Saturday, February 12, 2011

Protesters face year in jail - in Los Angeles, not Egypt

Protesters face year in jail - in Los Angeles, not Egypt

LA Times = Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich is throwing the book at dozens of people arrested during recent political demonstrations — a major shift in city policy that has him pressing for jail time in types of cases that previous prosecutors had treated as infractions. Some of the activists arrested, including eight college students and one military veteran who took part in a Westwood rally last year in support of the DREAM Act, face up to one year in county jail.

In 2009, under Trutanich's predecessor, Rocky Delgadillo, all but one of 12 students arrested at a protest over fee hikes at UCLA were offered plea deals that reduced their charges to an infraction with a $100 fine. "Our policy was that this is an exercise of 1st Amendment rights, and if this was your first time, you would get a hearing," said Delgadillo, who said his policy was based on the belief that a protester demonstrating for a political cause is different from a typical criminal.

Of course, what you notice is that you never hear the opposite story. You never hear of American police and American prosecutors acting with more tolerance and restraint, especially towards those evil terrorists who dare to think that all this talk about freedom and democracy means that they are free to try to speak their minds and tell their supposedly democratic government what they want.

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