On October 28th, San Diego police raided the Occupy San Diego encampments at Civic Center Plaza and Children’s Park – arresting 53 protesters.
Yesterday – December 9th – was the arraignment date of nearly all those arrested, but it turns out only 3 were actually charged with criminal or Municipal code violations.
October 28th – or actually the very early hours of October 29th – was the night of the horrific show of brute force of hundreds of SDPD and Sheriffs Deputies, where people were rousted without warning from their sleeping bags, some trampled on by police as officers rampaged the camps at 2:00 a.m.
Upset and outraged, dozens of occupiers took to the street at 3rd Ave. and many sat down – and were subsequently arrested. This was the incident where arrestees sat in police vans for many hours without water or toilet facilities, having to sit in their own urine and excrement. It was also the raid that some activists are using as the basis of a civil suit.
And now it turns out, only three of all these people who were arrested, handcuffed, and detained for hours are actually being charged with something. Now, the City Attorney’s Office – the agency handling these arrests and charges – has up to one year in which to file charges, so more could be on the way. But experienced criminal defense attorneys view the failure to charge someone by their misdemeanor arraignment date as a very good sign that prosecutors don’t believe they have sufficient evidence to obtain convictions.
The three who were charged are Yoany Carrion, Brian Castro, and Eden Sibbett – all charged with the ubiquitous catch-all of a violation of Penal Code 148, resisting an officer; Castro has an additional charge, and Sibbett was charged with a total of 7 counts, two being Muni Code violations. Attorney Frank Gormlie handled Carrion and Sibbett’s arraignment, while Ben Cooper handled Castro’s. There were 20 supporters in the audience of Department 1 for the arraignments of the three.
A future court date has been set for all three for January 18, 2012, in Department 2 of the downtown Criminal Courthouse.