53 Occupy San Diego Protesters Were Arrested in Huge Police Raid in October But Only 3 Charged

by on December 10, 2011 · 7 comments

in Civil Rights, San Diego

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.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Gordon Wagner December 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Mein Gott, that would be a jury I’d love to serve on. Visit FIJA.org — Fully Informed Jury Association. You have ZERO responsibility to follow a judge’s orders and you have EVERY responsibility to VOTE YOUR OWN CONSCIENCE. The US jury system is the final bastion against tyranny, and ask yourself if harassing peaceful protestors isn’t tyranny.

Have ANY bankers been indicted for gaming and crashing the economy? Why not?


avatar Goatskull December 12, 2011 at 2:48 am

“Have ANY bankers been indicted for gaming and crashing the economy? Why not?”

Sadly, no. The reason? No political will on the part of the individuals who would do the indicting.


avatar john December 12, 2011 at 3:58 am

No I think it’s more they have the vision to recognize the bankers, for all their skull duggery, did not crash the economy.
The real estate crisis, the bailouts, the fraud and looting at Wall St, are not the cause of the bad economy. The first two were symptoms and effects of it, the last, Wall St, well they were merely doing what they have always done but their sins were more apparant because the till they were skimming was no longer taking in any real capital.
The cause of the bad economy includes several factors, like winning the cold war which meant a lot of nations who used to walk around with their nose in our sphincter because we stood between them and Soviet tanks rolling down their streets can now kick us in the teeth if they like… the internet and other information like satellite TV broadcasts worlwide allowing the world to see how the “haves” lived, and the information to get it themselves if they worked hard… the complete exodus of US manufacturing jobs and technology to China, who treated our patent and copyright system with utter contempt. Relevant to Wall St, that is of key import because they were the vehicle that connected ideas with capital and made a conduit to industry. Now ideas are worthless because whatever you think of will be pumped out of a factory in China tommorrow cheaper than you can make it, and the factory across the street for half the price of that the day after.
Without new manufacturing to invest in Wall St. has been reduced to inventing worthless assets to trade dollars over. Junk mortgage bonds were just that.
I call our current system a “cannibal economy” as we are merely living off the assets we had previously accumulated, we are eating ourselves.
Wall St.’s behaviour does appear reprehensible, because it is. It is not new however and nobody seemed to care because we were all doing well and the economy was growing.
The problem with OWS’s agenda is they think tearing down Wall St. is a solution in itself. If we have no real economy perhaps that would be so, but you still have to have a viable replacement for capital to connect with ideas and industry and until someone confronts that and provides that alternative this “revolution” is going to be (rightfully) ignored.
Here’s something a bit unrelated that always cracked me up. I used to watch the NBC morning news and right before I left for work George Chamberlain gave the morning DOW update. He always struck me as a man with some integrity, but I always wondered how much- see as he is an experienced investment advisor, he is also heavily vested personally in the markets. All those guys are. So if the market were to begin what looked like a crash, how honest would he be with viewers consdering his own fortunes were at stake? Would he tell them to sell and run, which would cause his own assets to fail?
The market has always been therefore somewhat of a sham, it’s all built on a facade of perceived value, that there is a great institution worth something other than its own activities moving around money.
I’m afraid to say this is why you can’t tear it down. We have to believe the institution is solvent, and the world has to believe it as well or the big selloff starts and we don’t want to go there.


avatar Frank Gormlie December 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Sorry Gordon, you are incorrect. California courts do not allow jury nullification. How do I know? I wrote a huge paper on it in law school. Plus since then I’ve become familiar with jury instructions that prohibit it, etc.


avatar Hugh Moore December 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Is the denial of the temporary restraining order going to be appealed? If it is then the judges position that “irreparable harm” has not occurred is refuted since all these people were harmed, both their rights and monitarily. Or is a new law suit in order to hold the police accountable for arresting people for no reason?


avatar hank pfeffer December 12, 2011 at 6:59 am

There are so many things happening and it’s hard to keep track, but here is my general impression of the OccupySD legal team efforts at this time:

Useful in dealing with the nuts and bolts of small individual cases, but timid and unaggressive in many important ways.

How important is this? Strategically, it’s not important at all. The big cases – potential criminal charges of officials, and major actions like the Sleep Deprivation case – take months to prepare.

The big money lawyers are already thinking about stepping in – or will when they hear the words “Six weeks of sleep deprivation.” Those words smell of blood and money to the kind of legal sharks who will look at the evidence and smile as they prepare to create new precedents.

They might laugh when they realize how much evidence they can collect from the folks monitoring our communications. I’d bet they have also been monitoring the police and even the mayors. All theoretically available under the Freedom of Information Act. Getting that information will probably involve several other suits.

The legal we have now has gotten most SD Occupiers out of jail. Bail money ran out and we panhandle among ourselves for it. Every once in a while I wonder why they are not being released on their Own Recognizance. Non-violent, not flight risks. Did someone forget to argue that point? Very hostile judge? When the homeless are arrested for similar violations, do they require bail money?

Some Occupiers are still in jail. One man detained on a 5150 (mental health: danger to self or others), has apparently received no mental health treatment. He fought the cops when they detained him, and bit one (small wound). He is a sick man. I saw the entire thing, already knew him as a problem and did not object when a woman Occupier signed the 5150. I didn’t object because I expected him to get treatment, instead of serious criminal charges.

We are only two months old, and still in an shakedown period. Soon enough, the lawyers with the cold smiles and the hard eyes will come in. The ones who know the civil rights laws, but who have the attitude of divorce lawyers.

They will probably read it in the news, but just in case, I’ve already started looking for them.


avatar hank pfeffer December 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Mayor Sanders,

Do you feel like you have lost control of the situation?

You NEVER HAD control of the situation. You just thought you did.

Are you scared, confused and overwhelmed by strange ideas and stimuli?

Are you bothered by conflicting demands and feelings?

I suggest you seek spiritual advice on the Sleep Deprivation issue.

I am hammering you with it internationally, you know.

Right and wrong. You never thought of that?

If we’re not going to kill each other, we need to start talking.


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