Sign the Petition to Throw Out Lynching Charges Against Pro-Immigrant Protesters Arrested at Murrieta

by on September 24, 2014 · 4 comments

in California, Civil Rights, History, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

 Two More Days to Sign Petition to Dismiss Charges

Gerald Singleton, a local San Diego attorney is representing a group of pro-immigration protestors who were assaulted first by anti-immigration demonstrators  -who outnumbered them 4-5 to 1 , and then by the local police -who sympathized with the anti-immigration group.

Singleton and his supporters are trying to get 7,000 signatures on a petition below to drop the charges and dismiss before the Sept. 25 hearing. [Editor: at this moment there are 6,840.]

He is hoping you will consider signing the on-line petition below requesting that the Riverside DA drop the felony lynching charges against the 5 pro-immigration protestors who were charged.

The incident occurred because, on July 1, the anti-immigration group blocked several buses carrying refugees from Central America from entering a Customs and Border Patrol detention center in Murrieta, CA -the anti-immigration people demanded that the refugees be deported immediately.

On July 4, there was supposed to be two more busloads, so, in addition to the numerous anti-immigration demonstrators, a small group of pro-immigration folks showed up to demonstrate support for the refugees.
The pro-immigration group was verbally harassed and then one of its members was hit by an anti-immigration protestor.  The police responded by grabbing several of the pro-immigration protestors and arresting 5 of them.

In several instances, the police used excessive force.

In the video link below, you can see one of the officers (Hernandez) get up off of one of the demonstrators whose hands are cuffed behind him and who is lying face down on the ground and is not resisting in any way.  (The name of the demonstrator is Pouyan Bokaei.)  The officer appears to look around and then walks over to Pouyan, who is still lying face down with his hands cuffed behind him and not moving.  Hernandez puts his knee in Pouyan’s back, and presses down with his weight, breaking three of Pouyan’s ribs.

Another of the 5 demonstrators arrested and charged (Salvador Chavez) was not involved in any physical confrontations and was simply filming.  He was arrested because, after the police had arrested the other 4 demonstrators, one of the officers can be seen on videotape pointing at Sal and yelling, “we want that guy”.  Sal was then arrested and was also charged with lynching.

Here is the link to the petition, followed by a link to an article which contains some video footage.  Please consider signing the petition.

The settlement conference is on September 25.

Here is the petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/223/100/522/drop-the-charges/

Video link: http://koine.la/da-to-press-lynching-charges-against-five-pro-immigration-protesters-attacked-by-murrieta-police/

Gerald Singleton, Esq. can be reached at his Singleton Law Firm, 115 West Plaza Street, Solana Beach, CA  92075; Tel.   (760) 697-1330

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

joseph September 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

Lynching? What charge is that?

Reply

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie September 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Here is what the Petition website states:

Historically speaking, the lynching charge is an archaic law used to prosecute racist white vigilantes who would steal American Indians, Latinos and Africans from police custody and then torture/murder them [3]. The law was actually codified in California in 1933, the same year that two white men were lynched in the traditional sense [4] [5]. However, the modern definition of “Lynching 405a” used against protestors today is “the taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer” (pc 405a). The charge is punishable by up to 4 years in prison. This charge has recently been used as a tool of police oppression against protestors [6], and is now being used to defend the interests of white racist anti-immigration protesters.

Reply

Joy Singleton September 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm

California Penal Code Section 405a. defines lynching as, “The taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer…”

Reply

Stephanie Golski September 27, 2014 at 12:36 pm

It should be noted that there were three different protest sites and there were about three hundred people on each site of the protest on July 4,2014. But the promigration protesters probably outnumbered the antimigration protesters. However, on the site where the arrests occurred. The antiimmigrant protesters outnumbered the promigration protesters. Thanks for your informing article.

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