submitted by Alex Leach on October 25, 2011
When occupiers are arrested at Cesar Chavez Park they are charged with violating both state law and city code. But the California District Attorney’s office has now announced that it will not prosecute the state law violations. And the reason? District Attorney Jan Scully has ruled that there was no unlawful assembly. That is a great victory for Occupy Sacramento.
Scully’s position stands in direct opposition to the city council’s and it clearly sides with protesters in the fight over being able to stay in the park after it “closes”. This news comes after it was announced that Occupy Sacramento would be filing a civil rights lawsuit against the city, claiming Sacramento’s anti-camping ordinance is violating occupiers’ First Amendment rights. So the city of Sacramento is facing increasing pressure both from the people and from state government officials to end the nightly arrest of protesters.
Unfortunately, the District Attorney’s decision to drop the charges against occupiers does not mean the arrests will stop. A police spokeswoman said that arrests would continue since protesters are still in violation of city code and state law. And as it stands now, the city attorney’s office is still planning on prosecuting the charges of violating city code. The first trial is set for tomorrow, October 26th at 8:30 am. The city has said that it will not seek the maximum misdemeanor punishment.