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SF Judge Dismisses Charges Against BART's Powell Street Station Free Speech Arrestees, 6/4/12
Dave Id
On September 8th, 2011, BART police wrongfully mass arrested close to thirty people, including this reporter, inside the Powell Street BART station during a protest against BART police. Protesters and journalists alike were handcuffed for hours and charged with violating California Penal Code Section 369i, which forbids that anyone "interfere with, interrupt, or hinder the safe and efficient operation of any locomotive, railway car, or trains," even though those arrested were doing no such thing. Nearly nine months later, on June 4th, the case was finally heard in open court. Thanks to the strength of the demurrer, or motion for dismissal, made by Bryndis Tobin of the National Lawyers Guild, the District Attorney's office submitted to the demurrer and didn't contest any of the defense arguments. The DA's office further indicated that they had no intention of filing amended charges, ever. And so it was not surprising when San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Gail Dekreon thereby dismissed charges against all of the defendants whom the NLG represented in the case.

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