Kelli Oliver and Talaya Kirkland, the daughter and granddaughter, respectively, of Baltimore County Council member Kenneth N. Oliver, walked free from a Catonsville courtroom Wednesday after a judge determined that they had acted reasonably in resisting what they viewed as an illegal arrest.
Oliver, 40, had been charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after a traffic stop in September for a burned-out tail light. Kirkland, 23, was charged with hindering and disorderly conduct.
A police officer, Gregory Graves, testified that the moment he walked up to the women's car both defendants unleashed a string of expletives and threatened to have the councilman fire him. Graves said Oliver then assaulted him by biting, scratching and kicking him as he tried to place her in handcuffs. As she held on to her cell phone, Graves said, she screamed into it, "Daddy! Daddy!"
District Judge Dorothy J. Wilson, mindful of a Maryland law that says defendants may object to what they consider to be an illegal arrest, bowed to the defense's argument that the women's actions constituted reasonable resistance. Wilson dismissed Kirkland's charges, and Oliver's lawyer was granted a motion for acquittal.
Oliver refused to comment outside the courthouse. Kirkland chose one word — "Chill."