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Indybay Feature
Pepper Spray Q-Tip Swabbing Case Back in Court
by media advisory
Tuesday Apr 5th, 2005 4:18 PM
Jury selection starts April 12, 2005.
Pepper Spray 8 vs. County of Humboldt et al.

The plaintiffs are eight forest activists who were engaged in demonstrations to save Headwaters Forest. They are represented by the civil rights legal team who won the 2002 Earth First! (Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney) vs. FBI and Oakland Police case, including Dennis Cunningham and J. Tony Serra.

Pepper Spray By Q-Tip Civil Rights Trial III

This civil rights trial will be heard again in federal court after two hold out jurors prevented a verdict in the September 2004 trial. At issue is whether police used excessive force when they forced pepper spray into the eyes of protesters staging a sit-in. The defendants are Humboldt County Sheriffs' Dept., Eureka Police Dept., the former Sheriff and current Sheriff of that county.

San Francisco, Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave., S.F., Calif. Judge Susan Illston's court, 19th floor, room 10.

Tuesday, April 12, 8:30 a.m.
Jury selection is expected to take one day, with the trial opening on Wednesday April 13 at 8:30 a.m.

When police footage aired on national tv after the incidents in 1997, the horrified public saw officers force activists' heads back, pry open their eyes and precisely smear the burning chemical into their eyes. Most of the activists were young-some were first time protesters. Although the incidents drew international outrage and condemnation, state officials have codified the police tactic by incorporating these practices into guidelines for dealing with civil disobedience in California. Generally, pepper spray is recognized as a tool of last resort when suspects in custody are violent or out of control.

After the first trial in 1998 ended without a verdict, challenges at the state, appeals court and US Supreme Court level brought the case back to San Francisco before a new judge and jury on Sept. 7, 2004. That jury deadlocked 6-2 in favor of the activist plaintiffs, causing the judge to schedule a new trial.

Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
bye bye nowbillybobWednesday Apr 20th, 2005 1:22 PM
Let's have another cheer for our courageous men in blueLet's have respect OK?Sunday Apr 17th, 2005 11:15 PM
cops admit being dickheadsbut just dont get itSunday Apr 17th, 2005 9:54 PM
CopsThe Never Ending QuestionSunday Apr 17th, 2005 11:13 AM
My opinionhahahahaSunday Apr 17th, 2005 7:44 AM
Why at all ?NothingSaturday Apr 16th, 2005 6:55 PM
OMGbillybobFriday Apr 15th, 2005 2:16 PM
Right onBeep-beepFriday Apr 15th, 2005 12:08 PM
Your totally right BillyBobsean4489Friday Apr 15th, 2005 12:25 AM
clarifiedbillybobThursday Apr 14th, 2005 2:01 PM

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