Did you attend the August town hall meeting on health care reform in Hillcrest — with Congresswoman Susan Davis? If you did, did you see an arrest of a demonstrator by San Diego Police?
Only one person was arrested that early evening, a hearing impaired man named Ray. Ray was arrested near the end, after the meeting itself was over, and the 300 plus pro-health reform folks and the some 35 counter-protesters were starting to go home. Ray was there that day supporting health care reform.
Ray was arrested for obstructing or resisting a police officer, a violation of Penal Code section 148, a misdemeanor.
His charges were later dropped, but not after he suffered the humiliation and pain and discomfort of being arrested and spending the night in County jail.
Ray has a hearing disability and reads lips. He also has a high-sensitivity to dust and mites and has to wear a type of respirator in case he finds himself around them.
Ray and some others who supported health reform crossed the street and joined the crowd of counter-demonstrators to offset their effect.
Just before he was arrested, Ray was told by a police lieutenant that he was inciting the crowd to riot. The officer thought his respirator was a gas mask. At that moment, Ray was holding a sign calling for health reform. One officer repeatedly threatened to mace him if he didn’t put his sign down. He did not hear the officer.
Earlier Ray had been trying to get police officers to diffuse one situation between a couple of elderly women and some of the counter-demonstrators. Police responded by telling him that it was the elderly women’s fault.
Police placed Ray into custody for obstructing a police officer or resisting arrest. He denies that. He also denies that he was trying to incite the crowd. He is a very peaceful person.
Ray’s charges were dropped on day of his arraignment.
If you were at the event and witnessed his arrest, or even took photos or videos of him and/or his arrest, please contact the OB Rag. You can email us at OBRagblog@gmail.com
Back around mid-August, the nation was going through the long, hot summer of town hall meetings – some of which were disrupted by right-wingers.
On August 11, Congresswoman Susan Davis held one in Hillcrest. The OB Rag was there and covered it with gusto with at least 2 posts on the event. It was an event where there were over 300 pro-health care reform people, some with signs, many waiting in a line that circled part of the block and snaked up to the building where the meeting was held. And nearly-monopolizing one corner across the street was a group of counter-demonstrators, maybe 30 to 35 people.
One of the big thing of this particular event, was the organized laughter by the pro-reform people displayed against the counter-protesters. Doug Porter’s post on this made it to Daily Kos, a national blog, and there was a lot of interest in it.
Near the end of the event, after the meeting was over, as most had gone home or were on their way, the incident occurred. OB Rag reporter Doug Porter witnessed the arrest and took two photos.