post much since I've gotten here. But I have about 15 minutes right now, so here goes.
On Sunday night when we went to Dearborn to speak, my flight arrived late so we arrived at our spot about half an hour after anticipated. Some Christians were there waiting for us to encourage us, and they told us that 3 cop cars had been parked there and were waiting for us. They must have left, though, because I didn't see them. News Channel 7 was there (ABC affiliate, I believe) and they started asking us questions on the camera. When we stood on the street to let people come and talk to us, many people drove by and honked and waved, some people drove by and glared at us, but only one person stopped. Majed Moughni, a Muslim running for US Congress, stopped his car with his family waiting inside. He came up to us and greeted us very warmly, and then clearly stated for the camera (I'm paraphrasing, btw): "What the Mayor is doing to you all is very wrong. He does not speak for all the City of Dearborn. He should apologize to you, you have every right to do what you did." David and I were very surprised by Moughni's show of support - it seems to me that he has more to lose than to gain by siding with us, but he did so all the same. He has written a few notes on his Facebook account indicating his support for us as well.
The next day, Monday morning, we arrived at the courthouse early and there were many believers and media outlets there. Since there were, of course, multiple people on the dockett for the day, we got to see Judge Somers's style. He was exceedingly kind to virtually everyone who walked up. I mean, really - I've seen some judges in action before, but this guy was super nice in his demeanor and attitude, and his judgements were fair. But then we got up there, and it was like a light switch. He appeared antagonistic towards our attorney from the get-go, intimating that he was against many of his motions. (I'm no lawyer, nor am I even remotely familiar with legal processes, so forgive me if I speak incorrectly.) He even appeared to deny Rob's (our attorney) request for a bill of particulars, a detailed account of what exactly we were charged for. I thought that was extremely important and a necessity in this trial, but the judge acted as if it was unheard of. So, not looking good on that front. We'll see what happens.
Three cool things happened, though. Turns out Moughni is an attorney, so he was with Rob Muise in the courtroom the whole time, apparently just giving Rob his input and showing him around the court. So, at least on Monday, we had a Christian lawyer and a Muslim lawyer on our side :-) Praise God for that! Another cool thing was that Representative Tom McMillan from Michigan state legislature was present and expressed his support for us - praise the Lord! The last noteworthy thing that happened was that the City Prosecutor agreed to give us back our footage on Wednesday (today). The court didn't mandate it, so it seems easy to back out of the agreement if they should choose to, but they did say at court on Monday that they should be able to give it back this week. By the way, the express reason given by the City Prosecutor that we didn't have our cameras back on Monday was that the detective in charge of our case was on vacation. Go figure :-)
Court dates were set: August 3rd for a motion hearing (we're not going to have to be there for that) and August 30th for our pre-trial (which we will have to go to). Please pray for us!
Here is a short clip we put together (granted, in an extreme hurry) at ABN with a brief recap of what happened at the arraignment:
***UPDATE FROM DAVID*** I hear that our cameras have finally been returned to our lawyers. Since plane tickets are way too expensive, Paul and I are going to drive to Michigan tonight. We'll be able to examine the cameras in the morning to see if the footage has been tampered with. If we've got our footage, we should be able to start posting videos tomorrow.
***UPDATE FROM NABEEL*** Just got a call from David in Michigan. He's looking through the footage right now... looks like it's there, but he's checking to see if it's all there. We've got even better news to share with you, but we have to wait 'til we have it all together to post online :-) Keep coming back for updates!