Arata’s attorneys seek to give SLO County prosecutors the boot

November 18, 2020

By KAREN VELIE

In the latest move in an unusually crude legal battle, attorneys for Black Lives Matter protester Tianna Arata accuse San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow of violating his legal duties while attempting to promote his political career, according to a motion filed on Tuesday.

The motion seeks to disqualify the SLO County District Attorney’s Office from the case. If Arata’s attorneys Patrick Fisher and Curtis Briggs are successful, the California Attorney General’s Office will step in and prosecute the case.

In the motion, the attorneys claim Dow’s Christian faith and conservative political leanings motivated him to target their client.

“On Sept. 2, Dan Dow ignored the illegal actions of every White motorist, and filed charges solely against Ms. Arata, under a theory she was responsible for the actions of all of the protesters,” the lawsuit says. “In response, hundreds of members of the public rallied outside the courthouse in support of Ms. Arata.”

Briggs also accuses Dow and his investigator Michael L’Heureux of participating in a criminal conspiracy that includes destroying evidence and filing false police reports, according to Briggs’ declaration.

On July 21, Arata allegedly led approximately 300 protesters onto Highway 101, blocking all lanes in both directions for nearly an hour. While on the highway, protesters ran after vehicles attempting to drive off the freeway, blocked vehicles, and yelled profanities at some of the drivers, according to videos of the protest.

Prosecutors filed 13 misdemeanor charges against Arata: one count of unlawful assembly, one count of disturbing the peace, six counts of obstruction of a thoroughfare, and five counts of false imprisonment.

Shortly after her arrest, Arata and her supporters took to social media with false claims that she was in jail and facing 15 years in prison. Protesters also accused several white drivers of being the aggressors.

Arata was booked and released, but during dozens of protests that followed, her supporters chanted for her release. On social media, protesters asked those who support equality to contact prosecutors and order them to drop the charges or they will get no peace.

Photo by Richard Bastian

On the other side, law enforcement agencies asked the community, through posts on social media, to help identify a protester who threw his skateboard through the back window of a car, shattering glass on a four-year-old boy.

In another Facebook post, the SLO Police Department asks anyone who observed property damage or other potential crimes to contact investigators.

In early October, Arata’s attorneys filed a motion seeking a gag order on both the California Highway Patrol and the San Luis Obispo Police Department, to bar them from talking to the media or posting on social media about the case, along with a motion for a dismissal.

However, San Luis Obispo County Court Judge Mathew Guerrero continued the hearing because of issues with the filings.

Both the CHP and the California Attorney General questioned the timeliness of the motion for a gag order. In addition, Fisher’s motion to dismiss the case was not properly served on the CHP or the city.

Guerrero continued the hearing to Dec. 3, when he is also set to rule on the motion to disqualify the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.


Loading...

30
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
Apolitical

I wish that stupid woman or one of her minions would bother me while I am eating…just sayin.


Cmonnow

Who in the world is paying for her circus? The absolute best education for this young woman would be to let her experience the consequences for her actions. Then she’ll understand the cost and will either see it as an unfortunate part of her cause (whatever the neck that was…) or realize that the right to assemble doesn’t mean free for all. But all this “free her” talk and ridiculous other trash from her legal team is ridiculous. Like a two year old in the store throwing an incessant tantrum until the weary mother gives in for some peace and quiet. Isn’t there some penalty for large congregations, from more than two families, without masks?


Adam Trask

These attorneys have just as much right to spout their nonsense as Rudy Giuliani does when he runs around the country declaring that a free and fair U.S. election was ripe with fraud.


Cmonnow

That has zero relevance.


Adam Trask

The obvious relevance is that there now appears to be two standards in America. In the opinion of too many Republicans, it’s perfectly fine for attorneys to spread a load of cattle manure about totally non-existent voter fraud in the recent election.


But, at the same time, it’s also perfectly fine to cast doubt on lawyers who would do all they could to defend protestors.


This is America. We do, or at least we used to, listen to every side of an issue before making judgement.


Apolitical

Dow, the entire DA’s office, the PD’s, and the sheriff’s office should just not go to work for a couple of weeks. Let society fend for themselves. These idiots would be crying for them back at twwice the pay.


Buchon

Or they would hired qualified/able replacements at a deep discount.


ravennest

This continues to get more absurd.


Jorge Estrada

Arata’s motivation was here in SLO, one of the happiest cities as labeled by a black person. She certainly benefits from the safety and non-violent public to block the freeway and launch her chapter in making things right for BLM. Maybe our Governor needs to impose restriction on white density so that white people can’t have the appearance of racially bias? Or outlaw birds of feather that flock together. Or maybe just outlaw flockers and in time our mother flockers will teach their children well. ,


TKG

Dow was motivated to target Tiana Arata? Tiana Arata targeted herself by her actions. If she wants to be a champion of civil rights, why doesn’t she follow the example of Martin Luther King and John Lewis who willfully and passionately committed their acts of civil disobedience knowing they would be charged and jailed for doing so? By accepting their punishment, they became true heroes of the Civil Rights movement that led to the adoption of national civil rights laws. If Arata wants to be viewed as a champion of her cause, she should accept her punishment as they did.


Vigilant Citizen

This is the disgusting legal maneuver of a desperate council unable to get a case dismissed on merit, but only has the tactically less and less effective race card by which to rely on. Justice is on the side of the DA and with him she shall reside.


south

I’m thinking that all this nonsense ends when her GoGundMe account runs out of money.


Rouse

Agree then include the off the books funds from BLM, RACE Matters, the shake down funds from Local Businesses. PayPay, Instagram, Venmo and the many others that have given so much money Tianna can now afford really expensive cloths, make-up, shoes, Iphone, afford two attorneys paralegals, private dicks, who all have to be paid. Then the the court fees.


Travel, Hotels, Food no doubt dope.


Cmonnow

You guys got it!


NickG

They just got an extra $33k that RACE Matters can give them from SLO tax payers in the form of a grant. Remember RACE Matters is spearheading all of these protests and marches and the FREE TIANA fundraising.


NorthCountyLady

Her Go Fund Me account had a goal of $20,000 and has now raised $72,000. Quite disheartening to see what people will donate to when there is so much true need in the world.