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Activists Win in Judi Bari vs FBI trial
OAKLAND,CA - The jury in the Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney federal civil rights lawsuit against four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers awarded plaintiffs $4.4 million for violation of the activists' Constitutional rights and returned a verdict largely in favor of Earth First! activists Cherney and the late Judi Bari.
OAKLAND,CA - The jury in the Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney federal civil
rights lawsuit against four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers
awarded plaintiffs $4.4 million for violation of the activists'
Constitutional rights and returned a verdict largely in favor of Earth
First! activists Cherney and the late Judi Bari. In a legal victory of
historic proportions against the FBI, the jury found that six of the seven
defendants violated the First and Fouth Amendments of the Constitution by
arresting the activists, conducting searches of their homes, and carrying
out a smear campaign in the press, calling Earth First! a terrorist
organization and calling the activists bombers, in the aftermath of the
explosion of a bomb that was planted in Judi Bari's car in 1990. This
verdict finds unlawful the actions of those in charge of the bombing
investigation, and vindicates Bari and Cherney.
FBI agents Frank Doyle, John Reikes, Philip Sena and OPD officer Mike Sims
were found to have violated Bari and Cherney's First Amendment rights. In
addition, OPD officer Sitterud was found to have violated Cherney's First
Amendment rights. Doyle was found to have violated Bari's Fourth Amendment
rights related to the search of her home, and Doyle and OPD officer
Chenault were found to have violated Cherney's Fourth Amendment rights.
FBI agent Doyle and OPD officer Sims were found to have violated Bari's
Fourth Amendment rights in relation to her arrest. The jury returned an
^Óundecided^Ô verdict with respect to violations of Cherney's Fourth
Amendment rights for his arrest.
Frank Doyle was the agent in charge of the 1990 bomb scene, and taught an
FBI bomb school at a Louisiana Pacific clearcut a month prior to the
bombing. Doyle was also the Squad 13 relief supervisor. Squad 13 was the
joint terrorism squad made up of FBI and Oakland officers and collected
extensive files on political groups in the Bay Area.
Reikes was the head of the FBI's terrorist squad who came to OPD
headquarters the day of the bombing to give the inflammatory briefing on
Sena was already engaged in a secret investigation of Earth First! and
concocted a fake informant tip.
Sims was an OPD homicide lieutenant in charge of other officers
investigating the bombing and the decision-maker for the unjust arrests of
Sitterud ignored evidence at the scene and concocted information that
would implicate the activists. Chenault wrote the first fraudulent search
This verdict is a referendum against the FBI's gross interference with
people's right to dissent at a time when Attorney General Ashcroft, FBI
Director Mueller and the Bush administration are arrogating huge power to
themselves and the FBI to spy on legitimate groups and organizers and
infringe the Constitutional rights of the public.
The filled-out verdict form is available at