Arata wants a SLO County judge to rule on systemic racism

December 7, 2020

Photo by Richard Bastian

By KAREN VELIE

In the latest attempt to have charges against Black Lives Matter protester Tianna Arata dropped without a trial in San Luis Obispo County, her attorneys filed a motion asking the court to determine if systemic racism exists.

In their motions, Arata’s attorneys Patrick Fisher and Curtis Briggs argue that law enforcement officers targeted Arata because she is black and that prosecutors have demonstrated a racially discriminatory application of the law. They have filed motions to dismiss, for a gag order, to disqualify the district attorney’s office and a motion for discovery.

“The charges against Ms. Arata illustrate systemic racism and arise from a pattern and practice of SLO law enforcement targeting black people for prosecution under the law in a racially biased and disproportionate manner,” according to Fisher and Briggs’ motion.

“Further, although the defense does not concede that it is beyond the scope of a demurrer hearing to address whether systemic racism exists, a hearing in regard to this motion is exactly where systemic racism in the application of the law in San Luis Obispo will begin be ferreted out and become dispositive,” according to a motion by Fisher and Briggs.

The SLO County District Attorney’s Office opposed the motion to dismiss because “it is beyond the scope of this hearing to address whether there is or is not systemic racism, and where it resides or to what extent.”

Arata’s attorneys also question why the arrests were not proportionate to race, and that because most of the protesters were white, most of the arrestees should also be white.

In their opposition, prosecutors note that it is ironic that Fisher and Briggs demand proportionality in charges against protesters based on their race while accusing officers and prosecutors of racism because of perceived disproportionality.

“First, the law, and moral conviction demand that we do not consider perceived race of a suspect in the filing of charges,” prosecutors wrote. “Second, to achieve proportionality in charging, we would have to violate the law and engage in just the sort of invidious discrimination that the defendant accuses us of.”

Arata is currently facing 13 misdemeanor charges related to a July 21 protest, when she led approximately 300 protesters onto Highway 101, blocking all lanes in both directions for nearly an hour. While marching through SLO, Arata detained motorists, chased cars attempting to drive away, and hit a car with a stick.

Prosecutors charged Arata with one count of unlawful assembly, one count of disturbing the peace, six counts of obstruction of a thoroughfare and five counts of false imprisonment.

A month after charges were filed against Arata, on Oct. 15, prosecutors filed charges against three additional suspects related to Arata’s alleged criminal activity. Within hours of the filing, the Tribune reported on the arrests of “three black men.”

On Oct. 16, prosecutors filed charges against three white men for crimes they committed during the July 21 march that were unrelated to Arata’s alleged criminal acts, and a separate case.

On Oct. 17, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon accused the county’s top prosecutor of voter suppression based on her belief SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow filed charges against one of the black protesters, not because he violated the law, but because he supported her campaign, in an open letter to Dow.

Heidi Harmon marching in a Black Lives Matter protest

In her letter, Harmon accuses Dow of singling out “three black men—leaders in our communities—from the mostly white crowd,” while failing to mention the three white men who were charged 26 hours later. Harmon also does not mention her participation and promotion of the Black Lives Matter protests alongside Arata.

As evidence of the alleged discrimination, Fisher and Briggs claim prosecutors only filed charges against the three white men because of pressure from the mayor and the Tribune, also failing to mention Harmon’s letter was posted a day after the three white men were charged.

“The District Attorney then failed to charge a single white protestor until the media and mayor pointed how glaringly discriminatory the lack of charges was,” Fisher and Briggs wrote in their motion. “Only after this backlash did the District Attorney announce he would also be filing charges against some white protestors. This illustrates a racially discriminatory application of the law.”

There have been multiple charges filed against people during Black Lives Matter protests in SLO, the majority of whom are white, according to prosecutors.

Following a march on June 1 in which bottles were thrown at officers, seven protesters were cited and five were charged, all of whom appear white, according to court records.

On three separate dates, prosecutors charged eight people involved in the July 21 march — four white and four black protesters.

On Sept. 2,  a motorcycle turning left from Los Osos Street into a lane on Higuera Street, where protesters were standing outside the crosswalk blocking traffic, struck a protester who suffered minor injuries. Two black protesters were cited for obstructing traffic and the white motorcyclist was charged with reckless driving.

“Counsel for defendant Arata asserts in his moving paper, ‘The failure to charge a single white protester until pressured by the media and a letter from the mayor illustrates a racially discriminatory application of the law,’ ” according to prosecutors. “The defendant’s allegation is factually false and without merit.”

In his opposition, Dow accuses Fisher and Briggs of making claims of prosecutorial misconduct without any evidence, and that false and baseless allegations of misconduct violate the California Business and Professional Code 6068(d) and Rule 5-200 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

At a Dec. 10 hearing, Arata’s attorneys plan to seek a ruling on the existence of systemic racism in local law enforcement and the district attorney’s office.

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Arata’s attorneys also question why the arrests were not proportionate to race, and that because most of the protesters were white, most of the arrestees should also be white.



Because they were proportionate to the people that broke the law. Which is why they call it law enforcement – not race enforcement.


NorthCountyLady

Are Ms. Arata and her attorneys promoting arrest quotas based on race?


Apolitical

Miss Arata, can you just go away please?


aye-caramba

seriously, This whole Arata thing is SOOO yesterday….


commonsenseguy

Ms. Arata, you and the other’s that broke the law during your uncivil protest, and are charged for those crimes, must face the consequences for YOUR actions. You need to take responsibility for what you and other’s have done. I know that may be foreign to you, your circus attorney’s, and the other’s, but that’s the moral and civil thing to do. It’s obvious all of you lack morals and civility.


Dan Dow and the Judge will not be intimidated or threatened by your attempt to change the narrative of your threats to children, a woman in labor, threatening businesses, the owner’s and the destruction of private property during YOUR uncivil bigoted and hate-filled protest. One way or another, you all will be held accountable.


Rouse

After doing some in-depth research with my old University Friends and Family who are all in a “Mixed” families. First there is only 1 Race that is the Human Race.


Finished reading the following ” Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies” 2011 it was the first Academic Publication and research of its kind. Then finished reading and reviewing the studies UCSB Professor G.Reginald Daniel who is a Scholar on ” Multicultural Identities from UCSB. Then reviewed the UCLA, NYU, and ICWA studies along with the BLS, Prison Reform, Innocence Project, SPLC and the top 5 cities who have the largest “Projects” in the USA all paid for my the taxpayers.


The results were i must admit alarming, as more NON-Blacks like this Tianna Ararta is known in her race as a Mulatto in other words a mixed person. Much like all other people of a mixed background, Native American, Hispanic, Australian, Asians and more all of mixed cultural.


The sad part is the only “Race” who has committed the most Violent Crimes in the all people is what the Black, more Blacks are in prison because they have committed more and dangerous crimes. just this past week there US DOJ stats, resulted more Blacks Killed Blacks in 3 days than any White person or other has killed any Blacks in three years +++


As a mixed person this was an interesting research, why in places like, Compton, Inglewood, Oakland, Chicago, NY, Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Portland, Los Angeles and over 28 other large cities are the major crimes and “Projects” over 89% of the Incarcerations, Violent Crimes, Rapes, Robberies, School drop outs, unemployed, are all of a ” Black” background ?


CDC, BLS, NCIC, CLETS, US DOJ, BOP, CDC and so many more reveal that more Blacks commit crimes against their own people than any other “Race” as a person of mixed family, I am proud that not one of us every did a crime, never went to jail or prison, never took welfare, never used welfare, never stole from anyone.


Several members of our extended family went to College, joined the Military Service, got scholarships and more. As we continued to watch the “Evidence” Video of this very Foul mouthed radicalized Tianna Arata person it is disgusting and vile. Watch your own Video’s her lawyers must be blind or in need of donations and attention to get publicity. We all hope and pray all have a wonderful Holidays but be Truthful, Fact-full, Honest, Ethical above all Love.


How is it that Hundreds of Thousands of all “Races” who have come tot he USA seeking freedom, Peace, Hard Work and more have joined the melting pot without riots, protests, crimes, welfare going to prison ?


commonsenseguy

You are absolutely correct. There is only one race, the human race, That comes from the true word of the Highest authority. There are many ethnicities. Many ethnicities as you stated are “mixed” or more politically correct, “blended”. From many of these various ethnicities, mixed, blended, or not, there is also prejudices and bigotry. Is there “systemic” ethnic prejudices and bigoty? Yes. No ethnicity is exempt or free of prejudices and bigotry. All are guilty despite the attempt to confuse racism with what is actually ethnic prejudices.


To be a racist actually is to persecute, or kill those of the human race. Again, there is only one race, the human race. To deny life or kill and innocent human being is the real definition of racism. Is there “systemic racism”? Yes. The truth is there has been and evil movement since the late 1930’s that is supported by millions in this nation to this day, that have developed a business model and profited from “systemic racism”. Unfortunately, they’re alive and well being funded by us taxpayers. The terms “racist” and “racism” have widely and purposely been missed used to cover the real racism and racist that support this. The recently and questionable elected administration, is a major supporter of the real “systemic racism”. Look for the war on the human race to increase over the next four years. Maranatha.


Buchon

Too bad about them thar videos, aye Teeeannna? Shucks! LOL!


scott_giles

Race baiting


Kidholm

The liberals would have one believe that saying something a thousand times makes it real.


In fact, it does not.


Systemic racism does not exist.


ghostpepper

‘ “The charges against Ms. Arata illustrate systemic racism and arise from a pattern and practice of SLO law enforcement targeting black people for prosecution under the law in a racially biased and disproportionate manner,” according to Fisher and Briggs’ motion. ‘


Wow.. just stuff it. She’s not being charged because she’s Black, she’s being charged because she was the organizer of the event and led the group onto the highway.. and some of the things she did and encouraged while on the highway.


‘ Arata’s attorneys also question why the arrests were not proportionate to race, and that because most of the protesters were white, most of the arrestees should also be white. ‘


Ok.. part of that I can get behind actually. If her defense team wants more people involved in the group that day to also be charged with some form of criminal behavior that seems fair. I mean all 300 or so people that were blocking the highway were in the wrong. Maybe her defense team can foot the bill for investigating, rounding all those people up, and prosecuting them.


chrisinpaso

Arata’s lawyers are entitled to raise whatever arguments they wish in her defense, no matter how absurd, and they are using that right.


ghostpepper

Maybe.. but at some point it crosses the line into wasting time and expense. So it is still hard to watch that kind of absurdity.


kevin rise

Hm, kind of like Georgia verifying again for the second time today that Georgia voted Biden, Gov death threats, etc, all due to wasted time and Federal “Trump” lawsuites during Covid with failed congress, Yet!; everyone allowed Democracy with cool heads to run its coarse? She’s allowed Democratic Due Process, without people threatening that right we ALL Deserve. Especially minorities of all colors and socio economic status, not just for the Rich. Get well Rudy, no one deserves Covid, not even the Devil.