Photo Courtesy of Instagram/Yundij
In July, San Luis Obispo police department arrested activist Tianna Arata for rioting, unlawful assembly, conspiracy, unlawful imprisonment, and resisting arrest.
At the time of the arrest, Arata and others were loading up their car after they had completed a protest that she had helped organize.
Prior to the protest, Arata spoke with Police Chief Deanna Cantrell and told her that the protest would be peaceful, according to the press release. Leaders of the protest communicated to the group of about 300 participants that safety and peace were top priorities.
There was a moment between protesters and motorists, and some people yelled at the crowd.
In the video, you can see the motorist try to run over the civilians on the highway. Arata wasn’t seen in this video and there is no proof that she told any protestor to damage anything.
According to DA’s complaint against Tianna Arata, she’s being charged with 13 misdemeanors: five false imprisonment, six obstruction of a thoroughfare, one unlawful assembly, and one disturbing the peace by loud noise.
Initially, Arata was facing up to 15 years in prison. Since there is no felony charges then she wouldn’t have to serve that much time if anytime at all if she was convicted for these crimes.
Unless there’s tangible proof Tianna Arata told the protesters to act in a violent fashion, then District Attorney Dan Dow should just drop the charges. The only thing that you could charge for is really disturbing the peace by loud noise.
Which protest around the world doesn’t disturb the peace?
The most they should do is fine Arata for damages as she was the organizer. This whole 13 misdemeanor charges just seems like a way to send a message to other protestors in their area. This trial comes off as threat or message to anyone who wants to use their freedom of speech to call for justice for black lives that have been brutalized by the police.