Tuesday, December 6, 2011

After 9 more arrested, Occupy San Diego seeks apology, resignation of SDPD Chief

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2011

Kali Katt 1-619-916-1304
Rick Halsey 760-822-0029

After 9 more arrested, Occupy San Diego seeks apology, resignation of SDPD Chief

By Kali Katt

San Diego -- Occupy San Diego will march Tuesday Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. from Freedom Plaza (formerly known as Civic Center) to the San Diego Police Headquarters on Broadway Ave and 14th  St. in protest of the continued police brutality, misconduct and unlawful arrests at the OSD protests. In the fourth raid since Oct. 7, 30 San Diego Police Department officers arrested nine protestors around 2 a.m. the morning of Monday Dec 5, charging most of them with Cal. Pen. Code S148 resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer, Cal. Pen. Code S647 illegal lodging, and the infamous San Diego Mun. Code S54.0110 unauthorized encroachments.

The protestors arrested were not sleeping or camping when the officers poured in, but were watching a DVD of Michael Moore’s “Capitalism- A Love Story”. No warning was giving to disperse before officers began grabbing people and arresting them. A member of OSD’s media team who began filming the unlawful arrests was arrested.  This adds to the over 100 arrests OSD protestors have been subjected to since the first arrest on Oct 14, one week after occupying Freedom Plaza.

Since the arrests OSD has discovered that a transgender female protestor has been placed in the Central jail with the general male population, and a female protestor is being detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  There have also been false quotes in the media yesterday by SDPD spokesman Gary Hassen that protestors were setting up tents and this is why the raid occurred.  Documented video (at 01:09:00) shows the protestors calmly awake, without tents, and watching a movie when the officers came in.

It has been become routine for SDPD to enforce municipal codes at whim, without prior talks or mediation, and often resorting first-hand to violent tactics, to prevent, deter, and intimidate protestors and all San Diego citizens within this city from exercising their first amendment rights.

During the first raid on Oct. 14  SDPD was aggressive with protestors and sprayed hazardous chemical agents upon  numerous people simply for having tents. A member of OSD’s media team documenting the second police raid on Oct 28 was arrested for Penal Code 408 unlawful assembly for standing in the middle of the street and Municipal Code 59.5.0401 excessive noise for using a megaphone. The 51 protestors arrested during the second police raid on Oct. 28 were subject to police brutality and inhumane conditions at the jail with even the San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept. admitting the protestors were forced to urinate and defecate in the buses while being transferred to jail.

In the following weeks they began heavily enforcing Cal. Pen. Code S647 illegal lodging, which means very aggressively arresting people for allegedly sleeping, or just laying down in a sleeping bag, - even a homeless man in a wheelchair on Thanksgiving morning. During the Nov. 16 raid they arrested another media team member while he was documenting action for San Diego Mun. Code S83.0203 pedestrian standing on the sidewalk. Then they yet another member of the media team was arrested, this time for registering voters, on private property under a citizen’s arrest from the owner of the Civic Center  - CB Richard Ellis. They continue to arrest protestors for simple things such as allegedly tearing police caution tape and calling it vandalism.

Not only is OSD calling for the resignation of Chief Police Landsdowne by petition for the way he has mishandled the Occupy San Diego protests, but a young female protestor Julie,  who does graphic design for the OSD media team, has now declared a hunger strike until Chief Lansdowne apologizes to OSD for the continued intimidation, harassment, and suppression.  She joins a group of citizen's willing to forgo sustenance until action by our elected officials is taken toward more fair treatment of civil liberties.

After a summer of troubling reports of SDPD officers being involved in a variety of criminal activities ranging from assaulting minors, stalking, driving while intoxicated, and sexual abuse, we are now faced with another series of offenses done to citizens by the officers of the SDPD.  OSD is hoping Chief Landsdowne will help make the situation right by apologizing for this misconduct as he did earlier in the year for SDPD’s misconduct.


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