L.A. County's new $0 bail rule permits police to crack down on protesters, legal advocates say
Several exemptions to L.A. County's $0 bail rule permit police departments to hold people for misdemeanor offenses commonly associated with protests, including unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.
Advertisement“It’s pretty obvious when you look at what they’re exempting,” said John Raphling, an attorney and senior researcher with Human Rights Watch’s U.S. program. “At least three of them in particular are targeting protests. Just plain and simple.”
The bail schedule was reviewed and approved by the Superior Court’s bail committee and executive committee, public information officer Mary Eckhardt Hearn said in an email.“The Zero Bail Schedule was unanimously approved by the Executive Committee after discussion and consideration of various factors,” Eckhardt Hearn wrote. “The Executive Committee, which is made up of judges and commissioners, concluded that the exemptions were appropriate.”
Sobel said that, in addition to violating the Constitution by singling out protected activity, the county’s bail schedule also runs contrary to state law, which requires that people accused of most misdemeanors be either cited in the field or booked and immediately released. The law lays out exceptions for certain offenses, mostly violent crimes, as well as for people who are deemed at high risk of reoffending or endangering others. But the L.A. County bail schedule goes further and adds a number of exceptions beyond those listed in state law, including the charges related to protests, she said.
Advertisement“This is just astonishing to me,” Sobel said. “In order not to release someone, they must have a very specific reason that is created by state law. They can’t create a new reason here in Los Angeles.”Adding to activists’ concerns is the fact that police already have a great deal of discretion when it comes to arresting people on a charge of unlawful assembly, they said.
“The police declare the unlawful assembly. They make the decision to decide that a protest has become an unlawful assembly,” Raphling said. “And while they may not be able to justify it in the future when it’s reviewed in court, there’s nothing at the time of the protest to question their use of discretion.”
For that reason, he said, the charge gives police the power to make mass arrests.Advertisement“Adding that now, they can hold the people they arrest in custody, which aside from being wrong and arguably a violation of First Amendment rights is also exposing people to often brutal conditions — and in particular now to COVID-19,” he said.
Advocates have been closely watching how police interpret the new rules since they took effect less than two weeks ago. Staff with the National Lawyers Guild’s legal observer program have been monitoring protests, including 10 to 15 actions that took place over the weekend, to ensure that arrestees are released promptly, Rogers said.
That’s happened in every case except one, she said.When Beverly Hills Police, most of them on suspicion of unlawful assembly, they initially said the demonstrators would be held on $5,000 bail, likely meaning they’d be jailed for the weekend pending an appearance before a judge.
AdvertisementFollowing an outcry from the National Lawyers Guild, which called for the protesters to be freed, the police department reversed course and said the majority of them would instead be cited and released. Still, many were jailed upward of 19 hours as they were processed and booked.
“This is the only arrest situation in recent weeks or the past month where people have not just been [immediately] released on their own recognizance, and it’s been a fight to get them out, which is ridiculous,” Rogers said. “But I’m hopeful that other jails and other jurisdictions are going to see that people are not going to accept this.”
Sobel said Monday that she was considering taking legal action against the bail schedule but first planned to file a demand letter asking the court to rescind the exemptions related to protests. Read more: Los Angeles Times »
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Good Lol.. it's working real well in New York
Orange County closing all county-operated beaches for July 4 weekendAll county-operated beaches in Orange County will be closed for the entire holiday weekend of July 4 and 5, the county's executive officer said, joining other Southern California counties in the closing of their shores to prevent spread of coronavirus. But LOOTING AND RIOTING IS OK🤔oh and protesters protesting🖕 New law: Until Trump loses the 2020 election, there will be no having fun, especially on holidays. Totally not going to backfire. Great business move..not. You're willing to lose all that holiday revenue for the state? Gavin Newsom's gotta go!
A third day of coronavirus surges in L.A. County brings alarmCoronavirus keeps raging in L.A. County, other parts of California. The state as a whole hit a grim milestone Tuesday when it exceeded 6,000 deaths. The protests cost thousands of lives. Democrats own the virus now. SupJaniceHahn u pushed to open things up... we have no FN tests
I Ate At A Restaurant In What Was Once COVID-19’s Deadliest CountyThe idea of dining out again is exciting yet nerve-wracking. It’s a calculated risk for both customers and workers. Get a grip! You have a warped idea of exciting. Hmm let’s see, tens of thousands marching and rioting throughout the streets for over a month now. But restaurants. Go eff yourself.
At least 176 test positive for coronavirus at Ventura County farmworker housing complexOf the 216 tests administered to residents and staff at the facility, more than 80% have come back positive for COVID-19. God Bless our farmworkers. 176 tested positive and none of them are in danger of dying. Shut down the plant. There safe reopen when everyone tests negative Don't worry. If they die, we can always just import more from Mexico.
Times sues L.A. County sheriff over withholding records on deputy misconductThe Los Angeles Times has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, alleging that the Sheriff’s Department has repeatedly refused to turn over public records about deputies involved in misconduct or shootings. The people should sue the Times for withholding records on misconduct by elected officials. Ooohhhhh yes always a coverup on misconduct i can’t believe they are withholding that information. that should be publicly available.
10 p.m. curfew imposed for all San Diego County restaurants and barsPublic health officials say the move is designed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 😑 so we’re still not gonna take this seriously. Apparently the virus only comes out after 10pm. So you can’t get coronavirus before 10 😕. Cause why else would you close at 10