Demand Criminal Charges Targeting April 14 Protesters be Dropped
Call Mike Feuer (213-978-8100), L.A. City Attorney
(Thank you to everyone who has called City Attorney Mike Feuer. If you haven't, call today!)
On April 14, 2015, 1000 people in Los Angeles protested to STOP murder by police. At LAPD headquarters, a broad range of speakers, and hundreds of high school students, exposed the epidemic of police murder and called for it to stop, now! ~ and then took the streets. Business as usual was shut down in downtown Los Angeles that day. The march went to the site of Brother Africa's murder by the LAPD on skid row and culminated on Washington Blvd, where protestors rightfully took the intersection of Washington and Main and Washington and Broadway. The MTA train was stopped. There was major media coverage of the event. The protest occurred in conjunction with 30 other cities in the U.S. on April 14: #ShutDownA14 ~ Stop Murder by Police!
There was an LA Police Commission permit for this April 14 protest and march and for the culminating rally on Washington Blvd. The LAPD, stung by this "retaking of the political offensive" and the largest protest in LA since late 2014, arrested 15 people before the permit "disband time" of 6pm. 13 were charged with "trespassing on railroad property" (the Metro railway), "refusing to comply with an order by police" and "malicious obstruction of the free movement of people on a street or public place." Outrageously, 3 were convicted in late 2015 in a trial where the judge worked hand-in-glove with the prosecution to convict the defendants.
Three more defendants have just started trial, jury selection is underway, with opening statements set to begin either Wednesday or Thursday, April 13 or 14 (and trial is set for April 25 for 3 more defendants). The three on trial now were sent to Judge David Fields' court, the same judge who presided over the railroad of the 3 defendants convicted in November 2015! This is a due process violation of the defendants rights, as Judge David Fields has made clear in open court he considers the defendants guilty, before any evidence has been presented.
The arrests, charges and prosecution of these protestors is part of an operation by the authorities, in Los Angeles and nationwide, to criminalize and derail protests determined to STOP murder by police - the national upsurge since Ferguson - and to intimidate and criminalize the people and organizations that have been steadfast in their opposition to the genocidal onslaught of police murders here and around the country. Since the year 2000, police in L.A. County have shot more than 1300 people! And, since 2000, not one single criminal prosecution has been brought by L.A. County "prosecutors" against the police for these shootings. Yet those protesting to stop these police shootings and murders in Los Angeles, and thousands more nationwide, are criminally targeted and face up to 1.5 years in jail if convicted at trial.
This cannot be allowed to happen. And you are needed! Call Mike Feuer at 213-978-8100. Mike Feuer is the Los Angeles City Attorney. Demand charges be immediately dropped on the April 14 protestors. Express yourself on the 1300 shootings by police in LA County and the outrage of prosecuting the April 14 defendants and all those fighting to stop these murders by police while police who murder walk off scot-free, time after time.
The LA City Attorney's office is withholding relevant material (discovery) that would show an unconstitutional bias driving efforts to criminalize protests and protestors who have been acting to expose and stop murder by police, especially since Ferguson, including the A14 defendants. The prosecution is refusing to hand over documentation of unconstitutional surveillance and spying on protestors, LAPD "post-operation" reports and more. The L.A. City Attorney, LAPD and other law enforcement agencies need to turn over that material. And the City of Los Angeles prosecutors must drop the charges on the April 14 protestors. Opening statements by the prosecution and defense could begin as soon as Wednesday or Thursday, April 13 or 14
Be in court with the defendants for opening statements when the trial begins. Dept. 56, 7th Floor, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, 210 W. Temple, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
Sign the statement "It's Right To Protest Murder by Police" here.