Three San Luis Obispo protesters agree to misdemeanor diversion

March 11, 2021

Three of the five Black Lives Matter protesters charged with illegal acts during a June 1, 2020 protest in San Luis Obispo were granted misdemeanor diversion this week, which allows them to eventually have their cases dismissed.

On June 1, protesters blocked traffic on Highway 101, and later engaged in a standoff with officers near the police station. The protest allegedly turned violent with agitators throwing water bottles at officers.

Officers responded with pepper spray, tear gas and handcuffs.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office filed charges of failing to disperse a riot and resisting or obstructing an officer against Gianna Stoddard, 26, according to the complaint. Henry Popp, 19; Abigail Landis, 22; Michael Gates, 22; and Alexandra Bahramzadehebrahimi, 22, were each charged with one count of failure to disperse a riot or unlawful assembly.

Judge Jacquelyn Duffy granted Stoddard, Popp, and Bahramzadehebrahimi misdemeanor diversion, meaning they can divert their sentences for one year. During that time they need to abide by all laws.

Stoddard is required to complete 20 hours of community service since her charge involved resisting or obstructing a peace officer in addition to the failure to disperse.

After successful completion of the diversion program, their cases will be dismissed and the arrest upon which the diversion program was imposed will be deemed to have never occurred.

“The Office of the District Attorney believes the resolution of court misdemeanor diversion was a fair and reasonable one for these defendants given their lack of criminal history and the totality of circumstances surrounding their conduct,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran.

Court Misdemeanor Diversion is a new program that was created by the California Legislature in 2020 to divert minor misdemeanor offenses out of court. Assembly Bill 3234 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 30, 2020.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

And who gets to pay for all that police overtime?

Wise choice by the three. May they learn to live in reality from now on, and become constructive, instead of destructive members of society.

Heavy QAnon vibes from the anti-protestor group… So sure there will be arrests and prison sentences handed out. And they will finally get to say YES SCREW YOU SNOWFLAKES. And eventually will be outraged and in denial when the court essentially says okay we’re done now everyone go home.

It’s been a damn circus since the beginning. You all sensationalized the hell out of this situation.

oops, i shoulda looked up the law before posting below WHEN wondering if they could deny being arrested on a FUTURE state license or certificate application. Turns out (1001.97 (A) they CAN deny the arrest ever happened even on license applications EXCEPT (1001.97 (b)) if applying to be a cop (peace officer).

Oh well, so they really DID get off scot-free.

relevant text AB 3432 CODIFIED….1001.97. (a) Upon successful completion of the terms, conditions, or programs ordered by the court pursuant to Section 1001.95, the arrest upon which diversion was imposed shall be deemed to have never occurred. The defendant may indicate in response to any question concerning their prior criminal record that they were not arrested. A record pertaining to an arrest resulting in successful completion of the terms, conditions, or programs ordered by the court shall not, without the defendant’s consent, be used in any way that could result in the denial of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate.

Hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil prevails again. Then again that too has been altered to just words because the original figurines are no longer politically correct, you see I’m learning. Just wait, your vote may no longer be allowed because personal choice can’t vetted for elements of social badness in your decision.

Yep, just what many expected, no punishment of significance for holding hundreds hostage.

Since many California license applications (in-home personal care aide, private security license, funeral director, etc.) require you to specifically list any previous conviction which you’ve EVER had specifically INCLUDING those which a court has dismissed, invalidated, or “erased”, one can only hope they’ll eventually pay a price of professional exclusion later for their hostage taking.


Block a freeway, assault officers = no punishment.

Expect more criminal behavior.

That’s exactly it. This ruling translates to, Don’t do anything wrong for a year, and there will be no record of any of this. In other words, after one year you are free to do it all over again, ad nauseum. Disgusting, even a parking ticket has punishment!

And 20 hours of community service? Seriously, that’s it?

I’m pretty sure court diversion cannot magically unpublish all the news articles about this case, so their names and reputations will be forever be stained by their misdeeds.

Also, to qualify for diversion, you normally can’t have committed the same crime in the past, so they are definitely not free to do it all over again ad nauseam.

No one assaulted any officers. But go ahead and keep making shit up. The dishonesty speaks to your character

Really? “During Arata’s arrest, 22-year-old Elias Bautista yelled at an officer before kicking him in the crotch.” You don’t consider a crotch kick to be assault?

Please stop lying and/or being ignorant of what which you speak of. The VIDEO evidence is compelling: