SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – Video footage from a protest that was conveniently held on a California highway on July 21st showcased black lives matter protesters not allowing a truck to continue down the road – while a pregnant woman was in transit to the hospital.
A large gathering of people decided that they’d impede traffic, and eventually engaged in a riot on July 21st in San Luis Obispo, because blocking traffic on a highway has suddenly become fun way to protest for miscreants.
Tianna Arata, the 20-year-old woman who organized and led this protest, was among a handful of people who were informed by occupants inside of a vehicle that was blocked from progressing down the highway that a woman was about to give birth inside the vehicle:
“She is going to give birth. Get out of the road.”
The response from Arata regarding the situation was to refer to the pregnant woman as “ignorant.”
Reports have even surfaced that San Luis Obispo’s own mayor, Heidi Harmon, joined the protesters in in the illegal activity. Furthermore, photo and video from the display showcases the mayor among the crowd.
There were also reports of vehicles damaged, where in one instance a vehicle’s rear window was smashed and the glass had shattered on a four-year-old riding in the backseat.
Also, police captured video evidence of Arata using a flag she hoisted to strike vehicles, but it’s unclear if the video captured relates to the shattered back window incident.
Thankfully, Arata was subsequently arrested under numerous charges related to rioting and criminal damage. However, that hasn’t stopped the likes of people claiming she shouldn’t have been arrested.
This, of course, because she’s been saying the magic words “black lives matter,” and that means you shouldn’t get arrested for crimes apparently.
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow issued a statement regarding Arata’s arrest, noting that the court of public opinion will not be considered in this case:
“I know that many in our community are very interested in this situation. At this time, I would like to respectfully ask all who are concerned to please be patient and allow us to complete our duty in a fair, thoughtful, and thorough manner.
Our obligation is to be objective and to not make charging decisions on the basis of public opinion.”
Despite the numerous online postings and Vox-like articles pretending as though Arata was being something akin to an angel during the riot, DA Dow said that online mumblings aren’t going to be affecting their investigation:
“It would be inappropriate and counterproductive for this office to provide an opinion at this time based on social media posts or media reports that may or may not be borne out by the evidence (facts) gathered in the pending investigation(s).”
Hopefully the DA won’t cower to the court of public opinion.
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In Fair Oaks, California, there have been talks regarding inmate populations across the country and whether or not the inmates themselves are safe in the jails due to the pandemic.
Apparently 60 of those people who feel that way decided they were going to make a personal plea to Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom by chaining themselves together in front of his house at 6:30am.
The protesters had one message for the governor: release “all” prisoners from the jail system in order to slow the spread of the virus in the prisons.
Remarkably, even Newsom does not believe that would be a wise move.
California Highway Patrol reported responded to Newsom’s residence Monday for the protest in front of the residence.
Upon their arrival, they were met with the group who was demanding that the prisoners be released and that all transfers from prisons to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cease. The group yelled, according to the Sacramento Bee:
“Gov. Newsom, you are responsible for the COVID crisis that’s happening in prisons and jails. You must act now to save lives.”
They also placed a sign in the front yard that said:
“Your actions save lives. Free them all.”
The Highway patrol warned the protesters to leave or face arrest. Police said 14 of those in attendance failed to heed the warning and were arrested and charged with trespassing and failure to leave, unlawful assembly and failure to disperse after a warning.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reports over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in the state-run prisons over the last two week. San Quentin State Prison and the California Correctional Institution have reported the most active cases in the state, 537 and 253.
In addition, over 1,500 California prison employees have been diagnosed with the disease.
Out of the 1,500 people who have the virus, over 500 have returned to work.
According to Clarion News, Newsom said:
“The worst thing we could do is a mass release, where people are just released out to the streets and sidewalks, and end up in benches and up in parks, on the side of the road. That’s not compassion, that would be…making the problem, in fact, worse.”
Newsom, however, has a plan to release thousands of inmates from the prisons, 8,000 to be exact. On July 10th, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation released information on how they are going to proceed.
The prison release will be done in three total states with no clear guidelines on how long each phase will take. The first group of convicts, who have 180 days or less on their sentence will be released, provided they are not violent felons or sex offenders.
Stage two will have convicts who are aged 30 and older with less than a year left will be released.
The third and final stage will allow those who are deemed high risk of getting COVID-19 be released regardless, unless convicted of a violent felony, sex offender, or serving a life sentence without parole.
Although, at least the first stage, maybe even the second does not sound quite so bad on the surface, what they are failing to take into consideration is the criminal history of these convicts and, more importantly what their original charges were at the time of arrest.
Often times in the United States, people are arrested for many different crimes, ranging from murder to drug trafficking.
Often times, witnesses and victims in those cases do not want to show up in court for various reasons, which leaves prosecutors working to find something they can easily prove without them.
When that is the case, the alleged suspect is offered a plea bargain, so, for instance, Mr. Doe drew a firearm and robbed a person. Problem is, that victim is not cooperating with law enforcement, but at the time of him being questioned he had heroin on his person.
State drops the robbery charge if the suspect admits to possessing the heroin, now, it appears on paper the conviction was not violent, but the total story shows that the person is, actually, violent.
While there may be no easy answer in how to limit the exposure of inmates who are in prison, simply releasing people who have been convicted of a crime is dangerous, perhaps more so than the criminals themselves potentially being exposed to a virus.
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