” Thats one of the most considerable judgments in an American courtroom in the history of this country in the context of the Black Lives Matter motion.” -Curtis Briggs, lawyer for Tianna Arata on Judge Matthew Guerreros judgment to disqualify @SLOCounty_DA from prosecuting case pic.twitter.com/9OXOY3dwle— Megan Healy (@MeganHealyTV) December 11, 2020
A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge on Friday approved a defense movement to disqualify the San Luis Obispo County District Attorneys Office from additional prosecuting the case versus neighborhood activist Tianna Arata.
Arata, who is charged with 13 misdemeanors in connection with a July 21 Black Lives Matter demonstration in San Luis Obispo, appeared in court by means of livestream Friday early morning.
In court Thursday, her lawyers argued that District Attorney Dan Dow had actually made numerous statements on social media and at public events that reveal implicit bias against the Black Lives Matter movement.
In his ruling, Judge Matthew Guerrero said, “The males and women charged here are entitled to a prosecution not clouded by personal or political benefit to the prosecutor. This is especially pointed in a case where the offenders are objecting injustice and systemic predisposition. The courts finding of a obvious and real dispute of interest make it not likely that the offenders would receive fair treatment during all portions of the criminal proceedings.”
Judge Guerrero pointed particularly to a Sept. 4 project fundraising e-mail sent by Dow and his partner.
” The Sept. 4, 2020 email develops a clear conflict of interest,” Judge Guerrero said. “First, by providing this fundraising e-mail to possibly tens of countless people immediately after the filing of charges, Mr. Dow sought expert and political benefit and project contributions in conjunction with the prosecution of the above-entitled cases.”
In part, the email reads, “Dan requires to know more than ever that you support him and he actually requires your monetary support so he can keep leading the battle in SLO County versus the crazy defund the authorities movement and anarchist groups that are trying to weaken the guideline of law and public safety in our community. We had planned his kickoff election project fundraiser to be this month, however due to COVID and all the crazy protest activity, we were not able to pull it off.”
Judge Guerrero called the use of the terms anarchist, crazy, and wacky “inflammatory” and stated, “These are extrajudicial declarations made to possible jurors in an attempt to sway them and to get them to make monetary contributions.”
KSBY News has reached out to Dow and the District Attorneys Office for remark.
The case will now be sent out to the California State Attorney Generals Office.
Throughout the demonstration on July 21, demonstrators blocked Highway 101. Authorities claimed some protesters committed acts of vandalism.
Arata was detained that night however wasnt officially charged by the DAs office till early September. The charges against her include blockage of a road, incorrect imprisonment, unlawful assembly, and disrupting the peace by loud noise.
In October, Marcus Montgomery, Joshua Powell, and Amman Asfaw were included as co-defendants in the case.
Montgomery is charged with unlawful imprisonment, obstructing the complimentary movement of a person in a public place, and resisting or postponing a peace officer. Powell is charged with resisting or delaying a peace officer, and Asfaw faces a charge of unlawful imprisonment.
In a separate however associated case, Robert Lastra Jr., Sam Grocott, and Jerad Hill also deal with charges in connection with the demonstration.
Lastra is charged with incorrect imprisonment and felony vandalism for presumably tossing a skateboard at a silver BMW, breaking the automobiles back window. Grocott, who informed KSBY News he was struck by the BMW, is facing three charges of unlawful imprisonment, and Hill is charged with one count each of false jail time and vandalism.
Elias Bautista, who police say attacked an officer throughout Aratas arrest on July 21, has actually pleaded not guilty to charges of resisting and withstanding an executive officer, obstructing or postponing a peace officer.