Sacramento DA Refuses to File Charges Against Occupy Protestors

Of 110 arrests, none successfully prosecuted

The Sacramento District Attorney Office Friday said it will not file charges against 18 Occupy Sacramento supporters arrested December 8 at Cesar Chavez Park – the Sacramento City Police had arrested people on alleged misdemeanor curfew and resisting arrest violations during a “First Amendment” demonstration.

In October, the DA also refused to file charges against Occupy activists. The City of Sacramento has attempted to prosecute some cases – after dismissing scores of cases – but has failed to obtain a conviction of any kind. There have been 110 arrests since Oct. 6, 2011. None of those arrested have accepted any kind of plea deal, and insisted on a trial.

Twenty-one people – many of them military veterans – were arrested December 8 on misdemeanor counts of curfew violation because the City maintains free speech ends in Sacramento in the Parks at 11 p.m. on a weeknight.

Volunteer civil rights lawyer Jeff Kravitz called the City’s continued arrests of peaceful citizens an assault on the 1st Amendment.

“The City continues to violate the basic rights of Occupy Sacramento supporters, and it needs to stop.” said Kravitz, a former constitutional law professor, and one of the nearly three dozen pro bono lawyers for Occupy Sacramento.

“One of my clients in the case is an Iraq War veteran who fought for this country only to come back home and discover his First Amendment rights have been abridged by a local ordinance. He was arrested and jailed because he believes we truly live in a free country, and that free speech ought not to be unreasonably limited by Sacramento politicians,” said Kravitz.

The City ordinance limits free speech in public parks to 11 p.m. on weekdays, and 12 midnight on weekends. The law is being challenged in federal courts on constitutional grounds.