Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Judge: Defense didn’t show bank protesters singled out

By
From page A3 | December 02, 2012 |

A superior court judge on Friday failed to bite on a motion made on behalf of 11 UC Davis students and one professor charged with blockading a U.S. Bank branch last winter — a group whose defense attorneys argued was handpicked for prosecution.

After the Nov. 18, 2011 police pepper-spraying of Occupy UC Davis protesters on the Quad, the attorneys contended, their clients often denounced campus leaders in the media, at town hall meetings and during protests.

Bringing the group up on misdemeanor charges for the subsequent blockade provided a way to punish them retroactively, without a public confrontation, out of the sight of cell phone or television cameras, the attorneys said.

“(The police and prosecutor) ignored (protesters) except those they knew — and they knew them because these are the more notorious individuals,” said defense attorney Ronald Johnson.

The defense’s attempt to receive approval for a discovery motion would have allowed the lawyers to fish for proof of that theory, proof that if found might have led to a dismissal.

Nothing doing.

Yolo County Superior Court Judge David Reed said that he felt the defense had failed to draw a clear enough distinction between others who took part in the blockade and the accused that indicated they were being unfairly treated. They don’t fit into a protected class by race, religion, gender or union membership, for instance.

Defense attorneys described the accused as protest leaders on campus. In the past, the bank action has been called an “autonomous action” on the part of some who have also been part of Occupy UC Davis.

Arrests were not made when protesters daily forced the branch to close. Instead, the now-defendants — called the “Banker’s Dozen” or “Davis Dozen” by supporters — received letters in the mail ordering them to court.

The protesters face 20 counts each of obstructing movement on a street or in a public place and one count each of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail. Obstruction, also a misdemeanor, carries a penalty of up to six months in jail.

A hearing is set for Jan. 18 to fix a trial date.

Michael Cabral, Yolo County assistant chief deputy district attorney, shook off the idea that there was any “evil purpose” behind whom the district attorney’s office charged.

“We didn’t single them out to punish them because of who they were,” Cabral said after Friday’s hearing. “Some of them (the police) recognized from other contexts. Some of them they recognized from looking at social media sites and identifying them. There were a number of ways (police) identified them, and they tried to identify as many people as possible.”

Defense attorney Alexis Briggs said that Reed seemed to be looking for a clear case of discrimination — “a perfect mathematical set that excludes all others and includes only those related, (like a case in which) a black person was prosecuted but a white person was not.”

“I think the court is not paying attention to the fact that the distinguishing feature is the public shaming of UC Davis police and the UC Davis administration that went on strongly for months,” she said.

The protesters began blocking the bank branch daily on Jan. 2, targeting it as a symbol of the privatization of the university and corporate greed. On March 1, U.S . Bank halted a 10-year contract estimated to have been worth $3 million earmarked for student services.

The bank accused UCD of breach of contract by not doing enough to end the protest. UCD settled out of court, paying the bank $225,000.

Both the university and bank have said they will not seek restitution from the protesters.

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Fire damages South Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    George Miller Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5